Karl Hyde and Rick Smith’s litany of recent and incoming releases continues with a soundtrack collaboration with long time Anthony Minghella associate, composer Gabriel Yared. The film is, appropriately, Minghella’s latest, Breaking and Entering, which features the likes of Martin Freeman, Jude Law Juliette Binoche and Ray Winstone interacting in a changing London. I’ve missed the pleasure of viewing Breaking and Entering (due around now throughout the US, but in the UK last autumn), so I’m left listening to the music in completely neutral context.
Firstly, Yared’s wealth of movie work experience and Underworld’s knack for pulling the extraordinary from various genres have combined well. This is an unobtrusive, but absolutely top notch collection combining classical and electronic elements. The pieces don’t force themselves into the listener’s consciousness, but taking notice I realised the reason I feel focussed and inspired is that the music playing is so good. The brilliantly titled “Happy Toast” could be a commercially minded cousin to Massive Attack’s 100th Window. “St. Pancras” evokes the slightly secondary bustle of its namesake perfectly. It reminds me of trips down to London to see friends and decent BBC children’s dramas. There are snatches of Kid A, Talk Talk, Massive Attack’s Mezzanine, and recent David Sylvian in the atmospherics. “Will and Amira” will hopefully get replayed a lot when I die old and content.
The best analogy I can draw is with a sneaker. I’ve always been skeptical of player branded basketball shoes. The couple I owned in my youth when I used to play regularly seemed slightly tacky, disappointing variants of the maker’s budget to mid-price models. When I started playing with friends again and had to purchase a new pair, my brother persuaded me to try a pair of discounted high cut, plain black air Jordan’s. They looked non-descript enough, and pretty much stood out from the matching clown clothes that accompanied them, so I guardedly put my foot in. They feel like I’m playing wearing warm slippers, and are easily the best pair I’ve ever had. This soundtrack is similar. Corporate, established, completely functional, and absolutely top of the range. When I first listened to it I found myself edging toward some rant about the advent of modern technology allowing an ever-increasing number of us being able to live Jack’s pre Fight Club existence in miniature. The grain of truth behind this impulse was that frequently more of us can carry vast chunks of our record collection around with us in motion. The music of Breaking and Entering is excellent in its own right. These are perfect incidental pieces for the discerning iPod owner.
Massive Attack – Mezzanine
The English Patient – OST
Underworld – A Hundred Days Off