January 5, 2011

2010: The Retrospect: Top 5 Soundtracks/Scores

I'm in the groove here!

Movie soundtracks are awesome, aren't they? They usually do a lot to heighten and intensify the experience of watching a film, and, as a plus, you can take them with you wherever you go, thanks to Apple and their ever present desire to conquer the world! 2010 had some winner soundtracks, and some that just fell flat, and some that didn't stand out or bring anything new to the table at all. The best soundtracks, however, were spectacular. More than any other year, to my recollection, we had popular artists moving over to scoring films, and it paid off wonderfully. Here are the Top 5 Best Soundtracks/Scores of 2010!

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Beck and Others)
Gonna be honest here, any other soundtrack could have found a place at number five. The top four really spoke to me, but I was left out in the rain searching for a fifth. I eventually settled on SPVTW, which boasts songs written for the film from the likes of Beck, Broken Social Scene and Metric. That's all well and good, but what seals the deal is that this movie is the only one to my knowledge to have the theme song from The Legend of Zelda in it. That's hard to beat.

4. Black Swan (Clint Mansell)
WHAT? IT'S NOT ELIGIBLE FOR BEST ORIGINAL SCORE CONTENTION? BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!! No, really. I'm steamed about that. Though it is based on the actual music of Swan Lake - and it makes sense that it would be - Mansell's score is a truly original piece of work. Beautiful and haunting, it really evokes the craziness and madness that Nina is experiencing. Plus, listening to classical music while someone freaks the hell out is just creepy as balls! That's gotta count for something.

3. Inception (Hans Zimmer)
A traditional-esque score needed to show up on this list at some point, and there was no traditional-esque score this year better than Hans Zimmer's amazing score for Inception. Taking everything he did well with The Dark Knight, and then turning it to 11, Zimmer has crafted a score that is exciting to listen to, giving off a very epic feel, while still feeling shockingly intimate and subdued. Oh, and he has Johnny Marr on guitar. What's not to like?

2. The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
This is something really special. Trent Reznor has made some weird music in his time, and, I gotta admit, a lot of it doesn't really appeal to me; I'm not the world's biggest Nine Inch Nails fan. But, I have to say, what Reznor does with Atticus Ross for David Fincher's film is brilliant. When listening to it out of context, you can't fathom how it will fit with Mark Zuckerberg's tale of the founding of Facebook. When paired with the movie though, it fits seamlessly! Evoking such scores as The Dark Knight and Fincher's own Se7en, the music of The Social Network makes the rest of the movie seem a whole hell of a lot grimmer than it actually is. Which is the way it should have been done! Good job Trent!

1. Tron: Legacy (Daft Punk)
Now, this is perfect! Just perfect! Daft Punk's brilliant score for Tron: Legacy not only fits the film like a well worn glove, but it is also the only soundtrack this year that can be listened to outside of the film and still be a complete experience. Mixing traditional, symphonic scoring with their trademark electronic beats and mixes, Daft Punk have crafted a score that's unlike any I've heard. It's truly marvelous!

Well, that does it with the superficial stuff. Now we get into the real meat of The Retrospect. Tune in tomorrow for MVPs of the Year (Actors). It's gonna be lovely! See you then little ones. Get some sleep.


  1. Damn, great list, dude. Still sticking with Social Network as my #1 - as is usually the case with anything Trent Reznor is involved with - but I'm dying to buy that TRON soundtrack on iTunes. Total bummer about the Black Swan score, but after Jonny Greenwood got shafted for the same reason back when he gave There Will Be Blood the best score of the past decade, the sting isn't so harsh.

    And way to give some love for Scott Pilgrim. AWESOME soundtrack!

  2. @Aiden: Yeah, Social Network was a close second. Still awesome! Get on buying TRON though. It's a blast! And I agree wholeheartedly about There Will Be Blood. That score was brilliant, and I can't believe it wasn't eligible.

    And yes, Scott Pilgrim has an awesome soundtrack!

  3. We actually have the exact same Top 5 for soundtracks. Great choices! And I'm loving this restrospective

  4. @Tom: Really? The exact same? Wow. Guess the teenage mind thinks alike. And thanks. There's more, and better, stuff to come.

  5. It's been a great year for unconventional scores.

  6. I'm getting tired of agreeing with you, so I'll just say this: Mansell is almost always phenomenal, but I don't recall the Black Swan one as tickling my fancy at all.

    I'll throw in How to Train Your Dragon, if only for the Jonsi song.