When something so striking, surprisingly cruel, yet beautifully composed, arranged and produced piece of
music sees sunlight as last year’s score to ‘The Social Network’, it’s always hard to imagine for us fans anyone to be able to create something at least as good as the previous in only a year. Let alone for the successor to be as exciting and new as its precursor.
Well, no-one should expect wonders: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have not picked up nylon string acoustic guitars and called for a symphonic orchestra to help assist with this year’s soundtrack work of theirs. It is essentially the same, atmosphere-driven, heavily electronic, simple but meaningful set-up as it was to Mark Zuckerberg’s story. However, there is tangible difference in attitude when it comes to the actual music. Based on what’s – despite its length of 35 minutes – only a taster to the 3-hour “opus” (Reznor’s word), Reznor and Ross managed to transform Sweden’s cold, snowy and alienated landscapes into notes and the music resonates really well with the characters’ and the soon-to-be-vievers moods as well.
This time, it’s less percussive and less straightforward, at least on the sampler. There’s no sign of as direct a song as ‘In Motion’ was on the previous release this time around. In general, it resembles the second half of ‘The Social Network’ and makes us call back moments like ‘Eventually We Find Our Way’, ‘The Gentle Hum of Anxiety’ and ‘Soft Trees Break The Fall’.
It very well may be that what I wrote here will not turn out to be entirely true. The whole sampler EP has such a tense, yet complete character which shows its strengths and sets the tone that it might as well only be a prelude to a great saga embracing a huge variety of emotions and settings. And in that case, we’re going to encounter something even better than fantastic. Which the sampler is.
The six-track sampler can be downloaded free of charge from NullCo’s website.