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Noah by Clint Mansell (Review)

posted Apr 13, 2014, 6:57 PM by Koray Savas

Darren Aronofsky and Clint Mansell belong in the echelon of great director-composer collaborations. Mansell scored Aronofsky's debut, Pi, in 1998, and has returned for each of his films since. The two were responsible for completely changing movie trailers during the better half of the 2000s with "Lux Aeterna" from Requiem For A Dream. Six years later they brought us the audiovisual masterpiece The Fountain, of which much of the mood and tone of Noah is derived.

This time out Mansell took a much more atmospheric approach to the narrative, supplying his usual rhythms and undertones while refraining from his more melodic and fervent musical structures. There is still some of that inherent excitement and energy in some of the cues, such as "The Fallen Ones" and "Every Creeping Thing That Creeps," the latter featuring some fantastic percussion, but on the whole the score feels static and flat. There is a nice air of cosmic dread and inevitability with Mansell's signature use of strumming guitars and razor-sharp strings, but the music sounds suffocated and underdeveloped. The potential is there, but the excessive meandering and long tracks bog down the listening experience quite a bit, removing any chance of an emotional connection to formulate.

Noah is a Clint Mansell score no matter how you break it down, and for that it deserves a lot of credit. His underscore is unmistakable and brings a great sense of forlorn hope to the musical palette. However, the absence of a centralized melodic idea and the familiar chord progressions keep this one from leaving a lasting impression.