Review Summary: Haunting and beautiful, just as living alone on the Moon
Clint Mansell is well known by his works as a soundtrack composer in Aron Aronofsky movies, being very good in what he does, especially when it comes to write themes that come all across the extension of the soundtrack, giving an atmosphere with some kind of paranoid touch in the movies he work. Perhaps that's the cause why he's so good in working with Aronofsky, a director that has as a principle thematic structure, journeys through persons obsessions and madness.
Moon is a Sci-Fi movie, directed by Duncan Jones, son from no less than David Bowie. The basic argument is about a man that works in the Moon, being in a future where there is interest in a way of making electric energy of the lunar soil. This man alone in the Moon with a 3 year job contract starts to become a little disturbed with its situation and begin to have hallucinations and acting in a strange way. His only company in the moon is a robot, which talks to him and take care of his problems. I think that's enough here to make a little impression of what is all about without spoiling the movie.
The music is very dark and ambient, with very subtle influences of classical piano, being “Welcome to Lunar Industries” the most varied music of the album, and also it's principal musical theme. Central to the whole album, it appear again and with little different characteristics through all the soundtrack. Clint Mansell brings a lot of influences, but what comes to my mind here is a mixture of the strangeness of an Erik Satie composition and a Trip Hop (in a more Massive Attack way) influence, with groovy beats very well settled in the end, what brings the real singular signature to this theme.
Another highlights of the album are the truly beautiful piano melody in “Memories (Someone We'll Never Know)”, and the fragile lullaby-like beginning of “We're Going Home”. The whole soundtrack is filled with noises and droning orchestral instrumentation that helps a lot to make the feeling of of lunar lonesomeness. It's very gray and dark as it has to be. There are scary moments, with strange noises and creepy winds, sonar pulses and a lot of details that help you feel some terror and little madness, but beautiful music too, as you can hear in “The Nursery” a really good orchestral slow song, sad and relaxing at the same time.
Apart of that, the music is always turning back to “Welcome to Lunar Industries” theme, and the scary thing, is that it just don't really feel tiresome. It goes on till the album finally end with a more longer version of the first track, leaving a sensation of a vicious circle that doesn't feel bad with the movie context and neither for a simple listen.
This a very good ambient album and a great soundtrack, and I think it's one of Clint Mansell's better compositions to listen out of the movie context, much more concise as an album than his work with "Requiem For A Dream" soundtrack for example. It can work if you want to relax, study, read a book or just listen to good music.