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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.
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?Read more ›
I hope Greenwood's music (unlike his equally superb and snubbed "There Will Be Blood") gets an Oscar nod deeply deserved. It doesn't hurt that "The Master" is a gem movie as well as its score and nothing beats a masterful combo, not that a good soundtrack ever rescues a bad film. Happily that is not for a moment the case.
Last of all Greenwood has also composed the score for the recently released film "We need to talk about Kevin" with the score still not available commercially. Hopefully Nonesuch or some other label will pick it up for general release.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some really lovely original and re-arranged material here. First encountered some of the original tracks as part of a segment about the score on NPR and feel that the album as a... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Adam
If there was one redeeming factor in the film The Master, it was this soundtrack. Melodic, classical, haunting - many tracks fit the film perfectly, though I would suggest you... Read morePublished on May 21, 2014 by drakkar91
The Master is a very dark film, but for some reason I thought the music was very intriguing so I decided to order it. Read morePublished on September 22, 2013 by James Straus
Johnny Greenwood has collaborated with writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson on some of his other films and the two seem to have found a playing ground that provides a compatible... Read morePublished on March 3, 2013 by Grady Harp
This is without a doubt the most abrasive and unpleasant movie score I have ever heard. Naturally it goes to an equally awful film by P.T. Anderson. Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by Matthew Cash
Although Greenwood soundtrack underscores the movie quite well, most of these minimalistic tracks don't stand up on their own. Not nearly as good as There Will be Blood.Published on January 12, 2013 by BDW
Product was just as described like new. Good music as well by greenwood. Good prices on products too. Thank youPublished on December 1, 2012 by john schmid