REVIEW: GOZILLA ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK (2014) / COMPOSER: ALEXANDRE DESPLAT / PUBLISHER: MUSIC ON VINYL / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Despite having played Alexandre Desplat's score for the recent Gareth Edwards' Godzilla remake over and over for the better part of a month, I find it hard to say anything definitive about it. It's a shame, because it sounds gorgeous. The brass are deep and resonant, the drums kick wonderfully, and listening to the recording sounds as if the orchestra is sitting just inside your speakers. The sad part is, all of this recording is really for naught, as I cannot hum one single bar of any part of this score without having the record on. Even then, each track is difficult to distinguish from the others.
Music on Vinyl's release is a wonderful presentation, with double LP pressed on deep red vinyl, complete with a gigantic poster and gatefold sleeve. The sleeve includes something which I've never seen on any record thus far: an actual orchestra plot, so that the listener knows where each instrument was sitting when the score was recorded. It's a detail that's surprisingly cool.
The score, however, despite getting played nearly daily for a month, has failed to really make any sort of lasting impression. While the initial listen gave hope that it would be similar to Akira Ifukube's work on the original Godzilla, there's nothing that resonates with the listener after the needle's lifted off the record. The small electronic throbs and pulses are a nice touch on pieces such as “The Power Plant,” but it's ultimately a standard piece of work.
Desplat's Godzilla works wonderfully within the context of the movie, and it certainly maintains a unity of sound, but taken away from the visuals, it becomes readily apparent that this is mostly workmanlike service to the imagery, rather than being proper music in its own right. While it's admirable in the context of a movie, it's less than interesting while spinning on one's stereo.