» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Underworld & Gabriel Yared
Breaking and Entering

Rating: 7.6/10 ?

December 18, 2006
Anthony Minghella is known for making the films The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain, and the soon to be released Breaking and Entering. Minghella is also known for the attention that he devotes to the music of his films. For The English Patient the presence of Arabic and Hungarian musical styles was evident, in Ripley it was jazz, and for Cold Mountain the spirit of old Appalachia was tapped for shape singing.

This time around, for Breaking and Entering, Minghella has yet again departed to an unrelated, underrepresented genre to cull sounds. Different from previous scores, though, the current project features a production team that isn't so abstract, and one that has been utilized (to significant notoriety) in film before. One half of the production ensemble is well-known electronic producers Underworld and it was Trainspotting that gave them their mainstream break with "Born Slippy."

Breaking and Entering is a side of Underworld that few listeners will be familiar with. In being paired with the score's other creative half - classical composer Gabriel Yared - the result is nothing like "Born Slippy" but more akin to the subtle, atmospheric moments found lurking in corners of the electronic group's previous dance-heavy albums, e.g. "Ess Gee" from 100 Days Off. The 16 compositions here are more about the present melding of sounds between Yared and Underworld than the bigbeat past that Underworld is so well known for.

Gabriel Yared and Underworld's music occupies a central part to Minghella's film, and was created specifically with that role in mind. Unlike soundtracks where songs are licensed to be used during a specific point in a movie for a momentary punch, the role of Breaking and Entering's score is as developed and integral as a main character. Director/writer Minghella had this to say in the liner notes regarding the importance of the music: "I didn't know any of this when I began writing; my ears led me, and I began to write with the sound of Underworld around me."

The sounds of Yared, Rick Smith, and Karl Hyde are intended to be quiet, subtle, and meditative, as Minghella later describes in the notes. Yared's orchestral side often naturally arrives at this organic and cognitive place. From the first track, "A Thing Happens," the listener can hear the classical music elements - airy stings and horns creating a descending veil of chords.

For Smith and Hyde it is all about pulling back and framing. Instead of the four-on-the-floor beats that were omnipresent in previous Underworld efforts (especially those with Darren Emerson), Breaking and Entering has the duo interpreting moods of characters and the input of an accomplished composer. Often their sound contributions are ambient shades, Moog experimental soloings, repetitive synth-piano weavings, and soft but filtered drum programming. "St. Pancras" shows for all of the mentioned elements, in addition to reappearing string colorings over the top.

What most would not expect of this collaboration is the usage of acoustic/non-classical instrumentation. Listeners can hear segments of hand drums, acoustic guitars, a plucked Asian instrument, bells/non-electric keys, and vocals (especially the chanting in "Not Talking" and "We Love Bea," two piano-based songs). These instruments give the music a better humanistic feeling and really tap into colorful emotions - sixteenth note rhythms on a hand drum found in "Monkey Two" bring to mind an out of control, aggressive spirit; strummed acoustic guitar and plucked string sounds in "Happy Toast" emote realization and confidence. The soundtrack is, in a word, fitting.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger



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