Album: Mulholland Drive: Original Motion Picture Score

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Mulholland Drive: Original Motion Picture Score

Artist: Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch
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Label: Milan Records

Director David Lynch’s affection for kitschy lounge music and emotionally overwrought mid-century pop has long since proven to be more than trend or irony; indeed, it’s often the uneasy spiritual axis of his films. The soundtrack of Mulholland Dr. turns on the usual Lynchian motifs (the brooding atmosphere of Angelo Badalamenti’s ominous synth-and-orchestra cues tossed with a dash of Lynch’s own off-center compositions), yet manages to evoke a sense of foreboding that’s distinctly its own. Badalamenti leads off with a curve, the nervous orchestra…

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Director David Lynch’s affection for kitschy lounge music and emotionally overwrought mid-century pop has long since proven to be more than trend or irony; indeed, it’s often the uneasy spiritual axis of his films. The soundtrack of Mulholland Dr. turns on the usual Lynchian motifs (the brooding atmosphere of Angelo Badalamenti’s ominous synth-and-orchestra cues tossed with a dash of Lynch’s own off-center compositions), yet manages to evoke a sense of foreboding that’s distinctly its own. Badalamenti leads off with a curve, the nervous orchestra swing-romp “Jitterbug,” before descending into a dark soundscape that becomes murkier and more avant-goth at every turn. Bubbling through that morass are pop nuggets variously cheesy (Dave Cavanaugh’s lounge-ready “The Beast”), lugubriously bluesy (Sonny Boy Williamson’s take on Willie Dixon’s “Bring It On Home”), and alternately innocent (“I’ve Told Every Little Star”) and liturgical (“Llorando”). Three tracks of the director’s own (cowritten with John Neff) skulking Lounge Music from Hell ratchet up the tension even further; it’s the perfect garnish for this darkly delicious film-music cocktail. —Jerry McCulley

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Pandora couldn’t resist opening the forbidden box containing all the delusions of mankind, and let’s just say David Lynch, in Mulholland Drive, indulges a similar impulse. Employing a familiar film noir atmosphere to unravel, as he coyly puts it, “a love story in the city of dreams,” Lynch establishes a foreboding but playful narrative in the film’s first half before subsuming all of Los Angeles and its corrupt ambitions into his voyeuristic universe of desire. Identities exchange, amnesia proliferates, and nightmare visions are induced, but not before…

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