Andy Hull
Swiss Army Man OST


4.5
superb

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
June 26th, 2016 | 53 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Everything everywhere matters to everything

For an almost entirely a cappella soundtrack to a Sundance film about a stranded man and his best friend the farting corpse, Swiss Army Man is surprisingly easy on the ears. Andy Hull and Robert McDowell of Manchester Orchestra spent thirteen months crafting the most interesting soundtrack of 2016 around the concept of music happening entirely within the character's heads, foregoing instruments and most of the English language for a meditative journey through loneliness and love.

Though Dano and Radcliffe both take a swing at the microphone with notable success, Swiss Army Man is most important as a milestone for Andy Hull. Once a young, nervous frontman with a shaky voice and a penchant for brilliant turns of phrase on the page, Hull has graduated a decade later to crafting an almost wordless album fuelled by only the power of his voice. The harmonies recall everything from The Beach Boys to Damien Rice to Devin Townsend, a bizarre soundscape of 'ooh's and 'aah's echoing into the emptiness around the protagonist as he hums to keep himself sane. The album still runs the entire gamut of emotions of your favourite Manchester Orchestra album, rivalling even the most ecstatic highs of Simple Math with "Montage" and delving to rock bottom with the moody loss ballad "Cotton Eye Joe" and the near-ambient "Don't Tell Sarah". It careens from sparse, choir-like vocal arrangements to the sounds of skittering electronic beats made by body percussion and quick intakes of breath. The only moment which seems at all anchored in our own reality is a chilling cover of the Jurassic Park theme song, at least until "A Better Way", the first song written, makes sudden sense of a recurring melody and pulls everything together in the album's final moments.

We don't come across an easily quotable trademark Hull lyric until about three quarters of the album has passed, when the heartbreaking "River Rocket" builds to a revelation of "everything everywhere matters to everything". It's undoubtedly embedded in a vital character moment in the film, but it also seems to stand in contrast to Hull's past assertion "you mean everything to nothing". The two ideas are not necessarily antithetical; instead they stand as two landmarks on an increasingly fascinating journey, one which has taken Hull and his bandmates through heartbreak, loss and wordless beauty. The Swiss Army Man soundtrack is an oddity, yes, a faintly hilarious and strangely beautiful one; but it's also the sound of a songwriter rising to a challenge with unbelievable results.



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user ratings (23)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2016


42735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is one of my favourite things so far this year. enjoy

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2016


42735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh and stream is here https://thefilmstage.com/news/listen-to-manchester-orchestras-full-score-for-swiss-army-man/

wtferrothorn
June 26th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I remember when I first read about this film and saw the trailer, I didn't know what to say. But the song in the trailer actually did pique my interest. Plus the review makes this sound the kind of weird that I'd really dig. mindpos rowbro

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2016


42735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers ferro. I'm unsure about how much I'll enjoy the film (although I'm definitely gonna watch it) but as its own piece of art this OST is incredible

wtferrothorn
June 26th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I'm inclined to see the film. Even if I don't enjoy it, it seems like something that'll at least be a new experience.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2016


42735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

at the very least I'm glad Radcliffe has a sense of humour about his career and is trying some different styles. Horns was hilarious

YoYoMancuso
June 26th 2016


12751 Comments


i need to see this film it sounds ridiculous but still

wtferrothorn
June 26th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Decided to jump right into this and wow, When I Think About Mom is stellar.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2016


42735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

just wait for River Rocket oh man SOTY contender



Montage through to Better Way is pretty much all 5/5

wtferrothorn
June 26th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck, Cotton Eye Joe shouldn't be able to be this pretty

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2016


42735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd go so far to say this is one of the most interesting progressions of an indie rock artist ever

wtferrothorn
June 26th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The flow from Don't Tell Sarah to Running Down the Mountain to Finale is so perfect. This is definitely gonna be sticking with me throughout the year.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2016


42735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

glad you liked it man, tell your friends

wtferrothorn
June 26th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll be sure to spread the word that an A capella soundtrack to a movie about a dead, farting Daniel Radcliffe is one of the best albums of the year. I have a feeling that it might be a hard sell, but I'll give it my best ; )

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2016


42735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the joy of writing this review was in the phrasing of that idea honestly

RadicalEd
June 26th 2016


9546 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sounds great, will check. Good review.

Sinternet
June 26th 2016


20876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gotta check this, nice review

Digging: Andy Stott - It Should Be Us

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
June 26th 2016


10662 Comments


not sure if i wanna see this movie or not. seems like it would either be the worst thing ever or surprisingly decent

Gameofmetal
Emeritus
June 26th 2016


10662 Comments


"Horns was hilarious"

was horns supposed to be funny? i must've missed that memo cuz i just thought it was just generally bad

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2016


42735 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it was definitely a comedy lmao



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