20 Songs, 56 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Icelandic composer haunts this alien-encounter film's score.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Icelandic composer haunts this alien-encounter film's score.

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
60 Ratings
60 Ratings
RalphOM ,

Forget Max Richter....Pay attention to Johann Johannsson.

First off, the Max Richter song that was in the opening and credits of the film is not on this recording; it is appropriate that it was left off as it is a piece composed years ago and had little to do with the actual film and was not the score that was written for Arrival. Mr. Johannsson has created this very textured, experimental, rich, and, original score that more than successfully conveys the feelings emoted during 99% of the movie that was most important; not the opeing scene and not the closing credits in other words. This score boarders on Hans Zimmer quality writing and is so unique that it reminds me very much of Thomas Newman's unforgettable and unmistakeably signatured score for Unstrung Heros (1995) with Michael Richards, Andie MacDowell and John Turturro. Unstrung Hero's score sounds nothing like Arrival's score but, both scores are unmistably tied to their composers. In other words, when you hear the score, you will not mistake it for anyone else's work, which is problematic these days. So so so many scores sound so so so similar that you might wonder if there should be a conspiracy theory that 90% of all film scores are written by one secret composer and based off of one piece by that secret composer; commercial garbage like most pop radio and most everything on Itunes. It is also interesting to me that Iceland, in my opinion, has two of the most advanced and unique sounding artists composing music for us in modern times; Johannsson and Bjork. You might not like either of them but, they are in a class all their own.......and people who are tired of the same old thing, that seek advancing, progressive music will certainly think twice of Iceland after this score is heard. I give this score 5 stars and that is rare for me to give 5 stars to any recording other than Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Shirley Horn's Here's to Life, and Thomas Newman's Unstrung Heros, and Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo and Taxi Driver. And as much as I love John William's scores and James Horner's scores, they are so mainstream in sound and not all that different from their first, groundbreaking scores. If you want something fresh, really different, uniquely textured, and groundbreaking, by all means buy this score. I suggest purchasing an actual, physical copy of the CD as it's sound quality is much better than Itunes digital files. (Bing "CD sound quality versus digital sound quality"). If you don't like the score, I'll pay you 5 dollars to give it to me so I can pass it along to someone who wants something good.

TheBigCriticInTheHouse101 ,

Love it but confused...

Love this soundtrack, but...
How do you access the digital booklet included???

Frustrated MomE ,

Read this first!

While the other reviews on this forum try to be helpful, to you the consumer, (and I've read every single one of them - to my shame) most of them miss the mark. To begin with, I'll just get the Biggest Thing out of the way, if you're here looking for that one song, then it's true, you won't find it here. (Max Richter - On the Nature of Daylight) If that irks you then yes, you must be right; the entire world is out to get your $11.99 and not give you the song you want. The same world that makes it impossible for you to adult or be in a lasting relationship. Moving onto the score itself, I've read others talk about how the score fell short for them, or wasn't impressive - because it wasn't THE SONG they were looking for - and I've decided that the review this album (and you; the consumer) deserves is a review of the actual album score. Also- as an aside - this composer deserves an honest review - not the shattered hopes and dreams of those less google savvy, or those put out by their own impulsive spending. Obviously if you're here it is because the film spoke to you in some way, and you're hoping the score will carry that feeling on for you long since turning the film off. It is a smart story - told well. What the score manages to do in my opinion is encapsulate Louise's experiences. The score in the very beginning is haunting, mysterious, and eerie yet enticing and solicitous. As the story itself unfolds you are treated to ambient sounds that begin to make sense in your head - suddenly, you begin understanding and what you are hearing. It's as if the foreign language you've been hearing suddenly makes sense to you. Music can be whatever you need it to be, that's the magic of music. This score does not disappoint, the general consumer's need for a quick fix, and instant gratification is more disappointing. Just keep that in mind when making this purchase and please don't knock this composer because you, in your frenzy for a quick fix, failed to recognize that he was not the composer you were looking for. All one need do is read the final credits of the film. Peace.

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