Coraline (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
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Though he’s hardly a household name, most American moviegoers have been exposed to the unobtrusive but slightly off-kilter soundscapes of Bruno Coulais at some point during the ‘00s. After providing carefully considered, minimalist soundscapes for a wave of popular French films and documentaries, Coulais provided a career-changing score for the Oscar-nominated Winged Migration. Though Coulais’ score for Henry Selick’s Coraline boasts a few of the composer’s trademarks — minimal, Satie-like piano melodies and unease-inducing ambient tones — it is also something of a departure for the composer. Eerie, sweetly off-kilter performances from the Children’s Choir of Nice provide the main melodic thrust to a number of these tracks and recall Krzysztof Komeda’s iconic work on the Rosemary’s Baby soundtrack, with it’s superficially saccharine surface juxtaposed against genuinely unnerving melodic depths. Indeed, Komeda could be seen as the primary influence here, and the influence of that often satirical Polish composer gives Coraline an acid sense of humor that makes it one of Coulais’ most distinctive and engaging works.
A Great Soundtrack to a Great Film
I was very excited to see this album out. The composer is not very well-known in the US (at least to me) but I think he has made his mark. At times it is sad and endearing, and at others haunting and thrilling. It reminds me of some of Danny Elfman's work. End Credits is haunting and interesting, albeit too short, and Mouse Circus is quirky and fun. The Hand is wonderfully eery and includes the theme shared with 'Ghost Children' among others. 'Other Father Song' is random and annoyingly catchy, though I'm finding it's hard to believe it's by They Might Be Giants, as the singer is the Other Father who is not, as far as I know, a member of the band. But what do I know. I would recommend buying the entire album, or pick and choose from the ones that speak to you. I will warn you that some are slow and don't "do much", so to speak. 32 Tracks for 9.99 is a great steal. I can't wait to see the movie in 3-D and I hope it lives up to the high standards set by this score. Kudos to you, Mr. Coulais, and may we hear much more from you in the near future!
Hauntingly beautiful music accompanies the adventures of Coraline in this new movie based off Neil Gaimen's wonderously dark fairytale of the same name. I expected nothing less than this from the master behind The Nightmare Before Christmas. Bruno Coulais was a good choice indeed. I'll be listening to this for a long while to come. Though I think I'll wait until the soundtrack becomes available in stores instead of buying it online.
Hey... just a heads up: Tim Burton had nothing to do with this film. The director was Henry Selick (and yes, he directed the Nightmare Before Christmas, too). They Might Be Giants is gold. Recognized them immediately once the Other Father started singing. Love the film, love the soundtrack.
Born: January 13, 1954 in Paris, France
Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s