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There Will Be Blood (Music from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

Paul Thomas Anderson's fifth film There Will Be Blood is too monumental and odd to not provoke sharply divided opinions but all reviews, from raves to revulsion, agree on two points: Daniel Day Lewis' performance as oilman Daniel Plainview is astonishing, and Jonny Greenwood's score is extraordinary. Lewis dominates the film, appearing in all but one scene, and Greenwood's music is used far more sparingly yet it's no less indelible. From the moment the film fades open to a spare, unrelenting Californian landscape, Greenwood's tense, coiled score mirrors the eerie emotional undercurrent to the film, pulling suppressed feelings to the surface, often with an almost operatic sense of drama. This is grand music, but it's also controlled, unleashing its furious clashes of dissonance with precision. Greenwood has demonstrated such mastery of mood as the guitarist within Radiohead but There Will Be Blood is superficially far removed from that band's restless experiments with electronic music. There are no electric instruments here at all — this is all orchestral music, created on instruments that were available at the film's setting of the beginning of the 20th century, yet Greenwood doesn't attempt to re-create turn-of the-century mores: he writes music that taps into the rotten heart of Daniel Plainview. This is magnificently unsettling music, whether it's used within the film or heard on its own terms — either way, it's impossible to forget after it's been heard.

Customer Reviews

The perfect work!

I can't believe my luck. For me this has to be one of the most important film scores for some considerable time. It was the perfect work, haunting at times, bleak and exceptionally beutiful. How thrilled I am to discover on buying this that the composer was none other than Jonny Greenwood. Thanks Jonny! I hope there are more film scores in the pipe line.

Beautifully atmospheric:

Greenwood's music is consistantly understated, subtle and entirely unextravagant. The string dominance throughout all of the concise pieces creates a very dense, rich soundscape (even when the music is texturally sparse), giving the music an intensely haunting quality. The influence of Messiaen (definate similarities between the 4th piece: Eat Him By His Own Light and Messiaen's Quartet For The End Of Time) and Krzysztof Penderecki can be heard in Greenwood's writing throughout. This album will undoubtably appeal enormously both to Radiohead fans and to any fans of contemporary classical music. Buy it!

What a brilliant album.

This is a fantastic piece of work. Greenwoods use of the orchestra to create dark and intense textures which suit the scenes of the film perfectly. The dark atmosphere of the film is simply magnified with the music and despite some of the music not being specifically written for the scenes of the film, it makes it many times better and draws you into the film. Highly recommended for anyone who is a fan of film music composers such as Hans Zimmer or can appreciate some fantastic string writing and arrangements.


Born: 05 November 1971 in Oxford, England

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known as Radiohead's innovative jack of all trades -- a multi-instrumentalist equally comfortable playing guitar, xylophone, sampler, or keyboards -- Jonny Greenwood also pursued a solo career as a composer while helping his band push the boundaries of its music into unusual and decidedly non-rock directions. Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood was born on November 5, 1971, in Oxford, England. Along with his brother Colin, Greenwood attended Abingdon School near Oxford; it was here that the older...
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