Featured Album: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross โ€” The Social Network Soundtrack

By Alex Migdal for The Gateway on November 1, 2010

Movie scores have become disposable commodities nowadays รขโ‚ฌโ€ a compilation of background noises that tends to enter through one ear before departing quickly through its partner. This is where Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' score to The Social Network proves to be so startlingly brilliant. Not only do the varied ambient compositions make their presence known in many of the film's scenes, they act as characters in their own right, forging a constant lingering presence in the background.

The score's range makes for an exhilarating and often uneasy listening experience. "Hand Covers Bruise," the film's opening track, crawls under your skin with its ominous background distortion and chilling six-note piano melody. It's sharply contrasted by the following track, "In Motion," another standout of the album that infuses a technological twist, its notes taken straight from an arcade game, underscored by a heavy bass line.

Perhaps the soundtrack's most surprising and chilling element is its silence. Heavy bouts are interspersed among sparse notes and harsh industrial clashing, creating a turbulent emotional experience. That's not to say that the soundtrack doesn't make itself heard รขโ‚ฌโ€ Reznor and Ross display bombastic grandiose in a post-industrial remix of "In The Hall of the Mountain King," an inspired re-imagining of Edvard Grieg's opus.

The Social Network refuses to act like a typical movie score. As a result, its creative genius elevates an otherwise fascinating film to heights of brilliance. Its greatest feat, however, is its individual listening and artistic merit. Detached from its connections to the film, The Social Network soundtrack is unquestionably an auditory experience that opens up a world of emotion and interpretation to its listener.

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