Arlington Road (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
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Angelo Badalamenti's score for Arlington Road is about as ominous and darkly ambient as film music gets. Add two clanging, moody pieces from electronic artist Tomandandy that take things to a brisk industrial apex, and one has the soundtrack to a shadowy nightmare. It's a nightmare that just happens to contain moments of great beauty. The music, though frequently eschewing repeating melodies, is quite accessible when detached from the movie. The overall feel is one of creeping menace, but Badalamenti still contributes a number of lush, emotional pieces. "Values" is as fragile and mournful as the slower moments in Ennio Morricone's Untouchables score, though Badalamenti's work is more techno savvy in this instance. "The Truth Is Out There" almost sounds like meditation music, were it not for the swarming sound effects peppered underneath; when the dance beat crops up, it doesn't dampen the hushed mood. Badalamenti works just as expertly with the background music for the action scenes. "Escape" throbs as if it's a Bernard Herrmann score to a Looney Tunes episode where everyone's favorite roadrunner just manages to outwit the coyote. If the music sometimes gets a bit too busy for home listening, one can't help but admire the stylish complexity and sustained atmosphere of the overall work. Arlington Road is an engrossing listen and a fine addition to Badalamenti's growing list of beautiful film scores.
Born: 22 March 1937 in New York, NY
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s