The 10 Best Film Scores

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Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in 2013. With the release of Jurassic World, we thought we would re-visit some of our favorite film scores of all-time.

So it’s another awards week with the Oscars this Sunday, and while it doesn’t directly pertain to music, there is always some sort of connection. Last year, we gave you our ten favorite movie soundtracks, and now it’s for our favorite theatrical film scores.
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Weak List Wednesday: This Week’s Five Best Tracks

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Bam! Just like that, artists began dropping tracks from the sky upon us all this past week. With the slight dry spell we have hit here in the late summer, it is nice and refreshing to have a breath of new music scattered upon us. It also is a pleasant reminder of some albums we have to look forward to this fall. So I decided to take advantage of these new single track releases by throwing out this list. There were in fact quite a few other songs dropped this past week as well, so you should dive into those as well, but these were my favorites. This was an impromptu list that I just constructed myself, so if something on the list does not sit well I am held solely responsible, and no blame should be put on the rest of the LxL team. Enjoy:

5. Nine Inch Nails – “Everything”

The most shocking song I’ve heard from NIN in … probably ever. Not due to any shocking lyrics or grossly aggressive industrial beats, but because of how poppy it is. That is right, welcome the poppiest, most new wave influenced song to ever exist in the Nine Inch Nails catalogue. I have to say I love it. The sound fits Reznor well, and although it may take a bit of getting used to from NIN, it’s a new trick for an old dog, and I love it.
 
Continue reading “Weak List Wednesday: This Week’s Five Best Tracks”

Nine Inch Nails Song Review: “Copy of A”

Nine Inch Nails

“Copy of A”

hesitation marks

Time for another entry in my bi-monthly Nine Inch Nails watch leading up to the release of Hesitation Marks on September 3.  A couple months ago I took a look at lead single “Came Back Haunted” and came away less than impressed, but still hopeful Hesitation Marks would turn out to be the triumphant return of Trent Reznor’s most celebrated musical project.  I think with the release of “Copy of A”, we can raise our expectation level a bit and trust we’ll get a solid product in a few weeks time.
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“Came Back Haunted” Song Review: Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails

“Came Back Haunted”

came back haunted

Nothing winds me up more than one of my favorite artists releasing a track to promote their upcoming album.  When that particular artist is Trent effing Reznor with his flagship vehicle, Nine Inch Nails, then all the better.  It has been five years since a proper NIN single, so when it was announced “Came Back Haunted” would be released in conjunction with the dates of the upcoming worldwide tour, I was foaming at the mouth.  Its not like Reznor has been idle these past five years, in fact he has been busier than ever scoring David Fincher films and recording with spousal side project How to Destroy Angels.  But NIN is what we all really want from Trent, so lets see how the new album, Hesitation Marks, is shaping up by way of evaluating the new single.
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Top Ten Thursday: Best Film Scores

Greatest Ten Film Scores of all time

So it’s another awards week with the Oscars this Sunday, and while it doesn’t directly pertain to music, there is always some sort of connection. Last year, we gave you our ten favorite movie soundtracks, and now it’s for our favorite theatrical film scores.
Continue reading “Top Ten Thursday: Best Film Scores”

How to Destroy Angels Review: An Omen EP

How to Destroy Angels

An Omen EP

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It is still not completely clear where Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Mariqueen Maandig (Reznor’s wife) are taking their How to Destroy Angels project.  In 2010 when they first released their first self-titled EP, and it was very average, I thought maybe Reznor was just throwing his wife a bone by producing some music for her admittedly nice vocals.  Then, when realizing that the 2010 EP was basically average-ish NIN songs with a female vocalist, I thought Reznor may be looking for a new twist on his production style with a female vocalist.

A full album from HtDA still hasn’t come out, and the timing, new information, and what Reznor/Ross did in between EP’s has just created more questions.  Reznor is apparently working on new NIN material, set to release a HtDA LP in 2013, and produced two exceptional film scores with Ross (The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).  The man is working his ass off, so if some of his work is average I completely understand.  That being said, An Omen EP is interesting enough to get me excited about future releases.
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Top Ten Thursday: Best Covers Albums

cover album art for william hung inspiration

After the painful experience of reviewing Neil Young’s new cover album, Americana, we decided to go back to some of our old favorites, and create a list of the top ten cover albums.  It was surprisingly difficult to find a comprehensive list of cover albums that have even been released, so I am certain we are missing a couple of classics, but also was very happy with strength of the list we came up with.  Another couple items of note is that the album needed to be 75% covers to be considered and a lot of 1950’s and 60’s albums were not considered.  A lot of early Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. albums were comprised mostly of covers because that’s just the way the music business was run back then.  Somebody would have a minor hit, then ten artists would cover it to bandwagon and try to copy its success. 

So what makes a great cover album?  There are a lot of opinions on that, but we firmly believe it is not enough to simply mimic already great songs.  What we like to see is an artist keep the feeling of the original but substantially change the arrangement.  Also great is when an artist manages to rescue a song from obscurity and make it completely their own.  There is not absolute formula to a great cover song or album, but as with most of our list the following selections hit us the hardest.  On to the list.

10. David Bowie – Pin Ups

album cover art for david bowie pin ups

Bowie’s lat album with The Spiders from Mars was a tribute album to some of his favorite tracks from the 60’s.  Pin Ups contains classic songs from The Who, a lesser known track from Pink Floyd’s most underrated era, a Kinks track for the ages, and some lesser-known bands that I probably would have never been turned onto otherwise such as The Pretty Things and The Easy Beats.  All of these things fused with the Bowie twist means it is a sure-fire instant eargasm.

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