Clint Mansell’s composition work on “The Fountain” soundtrack is arguably one of the most intriguing and emotionally captivating Romantic era inspired works of the prior decade. Sweltering with somber timbre, at times the ominous sentiment the music presented brings can feel gut wrenching in the most creeping of ways. These mournful regards are not merely felt within the confines of the accompanying film as they stand alone superfluously.
Every piece of music comprising this soundtrack exhumes the beauty of darkness precisely. Ground shaking drums crescendo below masses of eerie vocals buried in reverberation in all of the most predominant nooks and crannies the album provides. This captures a cinematic feel while creating terrifying tension builds that keep the darkest and dreariest segments in character. The compositions that have a lighter feel portray a wondrous airy quality that allows a floating perception to take hold. These measures tend to consist either solely or heavily of string arrangements. The black tone of the soundtrack does not bring tides of depressive feelings with it however, instead the tone of beauty it conveys adjusts its message in a very effective manner. The chord choices and harmonies are stunningly phenomenal and bridge the gap when the soundtrack begins to feel too heavy. This allows for an immersive quality that would otherwise cause the music to bog down without sacrificing the meticulously acquired mood of the entire work. The melodies are harmonically lush, not complex. The grandiose instrumentation and varying compositional styles allow even the most venerable piano segues to feel just as powerful as the walls of assaulting darkness present on accompanying tracks.
The soundtrack functions as a consecutive work expertly. The texture and arrangement of the music is applied perfectly to the emotional qualities of the work. Its quality sense of direction and logical yet artistically brilliant climaxes create a fluidity that undoubtedly raises the height of expectations while succeeding in matching them. “The Fountain” never feels overbearing; its murky persona only adds to the most intense moments and builds its sparse atmosphere into a grand scheme of musical exploration thus making it that much more valuable of a work, a true gem among a pile of convincing counterfeit archetypes.