Atticus Ross

Love & Mercy Soundtrack

img_7084Atticus Ross/Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys – Love & Mercy Soundtrack

On one hand this is a shared release between Atticus Ross, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, but on the other there is really no doubt that the name on the cover should be Atticus Ross as its his work that made this an extraordinary project. Love & Mercy, the film, is not a Beach Boys biopic nor even a Brian Wilson biopic but a document of Brian’s descent into a mental and emotional breakdown in the mid-’60s and his eventual recovery in the early ’90s. While the soundtrack showcases a few classic Beach Boys songs, and some fantastic live as well as new Brian Wilson songs it is Ross’ creations that bring the viewer and listener into the hallucinatory viewpoint of the film.

Anyone who has seen my previous post on the recent Beach Boys’ 1967 Wild Honey release will know what a gigantic fan of the band in general and of Wilson in particular I am. It was a stroke of genius and an amazingly difficult task to make a film that told the story of this aspect of Brian’s life. The movie could have so easily gotten it all wrong and instead it nailed it, from Paul Dano’s, John Cusak’s and Paul Giamatti’s performances, to director Bill Pholand’s picture perfect recreation of actual Beach Boys events to Atticus’ audio depiction of everything from Brian’s internal musical monologues to the swirling voices in his head.

I’ve been a big fan of Atticus Ross since his early days of working with Bomb The Bass and Barry Adamson. I really loved his band 12 Rounds as well but about the time he came on the scene in the Reznor-verse I had kind of moved on from NIN. I have however truly enjoyed his soundtrack work with his wife, Claudia Sarne, and brother, Leopold Ross though none of it really prepared me for the immersive and transportive material he created for Love & Mercy.

Ross crafted the music for the film by sound collaging bits and pieces from numerous Beach Boys master tapes, old audio tapes of Brian Wilson speaking as well as dialogue and sounds from the film itself. Ross layered, combined, manipulated and arranged these to create swooping melodies that represent the harmonic orchestra Wilson claims to hear constantly and is the muse to the music he creates. Conversely these same sounds represent the madness inducing voices in Wilson’s head that lead to his extended and repeated breakdowns. The effectiveness of what Ross created for the film and soundtrack can’t be understated and shows his mastery of the sonic form. In an interesting fashion it took the genius of Atticus Ross to illustrate the genius of Brian Wilson and I’m blessed enough to get to enjoy them both.

img_7088

Love & Mercy Website
Love & Mercy on Facebook
Love & Mercy on Twitter
Love & Mercy on Instagram
Brian Wilson on Facebook
The Beach Boys on Facebook

Love & Mercy from Amazon
Love & Mercy from iTunes
Love & Mercy on Spotify

The Bad Batch Soundtrack

Various Artists

img_6587The Bad Batch Soundtrack – Various Artists

Strangely this soundtrack mirrors the highs and lows of the film it is from pretty accurately. It looks great, is very cool and interesting but you sense there could and should have been so much more. After seeing the film and enjoying it, partially because of how integral music was to the movie, I ordered the soundtrack. As it is the music here shouldn’t work together in the same film or on the same album, but it does. Despite seeming to be drawn from all over the stylistic map the way the interstitial material, sounds and character dialogue from the film, is set between the tracks it provides nice transition and cohesion.

On the album you hear ’80s stalwarts like Culture Club and Ace Of Base, newer bands like White Lies and Darkside, some tracks from Black Light Smoke and a few other bands. What you won’t hear are a number of compositions by experimental electronic wizard Nicholas Jaar which are sprinkled throughout the film but left off of the soundtrack. I found this to be a poor choice although who knows what the reasoning or issues behind their exclusion were. All in all I really do dig this CD, and I want to “find comfort”, but its not worth an arm and a leg. A little Bad Batch humor there.

img_6588

The Bad Batch Website
The Bad Batch on Facebook
The Bad Batch on Twitter
The Bad Batch on Instagram

The Bad Batch Soundtrack from Amazon
The Bad Batch Soundtrack from iTunes
The Bad Batch Soundtrack on Spotify