The Social Network is one of the year’s best films. The dialogue is razor sharp, the acting is top notch, and the music is visceral and unsettling. And what else can you expect when the music is done by Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross (frequent NIN collaborator, member of Trent’s How To Destroy Angels, and composer The Book Of Eli score) ?
The opening schizophrenic hum of “Hand Covers Bruise” is wonderfully meshed with a simple and beautiful piano melody that sets the tone that something is about come apart, while tracks like “In Motion” and “On We March” chug along like a mechanical sonic beast. The score is somewhat similar to NIN’s release Ghosts I-IV and does in fact contain two re-worked tracks from said album. The interesting thing is the music is not really what you might have expected to be in a dramatic film like The Social Network, and I think that’s what makes it work so well. The wonderfully dark, haunting contrast is what makes it blend so seamlessly with the movie, and it adds to the experience, but doesn’t over do it nor does it under perform. The balance is perfect.
I’m a film score lover so I may be a little biased, but I truly believe the album works well on its own as a standalone album. The album creates a sense of paranoia and isolation with hints of optimism scattered throughout the electronic atmosphere. Some tracks, like “3:14 Every Night”, really go for the jugular and create a feeling of dread and fear. One of the more interesting tracks is a re-working of Grieg’s “In The Hall Of The Mountain King”, which is used during a wonderfully shot and elaborate sequence at the Henley Royal Regatta. I would highly recommend this album, which is available in a variety of formats including a free 5 track sampler, even if you don’t plan on seeing the movie.