Inherent Vice [OST]
Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood is back – his third time working with/for Paul Thomas Anderson following brave and wonderful scores for There Will Be Blood and The Master. He’s on point here making the most of strings as he creates music that hints at Bernard Herrmann, has that same edge; the suspenseful cling within this music never results in the boom-crash crescendo however, merely drifting – wonderfully, never quite ominously but rather with serenity.
And then, interspersed, we get hippie/counter-culture triggers via scene-setting grabs from the late 1960s and early 1970s. But it’s never the usual and obvious things – instead we have Can’s sublime Vitamin C, a bit of surf-rock via The Marketts’ Here Comes The Ho-Dads and Japanese lounge-singer Kyu Sakamoto’s fantastic Sukiyaki.
The way these songs have been blended into the score – in the case of Minnie Riperton’s Les Fleurs it seems to bloom out from within the instrumental soundtrack – means that the music from the film has been (lovingly, skilfully) compiled to all but tell its own story. It remains to be seen (for me) how this music works in/with the film but I’m already sold thanks to what’s happening here.
I’m reminded of the soundtracks for The Big Lebowski and Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, which I’m sure, even if in only a token nod, this film might resemble. I think too of the soundtrack for Natural Born Killers in terms of the soundtrack telling its own story, in the way that the score and source music was built up into its own cohesive collection.
Inherent Vice also features Neil Young’s Journey Through The Past and Chuck Jackson crooning the Bacharach tune, Any Day Now. Lovely. My first must-play album of 2015, it’s been on repeat for days now…