Oblivion [Score] (CD)


M83

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Amoeba Review

04/02/2013

It’s no surprise that M83’s Anthony Gonzalez has turned his sights to soundtracking films. His last album, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming was a double album Gonzalez said sountracked an imaginary film, and his music has always been epic in scope, with narrative overtones — remember Before the Dawn Heals Us’ “Car Chase Terror”? But the soundtrack to Oblivion, a sci-fi epic starring Tom Cruise and directed by Joseph Koskinski (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Tron Legacy), is not just another M83 album. It’s a legit soundtrack, with surging, foreboding strings, empty space and epic builds, something Gonzalez has always succeeded at — just looking at the soundwaves produced on “Waking Up,” it’s a surefooted, triangular build that never lets up. As you might expect, Gonzalez pulls influence from classic soundtrack music, something he has always done with his music but even more so here, with horror movie swells on “Tech 49” that lead to bubbling crescendos reminiscent of Phillip Glass. “StarWaves” is classic M83, especially toward the end, when its synth stabs flutter like shoegaze guitars. “Odyssey Rescue’s” dark tones call to mind Danny Elfman’s Batman soundtracks as well as Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack, another key touchstone across the album. However, Gonzalez isn’t just playing fanboy nostalgia here. He leaves his mark, on pieces like “Earth 2077,” which is unmistakably M83 in tonality and scope — just replace the strings with guitars and synths, while the very M83 drums that pop up now and then across the soundtrack are always welcome. Similarly, “Canyon Battle,” though it wouldn’t sound out of place on a number of action film soundtracks, features plenty of M83 key touches, like squealing background synths and a huge drum finish that leaves your pulse pounding. The scene stealer here though would be the song with vocals, the title track, which features Susanne Sundfor singing soulfully over Gonzalez’ John Carpenter-esque themes. While more typical M83 music would’ve done just nicely as film soundtrack, it’s nice to hear Gonzalez stretch by using traditional soundtrack instrumentation and tropes, subverting them slightly here and there while paying homage to some masters of the genre.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Jack's Dream
M83 01:22
2.
Waking Up
M83 04:09
3.
Tech 49
M83 05:58
4.
StarWaves
M83 03:41
5.
Odyssey Rescue
M83 04:08
6.
Earth 2077
M83 02:22
7.
Losing Control
M83 03:56
8.
Canyon Battle
M83 05:57
9.
Radiation Zone
M83 04:11
10.
You Can't Save Her
M83 04:56
11.
Raven Rock
M83 04:33
12.
I'm Sending You Away
M83 05:38
13.
Ashes Of Our Fathers
M83 03:30
14.
Temples Of Our Gods
M83 03:14
15.
Fearful Odds
M83 03:09
16.
Undimmed By Time, Unbound By Death
M83 02:26
17.
Oblivion
M83 , Susanne Sundfør 05:56

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$14.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
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