Recent listening, current

Thursday, July 11, 2013

114. Angelo Badalamenti / Music from Twin Peaks (1990)

David Lynch's highly individualistic and genre defying films have a niche all their own. A great part of the magic in films like Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, or the series Twin Peaks, can be credited to the composer Angelo Badalamenti whom Lynch has hired time and time again. Lynch is an auteur and when he finds something that works, he sticks with it. Other directors have famously created an arc of conceptual continuity by hiring the same actors and composers for multiple films (reluctantly, Tim Burton springs to mind) but Lynch has avoided typecasting, banality, and the curse of repeating himself. Lynch manages to work new and frightening ideas into each film while creating a mood that is distinctly a product of his own making. This soundtrack by Badalamenti is a prime example of how the composer contributes to essential mood magic. The tracks run the gamut from low key, enigmatic synthesizer statements ("Theme from Twin Peaks," "Laura Palmer's Theme") to steamy blues (like the spidery threads of "Bookhouse Boys"), and moments of rare beauty ("Love Theme from Twin Peaks").  There are some vocal spots, too, by Julee Cruise singing lyrics by Lynch and dreamy music in the vein of "Sleepwalker." And that is the operative word, here: dreamy. Remember, it's a Lynchian dream where nothing is as it seems.

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