Thom Yorke
Suspiria


4.0
excellent

Review

by Benjamin Kuettel STAFF
November 11th, 2018 | 258 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A haunting, at times beautiful double album that finds Thom Yorke widening his songwriting horizons.

While surprising news at first, the idea of the frontman for Radiohead scoring the arthouse horror remake Suspiria makes sense. His atmospheric solo releases explore cold, mysterious places and contain abstract lyrics open to interpretation. Suspiria fits with The Eraser and Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes by having memorable melodic phrases in abstract, electronic music styles. The sprawling double album mainly dives into more adventurous and diverse territory however, showing that like band mate Jonny Greenwood, Yorke is adept at trying new things in service of an effective film score.

Thom Yorke dodged the director of Suspiria, Luca Guadagnino, for months as he made consistent requests for him to take on the project. Guadagnino knew Yorke had it in him to write for Suspiria, as he captures the hypnotic, engrossing qualities of the original soundtrack by Goblin and makes them his own. The Suspiria remake is wholly different from the original, vaguely resembling the plot but essentially a completely different movie, ambitiously exploring themes like coping with life after war, conformity, corruption of those in power, self-actualization, feminism, and the occult. This allowed for Yorke to also go in an ambitious direction with the score, including a choir, an orchestra, flute, a modular synthesizer, and a guest appearance by his son on drums for the …Boxes-esque “Has Ended.”

Yorke’s approach occasionally recalls classic soundtracks, early electronic music, and psych and progressive rock from the original’s time, being influenced by artists like Vangelis, Can, Faust, and Ennio Morricone. However, he primarily focuses on exploring a wide variety of styles beyond the 1970s Suspiria. There are approximately six tracks that could be considered “songs” in the tradition of Yorke’s solo career and Radiohead, being the album highlights: piano-centric “Suspirium / Suspirium Finale,” “Has Ended,” “Open Again,” “Unmade,” “The Universe is Indifferent,” and the ethereal “Klemperor Walks.” The rest are a variety of eerie ambient soundscapes and noisy interludes best appreciated in the film.

Yorke’s style fits Suspiria well, scoring the surreal dream sequences and effortlessly invoking an ominous tone for the slow-burning, suspenseful scenes. The ritualistic climax of the film can’t be imagined having the same memorability or emotional impact without the finest song, piano ballad “Unmade,” playing as the visually striking events unfold. The marriage of the visuals and the music effectively provoke reactions of horror, confusion, awe, and many other emotions as the film progresses. What’s most impressive is how naturally the score unexpectedly veers from haunting to beautiful in rewarding ways. Despite avoiding it for a period of time, Yorke came through with his best solo album yet. He assuredly created a multi-layered horror soundtrack that serves as an engrossing confection of new musical landscapes in its own right while being essential to the film’s effect.




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user ratings (125)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
rodrigo90
November 10th 2018


5522 Comments


Thom Yorke is about to introduce field recordings into radiohead in a few years.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2018


18661 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Funny that the Pitchfork review begins by saying the same thing as this one, and makes other similar points later on. I didn't read it until after I wrote this tho.

Digging: Bon Iver - i,i

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2018


141 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

astoundingly bad film

Digging: Blanck Mass - Animated Violence Mild

brainmelter
November 11th 2018


6580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I thought the film was pretty excellent actually. but I’ll admit certain scenes did tend to drag on though

Digging: nabosoposkle - s/t

Veldin
November 11th 2018


3865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I loved the film. Excited to see it again soon

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2018


18661 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yea I think I'll catch more the second time around. I was squirming in my seat and getting overwhelmed the first time haha, in a good way mostly.

Gyromania
November 11th 2018


28184 Comments


Considering Radiohead have made songs like "In Limbo" I could totally see Thom scoring a horror soundtrack.

luci
November 11th 2018


11484 Comments


overlong and dull

Artuma
November 11th 2018


30977 Comments


quit this solo shit thom

Insurrection
November 11th 2018


24733 Comments


haven't heard this but i can't imagine it being better than goblin's score for the original

zakalwe
November 11th 2018


28279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is an incredible soundtrack. Film is probably total bobbins but Thom has delivered the goods here.

plane
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2018


7679 Comments


Movie with soundtrack > soundtrack without movie. It is quite nice though. The movie is my favorite so far this year.

Gyromania
November 11th 2018


28184 Comments


Did you see Hereditary?

rabidfish
November 11th 2018


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gotta watch the movie first.

zakalwe
November 11th 2018


28279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Film. Not movie.

theBoneyKing
November 11th 2018


17064 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Zak I think this is a cultural linguistic difference - idk where rabid’s from but in the US you sound like a pretentious fuck if you say film.

rabidfish
November 11th 2018


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Im from fuckuzakonia, a proud country

brainmelter
November 11th 2018


6580 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hereditary is also really great

and this soundtrack didn’t really do anything for the movie tbh

zakalwe
November 11th 2018


28279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In my world its always been called film(s) to be watched at the pictures

gotsthedewsdood
November 11th 2018


730 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Unmade is easily one of Thom's best solo tracks.



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