Spring Breakers: Music From The Motion Picture
I loved the movie, so that probably helps in my appreciation of the film’s soundtrack because I wouldn’t normally be too interested in Skrillex and I still can’t say I’m in any way interested in the work of Ellie Goulding. But the other big hook for me, with this soundtrack, was the inclusion of work by Cliff Martinez. (Regular readers will know I’m a moth to his flame).
But, back up, you hear a piece like this and you should no longer hold Skrillex’s core audience against him. This guy can compose, can create. Even the big bass-farting dubstep treatments he offers are – here – crafted, concocted, seamlessly executed and crucially they’re just right for the story and setting and are almost characters in the film, particularly since the vapidity of the characters in the film is to many a turn-off, a suggestion that there’s really nothing here, nothing happening. Not so, I reckon. But that’s another discussion for another review.
Martinez and Skrillex work well playing against one another here, Martinez with the more traiditional movie-cuews (Rise And Shine Little B***h/Pretend It’s A Video Game) and that wonderful sense of subtly pervasive tension he brings to a score, that tautness that still frames up a cinematic reality, a world for the screen; his music the soundtrack to a separate reality – it hangs in a space there, offering some strange calm and sanctity even while pulling together various strains of story and subtly stitching together part of the cinematic tension.
And then the Skrillex pieces work in contrast – they’re big and bold and bright, all colours rather than shading (With You, Friends – Long Drive). But pretty soon you feel, when taking this in as score, the perfect blend. These pieces are at odds with one another, alternating between Martinez and Skrillex, but they are like jigsaw pieces. They fit. You turn and twist them and find the way to make them fit. They do (eventually) go together. When Martinez’s pieces arrive (such as the lovely Bikinis & Big Booties Y’All) it’s a relief, it’s a comedown, it’s a new texture. But then when we get more from Skrillex, or the hip-hop inflected dubstep of Birdy Nam Nam and Waka Flocka Flame it’s also a relief, and reminder of the true spirit (and intentions) of the film.
Skrillex has a future in making soundtrack music too – that’s very clear (Smell This Money). He’s no idiot. He’s just smelling the money for real by making all his other junk for now.
I loved the film. The soundtrack gave me a new appreciation – perhaps for now restricted entirely to the work presented here – for what Skrillex is capable of. His piece Park Smoke has an almost Reznor-like feel to it. Ride Home is reminiscent of the music Bradford Cox made for the documentary film, Teenage.
Just turn it off before Ellie Goulding’s closer, Lights. That’s just aural face-ache.