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Cosmopolis by Howard Shore & Metric (Review)

posted Jul 24, 2012, 8:36 PM by Kaya Savas

Cosmopolis is the new film from David Cronenberg and of course you know that means a score by Howard Shore. Cronenberg and Shore have been in a collaborative relationship since 1979. That is almost as long as Steven Spielberg and John Williams have been working together. To say that the two understand one another creatively is an understatement. Shore's music flows seamlessly within a Cronenberg universe and Cosmpolis is no exception. This time around though we have an interesting meshing of styles. Metric is a Canadian indie rock band with heavy electronic influences. For the film Shore wrote a score that was then performed by the group. They of course contributed to some of the tracks themselves. The result is a very unique meshing of styles that produces an ambient urban sounding score with an industrial edge.

The music is very metallic. The sounds are metallic and the tingeing echoes all feel metallic. The music feels meticulously calculated and supremely crafted. The tone stays rather consistent throughout and you can feel Shore's brooding sensibilities seep through. The score builds atmospheres more than it structures a distinct narrative. The music feels as if it is one distinct layer of sound laid on thick while other sounds come in and out of it. When different elements are added and subtracted it does give it some rising tension, but not much. If you're looking for this score to function in a traditional fashion then you may be disappointed. I can't deny that there is no emotional connection though. This is purely a mood score that can easily be labeled but not felt. The short 40-minute running time also hinders its ability to build something full.

In the end the score is a great sounding blending of styles with a result worth experiencing. It's as if Shore's music is coming out of a different sound source. Like hearing your best friend's voice coming out of the mouth of a stranger, it feels familiar and strangely new. That alone makes up for the lack of an overall structure. It may not hook you emotionally, but the atmospheres it builds musically are more than appealing to ears wanting to experience it.
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