Clint Mansell, Kronos Quartet and Mogwai
The Fountain


4.5
superb

Review

by Bradley USER (1 Reviews)
February 27th, 2013 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: And so the black clouds came down, consuming us all…

Love, Happiness, Disappointment, Sadness, Death. Emotions fuel our lives. They can make us do stupid things, reckless things, irrational things. However, they also make us do amazing things, incredible things. Emotions are the essence of life. As it happens, The Fountain is a film based on life and deep and intricate feelings. In the contemporary composition scene, where many a composer has found solace in progressions as completely stale as C, G, Am, F, Clint Mansell’s heart-felt, instrumental representation of The Fountain hits the listener right in the feels. Mansell craftsmanship is so expertly executed that he manages to construct a gut-wrenching story without the need for a single word to be spoken or sung. In short, if you’re a fan of lying in the pitch-black comforts of your room, with a constant stream of wind attacking your face whilst your ears feast on the music and your mind is oh so far away, listen to this album.

Mansell has always had a great command of the musical spectrum, and had already begun to make a name for himself with contributions to the Pi soundtrack, and then the desolate and eerie works of Requiem for a Dream. With The Fountain, Mansells transcendence continues. His detailed works are not, like many modern-day composers, layered with unnecessary instruments, but instead, layered with emotion and sincerity. One can literally feel the sheer sorrowful emptiness of tracks like ‘The Last Man’ and ‘Stay With Me’ crawling up their skin, eating away at their insides, molesting and defecating all sense of belonging and happiness they may have once had. This is done in the most beautiful of ways, and the absolute strength of the album is enough to render anyone close to tears, wondering what they’ve done with their life and how all too real mortality actually is.

Behind the sometimes eerie but ever-attractive string arrangements is a powerful rhythmic section, which can easily be considered as the driving force behind the album, and even though it can be sometimes subtle - hidden beneath the layers of strings, guitars and choirs- it is always noticeable. Instead of taking the scenic and boring route, Mansell (with the help of post-rock giants Mogwai.) implement a frequent percussion vibe that - not only helps add to the profuse ethereal atmosphere entrenched within every melody and every phrase-, but takes every emotion you could think of and shoves it down your throat, where it is gratefully accepted. The intertwining of Mogwai. Into the soundtrack was a master-stroke by all parties involved. The rocky and realistic edge that they provide really brings this album to a new, energetic life, where the utter desperation of the music is put on a vigorous display.

Even if the majority of the album felt samey, murky, and boring (which it is anything but) The Fountain would still be an essential listen simply due to the fact that the track ‘Death is the Road to Awe’ exists. The song is reminiscent of a rollercoaster, it takes the listener on a rocky adventure through time, space, life and death. The 8 minute behemoth builds and climaxes multiple times, ending in one of the most mind-blowing, eloquent 20 seconds of music to ever be recorded.

Listen, embrace, feel

And cry yourself to sleep.


user ratings (124)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Joshua Hunt (4.5)
...

Jennifer Ravensdale (4.5)
Grim and gloom above, vast as a canyon within…...

Nick Greer EMERITUS (4.5)
Beautiful soundtrack to a beautiful movie. A mix of post-rock, minimalism, and modern classical....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
February 27th 2013


16097 Comments


you, sir, have excellent taste. this ost is nothing short of awe-inspiring. 'death is the road to awe' is still one of my favourite songs.

review is solid, although you use a lot of synonyms so some of it seems superfluous:

they also make us do amazing things, incredible things




Gyromania
February 27th 2013


16097 Comments


i reviewed this about 5 years ago but i guess it was deleted

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh heyy...

I ended up seeing the film only a couple of weeks ago, it surprised me how much the soundtrack was utilised but then I guess if you had this soundtrack to use you'd make the most of it.

Good review, even if I'm not too comfortable with phrases such as "feels" popping up in a review :/

Gyromania
February 27th 2013


16097 Comments


yea, also what he said about 'feels'.

jonny: what did you think of the movie? it's one of my favourites.

ComfortablyDumb
February 27th 2013


395 Comments


Favourite film score. Movie is great too.

Death is The Road To Awe is amazing but Together We Will Live Forever is just as great. Just beautiful stuff. Can't wait to see Stoker.

Gyromania
February 27th 2013


16097 Comments


^ together we will live forever is easily the saddest song here and an excellent way to end the ost. now that i think of it, i don't recall hearing that in the movie, unless it was during the end credits.

ComfortablyDumb
February 27th 2013


395 Comments


Yeah it plays later during the end credits I believe. It's been a while since I've seen it.

I've fallen asleep to that song so many times.

Gyromania
February 27th 2013


16097 Comments


i tend to ruminate on the past when i play it. such beautiful stuff.

i can't for the life of me understand why people like the requiem ost more than this

ComfortablyDumb
February 27th 2013


395 Comments


The Requiem OST is more iconic I think, it's been used everywhere. Plus requiem has been seen by more people and is more well-regarded than the fountain, so there's that. This ost destroys requiem's though.

Gyromania
February 27th 2013


16097 Comments


i meant people who have heard both favoring requiem, but yeah requiem's is much more popular for lux aeterna alone

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


2719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

jonny: what did you think of the movie? it's one of my favourites.


Overall, I loved it. I'm not sure I understand it completely (I mean I thought I did until the very, very end) but from what I did, and because of the fact it's so beautiful, it's a great film. Don't know if it's up there as a favourite for me (Apocalypse Now will always dominate that spot) but def enjoyed it.

oubli
February 27th 2013


67 Comments


Great movie and I usually like all by Clint Mansell, need to get this. Great review!

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 27th 2013


24110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice man, this album is so amazing

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek



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