For his latest film effort, director Spike Jonze enlists the help of Arcade Fire to write and compose the soundtrack for his latest film ‘Her’. The new soundtrack album by Arcade Fire features a selection of the music composed for the film, forming a wonderful album that seems to stray away from what could be described as ‘conventional Arcade Fire music’. ‘Her’ come across as a very creative and interesting album experience that certainly shows a new side to Arcade Fire’s musical creativity. As an album experience there’s a very enjoyable element to ‘Her’, though it seems that listened to separately from the film itself, there’s a crucial missing element that could help make ‘Her’ a great album.
‘Her’ is dominated by gentle pianos, accompanied by the most subtle of backing instrumentals that push everything along at a slow yet enjoyable pace. There’s something inherently relaxing about much of the music on ‘Her’, whilst others delve deeper into more atmospheric and tense areas, certainly accompanying their individual scenes in fine style. Each track clearly contributes to the overall film, though there is an enjoyable element when listened to as stand-alone music. It’s certainly an interesting album from Arcade Fire, who seem to hold back on everything, only contributing elements and ideas for the betterment of the film itself. In many ways it is a wonderful soundtrack, that achieves everything it has set out to do.
It is most likely though that ‘Her’ will disappoint the more hardcore fans of Arcade Fire, who will find no incredible and pumped-up indie anthems here. ‘Her’ strays away from Arcade Fire’s more conventional style, opting more much subtle textures and ambient sounds. Perhaps those expecting another album of material featuring electric guitar riffs, driving bass lines and pounding drums will be disappointed at the lack of these elements. Perhaps this mindset though distracts from the fact that ‘Her’ is composed for film, and therefore needs to contain elements that assist and accompany the film itself, rather than be an attempt for Arcade Fire to outdo themselves.
Overall, ‘Her’s subtle and gentle elements come across as one of Arcade Fire’s most interesting releases to date. The sheer difference from their previous material, as well as how well they’ve handled the task of composing soundtrack material has all come across so strongly, making ‘Her’ a very interesting and capable album effort. The album itself is so full of emotional movements that it works well as a soundtrack, and as an album by Arcade Fire. It might not be their best release in their discography, though it comes across as one of their most interesting and equally creative efforts.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Morning Talk/Supersymmetry
Arcade Fire’s soundtrack album ‘Her’ is out now.