I don’t have a favorite soundtrack from 2011; all of the soundtracks that made my final cut (ha!) differ as much as the films they accompany so it was too hard to judge. However, I did develop a poll so you readers can voice your opinions on the matter.
I don’t think soundtracks get nearly enough credit for enhancing the cinematic experience. There are a few exceptions – namely when sparkly divas with booming vocal chords belt out epic love ballads that are instant radio hits i.e. “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson’s “Will You Be There” from Free Willy.
Few people know that I played cello in orchestra for roughly 9 years. Therefore, I’ve grown to appreciate the value of rich string compositions, dynamics and full-bodied scores. If you go to the symphony and watch a live performance of The Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Planet Earth scores, I bet you’ll leave with a totally new appreciation for the depth and complexities that go into scoring a film or television series.
The Drive soundtrack is definitely one of my favorites. It’s filled with 80’s era synth and lots of noisy bleepity bloops. Kavinsky’s “Nightcall” is kicked off by a dark creepy howl at the moon, almost as if it belonged on the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn soundtrack instead. A Real Hero by College ft. Electric Youth also stands out as a beautiful and ethereal favorite that has gotten numerous play counts on my iPod.
Additionally, The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk both created epic, predominantly instrumental scores for Hanna and TRON: Legacy. I especially enjoy some of the remixes on the TRON: Legacy R3CONF1GUR3D album from the likes of The Glitch Mob, Boys Noize, Pretty Lights and Avicii.
I’m a sucker for cover songs too. Most of the soundtracks I’ve chosen are wordless, but several artists collaborated to create fun, spunky songs for The Muppet Movie and it’s fantastic! My personal favorite would have to be Andrew Bird’s mellow and poignant cover of It’s Not Easy Being Green complete with acoustic strings and violin. Stupendous!
Finally, I couldn’t leave this teaser from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo off my list. Even though the full soundtrack hasn’t been officially released, I have an ominous feeling that this soundtrack will be as heavy, unsettling and suspenseful as the novel the film is based on. After their masterful score for The Social Network, I can’t wait to hear what Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross conjured up for this dark, disturbing movie. Karen O’s “Immigrant Song” cover kicked my ass the first time I heard it and I hope the official music video gets you as psyched for the film release as I am.