Artist: "John Murphy, Various Artists"
Album: "28 Days Later"
Review: 28 Days Later is one of the better zombie movies to come out in the last decade, so it stands to reason that the soundtrack is great too. This album is mostly film score with a couple songs by Grandaddy, Brian Eno, and Blue States thrown in (disappointingly, due to its length and rights issues, the Godspeed You! Black Emperor song "East Hastings" is not included, which is a shame, as it creates one of the more powerful combinations of music and images in the movie).
The soundtrack is largely moody and ambient, with brief spurts of harsh, grating guitar tossed in whenever accompanying a tense scene in the movie. One of my favorite tracks is "Jim's Parents (Abide With Me)", a variation on an old Christian hymn beautifully sung by Perri Alleyne. Her voice is ethereal and tranquil as the words echo a capella, recalling one of the sadder scenes in the movie. She returns again on a similarly moving version of "Ave Maria" that blends into a score track called "Taxi". It's a little island of beauty in a sea of brutality.
The Grandaddy song "AM180" sounds a little jarring on first listen, next to all the others, but it should be--the zombpocalypse is a rather jarring thing, after all. This accompanied one of the happier sequences in the film, and it stands in stark contrast to the rest of the bleak music. Brian Eno's "An Ending (Ascent)" with its floaty keyboards is sad and dreamy, with maybe just the tiniest bit of hope mixed into the melancholy.
Composer John Murphy skillfully blended his own disturbing score with religious hymns or classical pieces of religious significance, which worked well to play up the horror of the zombie-infested setting. Hearing the religious-themed combined with the mad religious apocalyptic signage in the movie really makes us wonder "Where is our God now?"
"Frank's Death - Soldiers" mixed with Mozart's "Requiem in D Minor" is super sad, sounding like something that could have come from the American McGee's Alice soundtrack.
For months I had this cd in my stereo set to wake me up in the mornings. It was mostly laziness that took me forever to change it out, but it's a testament to how good (and jarring) this soundtrack is that I never got tired enough of it to bother switching it out for the longest time. If you enjoyed the movie, there's a good chance you already have the soundtrack, and if you don't, you're really missing out.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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