Review: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Gone Girl Soundtrack

Trent Reznor

When the legendary Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and composer Atticus Ross, team up to score a David Fincher film, it’s often an award-winning combination. The pair won a Golden Globe and Academy Award for their original score in The Social Network back in 2010, and a Grammy Award for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in 2013. They’ve teamed up a third time for Fincher’s upcoming film, Gone Girl, and they may be about to blow minds again. To prepare for the soundtrack release on September 30, Reznor’s put up four teaser tracks on the Nine Inch Nails official site.

We sat down to experience the first preview track, ‘Sugar Storm’, chilling with cups of tea in an attempt to calm our excitement. And it is the kind of ambient, peaceful, take you away to another place track that mixes well with your hot drink of choice. Yet, we found the haunting beauty and slow build up of strange sounds providing all the chills. Like something from another world, those echoing noises sound like an underwater submarine. Reznor and Ross do not disappoint.

The atmospheric ‘Background Noise’ is another stunner. It’s eerie and beautiful, with a layering of sounds including a type-writer like tapping. You get lost in it as it surrounds you. Just drift away and forget yourself. Who are we again? Oh, right, hello. The music gets right into your head and focuses your emotions on this exact moment, life falling into the background, perfect for a gripping psychological mystery-thriller like Fincher’s Gone Girl.

Those familiar with his work may find a distinctly Reznor vibe about ‘The Way He Looks At Me’. It’s faster than the other tracks, but contains the same kind of build up and layering of sounds. It’s almost like thinking you’re alone in an office late at night when you hear a clock chime, tapping keys, scanner noises, the coffee machine overflowing and someone’s muffled screams through the air vents because you’re not alone after all. Or is that just your heart beating extra loud? There’s a lot going on in this track and we love it.

With ‘Just Like You’ we come back to hauntingly beautiful. The synths and steady beat start yet another build up, but halfway through there’s a sudden drop off shift to gorgeous, slow, stripped back piano. There’s a simplicity here that works to hold your attention even without added layers of strange. By the time it ends, and we let out the breath we didn’t realise we’d been holding, we’re left wanting more. It’s a great thing, then, we have another 20 tracks and the film to look forward to.

Reznor explains Fincher’s vision for the music of the film as, “The way that it artificially tries to make you feel like everything’s OK. And then imagine that sound starting to curdle and unravel.”

That’s a pretty spot on description of what to expect if these four tracks are anything to go by. We’ve completely forgotten the tea on our trip through part of this gorgeous, and slightly unsettling Reznor and Ross masterpiece. We can only imagine how beautiful, and borderline creepy they’ll feel when experienced together with the dark themes of the film. Be sure to check them out.

Jess Luobikis

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