Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, singer, and founding member of the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor had no real need to add film composer to his already long list of accomplishments. However, from his brief work on the 1994 film Natural Born Killers, that’s exactly what he did.
English musician Atticus Ross would eventually join Reznor and become the other half of what became a famous duo in the movie world. Currently nominated for two Golden Globes, one by Pixar Soul and the other for David Fincher’s Mank, the musical duo have been relatively selective in their work, creating a limited number of highly varied and completely memorable scores.
9 Bird box
Overall, it’s difficult to classify the duo’s work, given how exceptional most of their output tends to be. However, fans can clearly see that this is one of his least interesting works. In fact, the whole thing led Reznor to call it a “waste of time.”
Perhaps simply not inspired by Susanne Bier’s Netflix thriller, the score sounds like a general amalgamation of all the Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross characteristics packed into a short soundtrack. While it retains its trademark icy sound with ominous undertones, it fails to do anything fans of the two haven’t heard before.
8 Mid 90’s
One of his shorter works, at only 12 minutes, his work for Jonah Hill’s Mid 90’s it’s a bit sweeter than expected from a duo who tend to work in movies steeped in atmosphere and awe.
Composed mostly of soft piano compositions, his pieces for the film are surprisingly simple and add a nice touch to the film. Really, the only major issue one could have with it is that the length is too short, which makes it less of an outlet for them.
7 Patriot day
Reznor and Ross’ work on the Boston Marathon Blitz movie maintains the perfect level of anxiety and restlessness at the ticking of the clock that dovetails nicely with the thriller, without ever seeming overbearing or clichéd.
Pay particular attention to “Terminus”, one of the last tracks on the score, which brings back Reznor’s old Nine Inch Nails sound for a messy and uncomfortable listening that stands out on the track list.
Very rarely would a 22-minute song sound like something someone would really want to hear, but somehow the two of them make the song “Wounds Heal” a standout piece on an already excellent soundtrack.
Seemingly dragging the listener through the entire grieving process, the song ends in a beautiful eruption that allows the listener to exhale after 18 minutes of tension. With this and other notable clues, the Waves The score shows that these musicians can improve almost any type of film.
5 The girl with the dragon tattoo
With four collaborations in total so far, there should be one David Fincher collaboration that ranks lower than the rest. Not a reflection of quality, this placement is because this score was created shortly after the first of the duet and as a result it sounds a little too familiar to place higher.
However, this score for the Oscar-nominated thriller proves that the duo’s first outing was no fluke, creating a cold and creepy listen that sounds like pieces of metal from a puzzle falling into place.
4 Girl is gone
After their second collaboration with Fincher, the musical duo made an inspired choice to base the Girl is gone the soundtrack of what they consider “spa music” or the kind of music they play in massage parlors to lull the listener into a sense of peace.
Of course, being what Reznor describes as a “disgusting” movie, this tactic works incredibly well and leads to moments of sheer terror when the music from the spa stops, old Reznor and Ross resume, and the rug is firmly pulled from underneath. of the viewer. .
Fans of the two would think that limiting the notoriously electronic musicians to a 1930s big band mono sound would kill their creativity, but on the contrary, the soundtrack of his most recent collaboration with Fincher proves to be one of the best.
Comprised of 52 songs, the soundtrack of Mank It manages to be perfectly retro, blending in with the film’s aesthetic, and dark and strange enough to assure the listener that they’re listening to a Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross soundtrack.
Nine Inch Nails fans would probably never believe that this Pixar soundtrack was created by the man behind songs like “Closer”, but somehow it is. Even more shocking than the duo’s foray in the 1930s with Mank, the fact that this children’s movie manages to be one of their best soundtracks is still truly incredible.
Managing to blend the electronic and nihilistic tone of the duo’s past with a light and whimsical touch that works exceptionally well in the film’s comic moments, all while interspersed with Jon Batiste’s jazz arrangements, this score proves to be their most agile work. Until now. With how good this score is, it would be interesting to see what the other five movies sound like with the music the two wrote for the movie.
1 The social network
It couldn’t have been anything else. The duo’s first score also happens to be the best. A score that sounds as if it is buried in the DNA of the film, enhances each moment without ever sounding authoritative and manages to evolve with the protagonist’s own life, while providing a dark background that serves as a warning of what is to come. come.
The blueprint for every modern electronic score made after its release, this work will be well known for decades to stand up to artists such as Bernard Herrmann, Ennio Morricone, and John Williams.
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