Music From Love & Mercy: The Life, Love and Genius of Brain Wilson
The film is wonderful, a favourite from this year and one of the key ingredients is this score and accompanying soundtrack. The score is created by Atticus Ross, I say created (as well as composed) because he weaves moments from The Beach Boys in through his own pieces, placing us – musically – in the mind of Brian Wilson; or meaning at least that we always have him and his music in mind throughout the film. That might seem an obvious aim, giving it’s a biopic but the way this works – both married to the movie and as a standalone set of recordings is quite incredible.
There are of course reminders of Ross’ work as co-creator/producer/engineer to Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails and the soundtrack work they’ve mustered. I’m Right Here, Intersection and Silhouette all have the murk and lurk attached to the duo’s best soundscapes.
And then there’s a few of the shining moments from Brian’s band – the original recordings of Don’t Worry Baby, God Only Knows and Good Vibrations, Wilson’s “comeback” solo charmer and the film’s title-inspiration, Love & Mercy is there too. Naturally.
Dreamy and wonderful, it’s Atticus’ work – using the master tapes from Brian – that is the reason to revisit the work of The Beach Boys in this new context. But if you were new to the band’s music through this film it’s also something of a starter-kit given it has a small handful of the big-production numbers from that very fine catalogue.
Works well as a conceptual soundscape piece and of its own I reckon. Created then with measures of both love and mercy.