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Album Review: Phantom Thread [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] by Jonny Greenwood
Excellent, Based on 4 Critics
Under The Radar - 85 Based on rating 8.5/10
I think we can all agree that the introduction of Jonny Greenwood as Radiohead's guitarist is superfluous. Never mind that he is so much more than that for his band, Greenwood has earned the title of master composer for his film score work in collaboration with auteur Paul Thomas Anderson. Upon learning that Radiohead's savant had nabbed his first oscar nomination for his score for Phantom Thread, there was a moment of quick IMDB searching and surprise that his composing for Anderson's There Will Be Blood had been overlooked by the Academy in 2007, considering how integral that score was in telling the story.
You've got to admit - that Jonny Greenwood is a clever lad. When he's not whipping his hair back and forth with the moderately successful, Oxford-based, alternative rock group The Radioheads, he's knocking out this sort of thing. This is soundtrack number nine for him and his fourth in collaboration with Paul Thomas Anderson. If you're expecting loads of versions of 'Creep', but with a few cellos, sawing away in the background, then I'd save your pocket money.
Since the start of his career, the director Paul Thomas Anderson has exhibited an acute sense of how music can shape a film's narrative--how cues and leitmotifs come to define not just individual scenes but the entire world being built from scratch. (The Gen-X angst of Magnolia would not be the same without Aimee Mann's ballads, for example.) Since 2007's There Will Be Blood, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood has composed the music for each of Anderson's films. The collaboration between the two has only strengthened the distinctiveness of Anderson's work: The frantic string compositions of There Will Be Blood and the stoner-rock grooves of Inherent Vice are essential to those viewing experiences.
There is music throughout much of Paul Thomas Anderson's latest puzzling masterpiece Phantom Thread , which tells the story of a torrid and transformative romance between a former waitress (Vicky Krieps) and a willful celebrity dressmaker (Daniel Day-Lewis) in 1950s London. Franz Schubert’s lithe melodies and Claude Debussy’s celestial harmonies interject in Anderson's intimate and lavish interior scenes; Oscar Peterson’s cocktail jazz conjures the exuberance of midcentury London nightlife; Hector Berlioz’s exuberant Romanticism provides some appropriate pomp and circumstance. But what’s most striking is the way the robust original score by Jonny Greenwood flows in and out of these variegated works, some of them at least a century old.