Thursday, December 31, 2009

LiE Awards 2009: Music of the Year

Ah yes, the year in music. Music's an interesting thing in the realm of film. It can really make or break a scene. Eastwood's use of Colorblind in Invictus inspired thousands of angry posts (all of which I think overstate their point - it's bad, but mind numbingly bad, come on). There was the standardized: Avatar, Transformers, etc. Scores designed to mimic every other score they've done before. Some worked, some didn't. Below are my lists of the personal favorites from 2009!

Best Songs of 2009:
5. "Invictus 9000 Days" - Overtone and Yollandi Norjtie. While the Invictus Overtone laden soundtrack is no highlight of the year, I found this odd combination of jazz, and simple piano tune quite beautiful. I'm guessing the 9000 days refers roughly to the time Mandela spent in jail (though 27 years is closer to 10,000). You can listen to it via, here.

4. "Only You" - Sinead O'Connor. If you wanted to know what Avatar's I See You should have sounded like, look no farther than the essential tune from this year's The Young Victoria. Though I must admit it's a bit mopey, I do love Sinead O'Connor, and this song is quite simple and just admiringly beautiful. You can check it out on Youtube, here.

3. "All is Love" - Karen O. and The Kids. With a great melody, combining a unique taste, this song caught me completely off surprise, and I absolutely loved it. With a cheerful over the top kid-like nature, All is Love perfectly represents the sporadic tone of Jonze's 2009 Where the Wild Things Are. You can listen to it at Youtube, here.

2. "Help Yourself" - Sad Brad Smith. While it may be ineligible for the 2009 oscar run because Smith wrote it for the film before meeting the director (stupid rule) it's an amazing song, spun perfectly throughout Up in the Air. It's a rather simple song, but such a beautiful one I can't help but fall in love with every moment of it. You can check it out on Youtube, here.


Ryan Bingham's "The Weary Kind". Straight from the trailer I didn't even have to see the film to fall in love with this beautiful song. Reminiscent from Springstein's 2008 The Wrestler, The Weary Kind is the kind of song I can listen too over and over again with no trouble what-so-ever. A tale of those who have struggled throughout their life, seeking something more, this song is as close to poetry as I found all year long.

Honorable Mention: "This is It" - Michael Jackson. I feel as if given this year Michael Jackson's life has become the victim of too many people seeking to profit from it. His song This is It screamed future hit, and his concert, while not an amazing documentary, seemed as if it would be an amazing return for the "king of pop." It's a shame nobody will ever get to see it in it's fullest fruition.


Best Musical Scores of 2009

5. Sherlock Holmes by Hans Zimmer - When I heard the score to Zimmer's theme from the 2009 hit Sherlock Holmes I was absolutely thrown aback by how much he crams in. With hints of Morricone's spaghetti western scores, Zimmer Wonderfully using string instruments, Zimmer craftes quite an amazing score, somewhat comical, and always mysterious. You can check out Catatonictes, via youtube, here.

4. Drag Me to Hell by Christopher Young - Part epic, part entrancing, Young's Drag Me to Hell combines the best of the horror genre, both comically whimsical and deeply thrilling, it's a wonderful score to listen to, over and over again. You can check out the Drag Me to Hell segment, on youtube, here.

3. A Serious Man by Carter Burwell - You put Carter Burwell behind just about any musical and I'm going to be greatly intrigued. His way under-appreciated score for In Bruges (my #1 film of 2008) is as entrancing as his latest go around for the 2009 film A Serious Man. Simple, and yet so moving, few people get as much out of a piano as Burwell has, utilizing wonderful string accompany, it makes for a captivating score. You can check out some of it, on youtube, here.

2. Moon by Clint Mansell - For whatever reason I really love science fiction theme music. There's a certain awe and wonder to Mansell's 2009 offering from the film Moon. It's rather basic as sci-fi themes go, but it perfectly captures the tone and mood Jones sets throughout his film. At times intense, at other times curious and intriguing, Mansell's theme is one I just can't shake. Check out some of it, here.


You can say what you want about Up, but I absolutely fell in love with the music by Michael Giacchino. Whimsical, up and down, and beautifully organized there's a lot to love about Giacchino's old school bring back with Up. His theme from Married Life, repeated throughout the film, is just amazingly ear catching, full of life, hope, dreams, and sorrow. It's an amazing score throughout the film, one that I hope gains more respect from future listeners.

That's all for this year in music. Next on the agenda: Directing and Actors of the year!

3 better thoughts:

Alex said...

Moon's score would be at the top of mine too. The Brothers Bloom had some nice music as well from Nathan Johnson.

Where the Wild Things Are had by far my favorite soundtrack of the year- I couldn't stop listening to it for weeks after seeing the it. Such a perfect teaming of musician and film.

TheAnswerMVP2001 said...

Well I didn't expect you to pick it as the winner but at least you gave it honorable mention. :)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I have to say, few of these would make my lists. But this is why I like your lists. Diverse.

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