When you think about this, it is almost ridiculous that Anthony Gonzalez and his epic pop alter ego M83 never did a proper movie score before. Especially not for a big sci-fi movie. With previous poetic songtitles like Lower Your Eyedlids To Die With The Sun, Highway Of Endless Dreams or My Tears Are Becoming A Sea it almost feels like Gonzalez’ tracks were meant to be played on a wide screen. And now with the confidence of his Grammy-nominated double-album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and the trust from Hollywood director Joseph Kosinski the French musician is ready for the next step – scoring the new Tom Cruise staring sci-fi hit Oblivion. Sounds almost too perfect do go wrong, wouldn’t you agree? But you can trust us – this is really good material.
For the score Gonzalez worked closely not only with the movie’s director Kosinski but also with classical composer Joseph Trapanese. He scored Kosinski’s last film Tron: Legacy with the help of some fellow French countrymen you might know under the name of DAFT PUNK. Back than the combination of temporary electronica with classical arrangements worked quite well which made Trapanese the right working partner for Gonzalez on this project. He wasn’t afraid of accepting the challenge. But seriously – we couldn’t think of a better way to start. M83’s music is not one for little indie movies – this just needed to be this big.
Settled in the distant future the movie deals with Tom Cruise exploring a post-apocalyptic Earth that got left behind after being attack by an alien race. Humanity won, but we lost the planet. But of course this is just the opening scenario – of course there is a conspiracy, a love story, Morgan Freeman and epic images. And creating impressive sounds for this stunning images of our lost home planet is perfect material for Trapanese and Gonzalez to build their score on. The Oblivion score is not one for silent moments – it’s big. Big string patterns, epic tribal drums, wide arrangements and over-the-top moments that basically scream for big pictures. It’s less groovy than DAFT PUNK’s take on Kosinskis last movie but M83 and Trapanese work together way more natural. Like the both worlds collide in a way it is supposed to be. Nothing is forced, everything floats.
After the silent intro with Jack’s Dream we soon hit the gas pedal and drama mode. As Tech 49 breaks out in the middle it feels like the sky opens up – the drums in here are just too epic. StarWaves follows the same scheme- a quiet start with an epic outburst at the end. Since these outbreaks are quite effective this is clearly a winning strategy. The electronic moments are well placed – but especially Gonzalez’ drum work is the most significant part of the score – just take the final parts of Radiation Zone as an example. Or maybe Odyssey Rescue. It adds a wild and tribal-like note to the very melodic score. The only vocal contribution comes in form of the closing title track and the wonderful SUSANNE SUNDFØR. This is really an obvious choice and it is quite satisfying to see her finally appearing to a bigger audience. Perfect ending to this lovely score.
M83’s Oblivion score might even work without seeing the movie – which is quite okay, but not a must-see. All in all it’s a lovely joint venture of different musical worlds. And it might not only help you creating a movie on your own in your head but also.to open yourself up for these worlds. Gonzalez and Trapanese are bridging the gap between classic and electronic – and it looks like everyone is winning with this combination. Experience this for yourself by streaming the full score right over here.