Saturday 31 December 2016

My Favourite Albums of 2016: #9 Cliff Martinez - The Neon Demon OST

The countdown towards my favourite album of the year continues with another film soundtrack. 

Nicolas Winding Refn’s visually stunning film The Neon Demon may be a bit of a marmite movie for those who have seen it (I’m in the love camp – for me it was a pure piece of art rather than just a movie - its characters may have been cold and paper thin, but that was surely the point) but I think that most fans of electronic instrumental music will find plenty to adore within this soundtrack. It’s a work of nightglow pulsing synths and beats, with occasional moments of ambience; a body of music that doesn’t just sit behind the film, giving it a greater depth, but pushes to the forefront so that it works as its own individual body of work. If you loved the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis, are an admirer of Jean Michel Jarre (who’s Oxygene 3 release this year narrowly missed my top 25) and enjoy music that has a cold dark heart, The Neon Demon is the one for you.

A word of warning however about this record, and it's a reason why it's at number than 9 rather than say 6 or 7 - there are a couple of non-Cliff Martinez tracks on it. Mine by Sweet Tempest certainly works on the film and is not an entirely unenjoyable distraction, reminding me a little bit of the band Garbage, but right at the end Sia crops up with the song Waving Goodbye. It’s a decent enough pop song but jars a little with everything that comes before. I’d suggest pressing stop after the bone tingling Get Her Out Of Me, (a modified version of the opening track) and then go and watch the film, which might bore you stupid or might leave a deep lasting impression on you.

Cliff Martinez - The Neon Demon

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