Prince Avalanche OST Review

artist: Explosions in the Sky date: 08/08/2013 category: compact discs
Explosions in the Sky: Prince Avalanche OST
Released: Aug 6, 2013
Genre: Acoustic, Ambient, Post-Rock, Soundtrack
Label: Temporary Residence Ltd
Number Of Tracks: 15
The peerless instrumentalists collaborate to score a gentle, poignant movie soundtrack.
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 7
 Overall Impression: 8
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review (1) 6 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.3
Prince Avalanche OST Featured review by: UG Team, on august 08, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: A collaboration between post-rock romantics Explosions In The Sky and indie film composer David Wingo is well-suited for "Prince Avalanche," a remake of timid Icelandic comedy " Annan Veg." All involved share an appreciation of the delicate moments and a desire to tap into the feelings left unexplored by contemporary pop culture. This includes director David Gordon Green, who will likely be glad to return to indie cinema after a mixed stint in Hollywood, during which "Pineapple Express" was his only commercial or critical success.

Explosions have written for film before, but they remain cinematic with a small c. These are not the ornate, highly-spun guitar tapestries which populate their usual work. The short pieces bear little resemblance to their last soundtrack either (a sparkling heart-sweller for high school football drama "Friday Night Lights") but the detail in performance from the band and their collaborator remains instantly recognisable. Mark Smith's wailing e-bow, Wingo's dreamlike phrasing and the fingerpicked chords of Michael James, which guide the ensemble even when there's no time to take them anywhere far; they serve little slices of mood, aiming for subtlety as Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch bond, butt heads and paint a highway through scorched rural Texas. Quiet dabs of music for a quiet indie film.

Piano and acoustic guitar provide the foundation, but soft electronic touches open up new possibilities for texture and thematic organisation. "Alone Time," for example, uses pads to recall the swaying, far-reaching ambience of Tangerine Dream and Brian Eno while acoustic instruments trace out the melody. The majority of key ideas flow through lo-fi, living-room guitar, as on "Rain" and the movie's main theme. The finest moments come during "An Old Peasant Like Me," which lays down a few piano lines and lets them unravel into an engrossing ambient sequence, utilising the very best talents of the guitarists to pull out emotive, profound melodies. This is one of a few sublime and precious moments on the album. // 7

Lyrics: It seems unlikely that the Texans would end a 14-year embargo on lyricism to start a cross-media conversation with Paul Rudd. They haven't. // 7

Overall Impression: Pieces by Explosions In The Sky are heartfelt by definition - perfectly distilled portraits of the emotions which are hardest to explain. The troubled masculinity of "Prince Avalanche"'s protagonists is a fitting canvas, but removed from the mise-en-scne of the film these songs don't have quite the same gravitas. You could say that not much happens on or off screen, but this score does fill the room as a sit-down record, and therein lies its value it's the ideal album for late night talks and early morning coffees. // 8

- Duncan Geddes (c) 2013

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