Amelia's Magazine | Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – The Road Soundtrack – Review

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Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – The Road Soundtrack – Review

Desolation Never Sounded So Beautiful, Another Magnificent Collaboration From Two Cool Uncles Of Rock

Written by Andy Devine

The Road

The year looks to be getting off to a pretty weather-beaten start across Great Britain. It seems rather apt that it also see’s the release of The Road, doctor a film adapted from the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Cormac McCarthy. The story follows the journey of a father and son as they travel through an ash strewn post-apocalyptic America, ailment scavenging for food and generally trying to survive.

Accompanying the film is a score by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis. These two are better known for their collaboration in Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds and Grinderman. They have also worked together on two other scores, for The Proposition (which Cave also wrote the Screenplay for), and The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.

nick-cave-warren-ellis
Warren Ellis & Nick Cave

If you’ve seen, and heard the music from, either of the two films mentioned then you should have an idea of what to expect. This haunting, brooding, and chilling score should definitely serve to highlight the grim journey the characters take. The film is released on January 16th so I have only read the book, which I thought was incredibly powerful and moving. However I found it easy to imagine how each piece of music would work with its cinematic counterpart.

The tracks are simply titled, with names like; The Boy, The Mother, The House, and Water and Ash which is in keeping with the economical writing of the book.

The Road Poster

One problem with film scores is that while they often work well with the film itself they can be rather boring to listen to without the accompanying images. Not so with Ellis and Cave’s work.

Each piece is steeped in their trademark sound, violin and piano respectively. This is most evident on the track The Far Road which has both instruments entwining around one another to create a beautiful piece of music. There are some breaks from this however, most notably on The House which begins with violins layered over the top of each other. It gradually builds a feeling of dread which is only broken with the introduction of a fearsome guitar riff, and galloping drums.

It’s nice to see that music is being taken seriously when it comes to its use in film. A good piece of music can enhance a scene, or it can completely detract from it. From listening to this album I am looking forward to seeing the film it soundtracks which I expect will be every bit as haunting as the music that accompanies it.

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