Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
The Social Network


5.0
classic

Review

by Aaron USER (8 Reviews)
December 27th, 2010 | 50 replies | 13,508 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist


4 of 5 thought this review was well written

There's a decidedly delicate balance between scoring a film and being a musician. Structure is dictated by scene instead of theme so in the most part the scorer's niche is already defined by someone else. Secondly and crucially, the conceptual component to your output has a target goal before instrument is picked up (or project file opened).

Composers writing for films don't get to start with the traditional clean slate, and often are just there to add in brushstrokes to the film around the plot and visual devices; this is why so many films have forgettable soundtracks. Reznor and Ross don't really take this tact. The stretching of certain barriers has become a device in the defining of key filmic moments, notably in the use of volume; moments in the film see the soundtrack being the focal point, straying from the traditional 2.5 mix-concept (dialogue, foley, score). Thanks to Michael Patterson for superb mixing. But in approaching the composure of the soundtrack similar to that of their traditional work, albeit with an altered dynamic, the validity of the pieces seems much more natural. Unlike many modern electronic/orchestral hybrid scores, the tracks stand up on their own without need of visual accompaniment; to put it bluntly, it's much more interesting than their peers' output seem to be. If this were released as a traditional album it would certainly receive positive feedback, and the fact that it's been composed with enough dynamics and space to allow it to operate along side a film shows the maturity and a deeply developed set of skills that Reznor and Ross posses at their disposal.

Instrument usage by the pair is fairly predictable knowing their prior recorded output; dense synth, strings, piano and the occasional guitar ebb and flow in and out giving the pieces a feeling of life, like the anxiety-filled breathing of socially awkward Mark Zuckerberg. Careful selection of instruments definitely has helped add to the overall pace of the soundtrack, a notable example is the guitar in Intriguing Possibilities, and again the bassy, Deadmau5-like synth stabs in Carbon Prevails. The addition of a remixed and choppy In The Hall of The Mountain King bringing home the grandiosity of the story.

Reznor and Ross have perfectly captured the suffocating atmosphere of having five-hundred-million friends, and none of them being close to you at all. Further to this, they've delicately crafted a soundtrack to a film that breaches the gap between background and foreground; not just supporting the film sonically, but creating a collection of music that stands on its own.

This is an example of how things should be done.



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user ratings (204)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Aaron
December 27th 2010



651 Comments


This was not easy to write about without having a copy of the film at my disposal.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 27th 2010



7012 Comments


There's some really good pieces here on this review. But it's hurt by the presence of sentences that are overtly long; here:

i.) "Composers writing for films don't get to start with the traditional clean slate, and often are just there to add in brushstrokes to the film around the plot and visual devices; this is why so many films have forgettable soundtracks."

ii.) "If this were released as a traditional album it would certainly receive positive feedback, and the fact that it's been composed with enough dynamics and space to allow it to operate along side a film shows the maturity and a deeply developed set of skills that Reznor and Ross posses at their disposal."

iii.) "Instrument usage by the pair is fairly predictable knowing their prior recorded output; dense synth, strings, piano and the occasional guitar ebb and flow in and out giving the pieces a feeling of life, like the anxiety-filled breathing of socially awkward Mark Zuckerberg."

It's okay to drop the semi-colon in favour of a full period. I definitely can relate to this inherent desire to keep sentences running onto each other (hence, run-on), but if a reader gets out of breath whilst reading a sentence, then it's probably too long.

You write well though. Have a pos.


Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Enotron
December 27th 2010



7695 Comments


aite i fux wit it

DGTLPRTY
December 27th 2010



466 Comments


a movie about facebook sounds stupid to me, but i might check this out

crazyblinddude
December 27th 2010



3389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review for a great soundtrack. Definitely check out the movie if you haven't already.

But if you were a fan of NIN's Ghosts sound you should like this. It feels more complete than Ghosts, in the sense that it gets the job done much easier, if that makes sense.

Also, it's just all around good relaxing music if you need to study or something.

AtavanHalen
December 27th 2010



17927 Comments


Liked what they did with this, but not so sure I like the compositions on their own away from the film

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 27th 2010



5619 Comments


i saw the film as well, and i enjoyed the music that came along with it.

However, i second what AtavanHalen said previously.

Digging: The 3rd and the Mortal - Painting On Glass

ConsiderPhlebas
December 27th 2010



6157 Comments


a movie about facebook sounds stupid to me, but i might check this out




A movie about any website would be stupid. How does a movie about invention, incredible overnight success and betrayal sound? Soundtrack rules.



Kris.
December 27th 2010



11416 Comments


fkkin love this movie

aboynamedpink
December 28th 2010



12 Comments


yeah, movie was really good and i love the soundtrack too. i was so excited when the credits rolled and it showed that trent reznor was responsible for the soundtrack

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2011



30316 Comments


So this just won a golden globe

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

mallen-
January 16th 2011



1235 Comments


just walked past the tv and saw that

Digging: The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

eternium
January 16th 2011



16213 Comments


Awesome.

vanderb0b
January 16th 2011



3473 Comments


Deserved it.

InASilentWay
January 17th 2011



156 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Incredible album!

explosionsinmyeye
January 20th 2011



51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Taken apart from the film, this soundtrack still shines. A testament to truly understanding how to score a movie, while simultaneously crafting an enjoyable listen any time of day. Excellent.

thatoneguy726
February 7th 2011



1627 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Makes me want to watch the movie every time. I have to refrain so I don't overwatch it and get sick of it.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2011



6943 Comments


probably my fav soundtrack since the fountain, both on its own and with the movie it is spectacular. Absolutely adored this movie too.

Digging: Strict Face - Fountains/Highbury Skyline

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
February 23rd 2011



4925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

In the Hall of the Mountain King
In the Hall of the Mountain King
In the Hall of the Mountain King
In the Hall of the Mountain King
In the Hall of the Mountain King

Defeater
February 28th 2011



5782 Comments


Now that Trent has an Oscar, he can just end his career. There's nothing left to achieve.



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