Buy Oblivion [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] from Amazon
Album Review: Oblivion [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] by M83
Acceptable, Based on 4 Critics
AllMusic - 70 Based on rating 7/10
As M83, Anthony Gonzalez's music has always had an epic, movie-worthy quality to it, whether on the soaring heights of "Midnight City" or the moody passages on Saturdays=Youth. For his first actual score, for Joseph Kosinski's dystopian sci-fi film Oblivion, Gonzalez collaborates with composer Joseph Trapanese (who worked with Daft Punk on the score for Kosinski's Tron: Legacy), and together they blend the M83 sound with more conventional orchestral elements. A handful of tracks here could have appeared on Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, most notably "StarWaves," where the sweeping synths and intense buildup are a distant cousin of "Midnight City," and "Oblivion," which closes the score with a dramatic ballad sung by Susanne Sundfør.
Listening to the M83-penned soundtrack for the new Tom Cruise sci-fi flick, Oblivion, one can't help but recall M83 mastermind Anthony Gonzalez's recent interview with Pitchfork, lamenting the amount of interference by film studio Universal. He pondered the missed opportunity to make a truly singular and creative film score on the level of Jerry Goldsmith or Ennio Morricone, the kind that are rare these days and hardly ever attached to the kind of preordained blockbuster that an actor of Cruise's caliber leads. .
In 2010, the French electronic music duo Daft Punk teamed up with composer and arranger Joseph Trapanese to score a flashy but hollow reboot of the classic sci-fi movie Tron. As fuel for an action flick, it was an efficient piece of work. A full orchestra and expensive synthetic tones provided the requisite sweep and height; the expected bombast and wonder.
Note that the majority of the Oblivion soundtrack is composed by Joseph Trapanese and Anthony Gonzalez, not Joseph Trapanese and M83. Only at the tail-end do we get a song credited to Gonzalez’ full band. Soaring with his interstellar synths and a cloud-surfing lead vocal from Susanne SundfÃ¸r, the title track weaves the nostalgic drama of M83’s dream pop with more traditional string and horn arrangements.