Only God Forgives [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
I’ve only just returned to this album, the soundtrack to the film Only God Forgives. That’s how torturous the movie was; I loathed the experience of watching Only God Forgives, it was painful and it felt embarrassing. I don’t know the film’s maker nor any of the stars but I felt sad for them that they’d followed through, that no one had stepped up and screamed at them not to complete that woeful project.
The saving grace was the music. Cliff Martinez’s score was in fact the reason I put myself through the horror of watching that ridiculous film. I’d heard the music first – had spent a lot of time with the album – and its moody, murky atmospheres and moments akin to previous Martinez soundtracks (Crystal and the Bodybuilders, the opening titles, Ask Him Why He Killed My Brothers) had me wanting to see and hear and feel these pieces in the context of the film. Silly move.
For as much as this is the saving grace of the film it’s been six months since I last listened to this because of that ghastly movie.
I return to the score – as standalone, even with the “pop” songs and Karaoke-bar moments from the film integrated with Martinez’s usual moments and some drum-heavy bursts (Leave My Son In Peace) it still deserves its place as an album, as something separate from the film. I should have really followed my own rule here – I’ve still never seen Solaris because I’m happy with my own thoughts around Martinez’s wonderful score (without the film butting in). I should have done the same here. But too late.
Can’t Forget – with a stirring vocal from Vithaya Pansringarm is one of the enchanting standouts. Martinez’s percussive background serves him well here in creating fresh textures to place around these moments where cameo vocalists need to shine.
Taken away from the film it’s up with the best of Martinez’s work to date. That hellish film really drags it down.