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The Master CD

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Audio CD, CD, September 11, 2012
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$4.91 $3.72

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B008V0OKGG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,552 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Original soundtrack to Oscar-nominated writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's 2012 film. The music was composed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood. The soundtrack comprises 11 compositions by Greenwood along with four recordings from the movie's era. Performers include the London Contemporary Orchestra, AUKSO Chamber Orchestra, and Ella Fitzgerald, among others. This is the second Anderson film that Greenwood has scored. Their previous collaboration was the critically praised soundtrack for 2007's Academy Award-winning There Will Be Blood.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For those not yet in the know, The Master is director Paul Thomas Anderson's latst film, one which - at least according to quotes I've read from Anderson - tells a tale which bears similarities to Scientology and its leader L. Ron Hubbard. Not surprisingly, even before release, the movie has stirred up its share of controversy.

But on to the music.... released before the film and a joy to hear. Jonny Greenwood, of Radiohead fame, has done an impressive job creating the score.

The first piece, Overtones, is a lovely classical introduction, and weaves throughout the rest of the album, at least in bits and pieces. Another highlight is the glorious Ella Fitzgerald singing of a man she "shouldn't see" in Get Thee Behind Me Satan. The theme, desire and ambivalence, is captured in her inimitable style - for this piece it is smooth and languorous. As wonderful as this song is, I confess to a special fondness for Changing Partners, sung by Helen Forrest. It has such yearning and passion! I listen to it repeatedly.

Accurate to the timeline of the film, set in the 50s,the music is sublime - sensual, haunting, and with undercurrents of sadness and mystery. Perhaps "bittersweet" best captures the overall feeling. At times, it seems reverent. The vocal selections mix well with the instrumental compositions.

Film scores are tricky. When done well, they add depth and resonance to movies. But at their worst, they are jarring, unrelated to a film's theme, and unbalanced. I'll leave it to you to decide whether you think the music works with the movie. My take is that this is an album which stands solidly on its own, not to be missed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marblehead Johnson VINE VOICE on October 22, 2012
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
It's quite a rare thing for a soundtrack album to have so much resonance and power that it stands by itself as a musical experience to be witnessed separate from its accompanying film. I haven't yet seen "The Master", but Jonny Greenwood has created an album of stunning depth and emotion. How often do any of us ever listen to a soundtrack album before we see the film, anyway? I think most of us Radiohead fans would answer that question in the same way when it comes to this particular soundtrack, but Greenwood has outdone himself in showing us his massive talent with displaying an understanding of different musical genres across the board.

This soundtrack is very reminiscent of his "There Will Be Blood" score with it's slightly staggered syncopated string jabs, deep melancholic bass melodies, and an overall feeling of weirdness. His scores are just as uncomfortable as the characters that act to this music, but Greenwood always knows when to bring the heart-achingly human elements of melody and tunes-smith into the otherwise frenetic frays of his discordant classical noise.

There are some older tracks peppered in from Ella Fitzgerald, Helen Forrest, and Jo Stafford which take absolutely nothing away from Greenwood's compositions. If anything, they give the classical proceedings that much more flavor; the instrumentals are harrowing to say the least, and the voices are a welcome and fluid break.

My only complaint with this soundtrack lies with a physical manifestation of the vinyl packaging and not the music. The vinyl version only contains 12 tracks, where the CD version contains the full 15. In fact, there is a sticker on the jacket which reads "includes CD of the complete album". Uhh, what? Us vinyl collectors get stiffed three tracks?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jon Broxton on October 4, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Despite living in Los Angeles, and despite being a very casual acquaintance of someone who I know for a fact is one, I know very little about Scientology. You occasionally see them set up on Hollywood Boulevard, offering `stress tests' to unsuspecting tourists, and you hear odd stories about Tom Cruise in the tabloid news, but beyond that my actual knowledge of the details of the late L. Ron Hubbard's much-derided `celebrity religion' is sketchy at best - little more than lurid tales of science fiction, aliens, past lives, and the like. In Paul Thomas Anderson's film The Master, the word `scientology' is never uttered, but it's clear what is going on, and the film is a less-than-pretty expose of the origins of the religion.

Set in the 1950s, the film stars Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell, a WWII navy veteran with post-traumatic stress whose assimilation back into to civilian life is less than easy. A womanizer and a drunk with a violent temper, Freddie seems to be on the path to self-destruction, until he meets Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a charming, well-educated `self-help' guru, who travels the United States with his serious wife Peggy (Amy Adams) and a cadre of acolytes and sycophants, espousing his book - "The Cause". Finding meaning in Dodd's words and exercises, and despite his damaging and self-destructive personal issues, Freddie quickly becomes a trusted confidante, but before long his volatile personality clashes with Dodd's calm demeanor, threatening to bring down the entire organization from within.
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