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Album Review: The Master [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] by Jonny Greenwood
Very Good, Based on 3 Critics
AllMusic - 80 Based on rating 8/10
For the soundtrack to his Scientology-inspired movie The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson reunited with Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, who also provided the music to There Will Be Blood. The director's tale of a spiritually lost sailor and the leader of a religious organization he meets after World War II and the bond they form is set to music that alternately showcases the seeming innocence of the postwar era and tears off that veneer. Madisen Beaty's sweet yet somehow creepy version of "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" manages to accomplish both of those goals at once, but for most of The Master's music, the task of crafting claustrophobic intimacy falls to Greenwood, which he does ably with deceptively simple pieces that usually focus on one or two instruments at a time, whether it's the disorienting woodwinds of "Atomic Healer" or the unearthly screech of "Baton Sparks"' descending strings.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood was a truly frightening spectacle. A tale of abject, ruthless greed in the cold blooded harnessing of the American West, it is often described as Anderson’s - if not a standalone - masterpiece. Underpinning this gruesome film was one of the most interesting and terrifying soundtracks in recent film history.
Songwriters and filmmakers are both in the business of telling stories, and there are few things better than when the two lock in with one another. Just ask Paul Thomas Anderson and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, who have forged a spectacularly potent working relationship in recent years. Anderson’s 2007 masterpiece, There Will Be Blood, worked on just about every conceivable front, but Greenwood’s masterfully eerie score drove home the film’s overarching themes of rampant greed and soulless vanity perfectly.