2020 was not the busiest movie year of movies ever. The cinemas were closed for months at a time. A lot of films went back into their film boxes (or wherever Hollywood keeps films) to wait for less plaguey times. A lot of films went straight to tv of one sort or another.
For various reasons, I didn’t see half of the films I had planned on seeing this year. Consequently, I didn’t hear as many soundtracks as I might have liked, and so this list of my favourites is quite a short one. I did consider extending it with bits and pieces, songs from tv, podcasts, games, and the like but in the end I decided against it because at the start of the year I had limited myself to soundtracks released as full albums and changing things at the last minute would have ended in chaos.
So here we are then, three film soundtracks and one from a tv show. I have only seen one of the four but I like all the music. Hopefully you do/will too. (THUMBS UP EMOJI)
Let’s leave discussions about whether we liked the film or not for another day and concentrate on the soundtrack which is a tension-building masterclass, all full of big thumps and nail-biting whirrs. Eight minute opener, Rainy Night in Tallinn works almost like an exquisite corpse, with each unfolding of a piece of paper revealing a new direction for the music to go (which is, I think, a reflection of the confusion the viewer experiences being pushed into the chaos of the movies’ opening scenes). That it works so well when removed from the visuals is a minor miracle but it does, and I very much love it.
Kid Moxie’s soundtrack to Giorgos Georgopoulos’ comedy drama (which I haven’t seen, and have no idea what is even about) is a full on dive into the 1980s in a very enjoyable way indeed. (Except on the moody tracks, which are a bit more moody.) It is the electro/synth soundtrack to the surprisingly sensitive and emotionally venerable Streets of Rage 2 adaptation you never knew you needed or wanted. And yes, I know, Streets of Rage 2 was released in the early 1990s, but you know what I mean (and I thought Knuckle Joe might be too obscure a reference).
I hadn’t heard of Dan Deacon before this year which, going by what I have read online, makes me uncool and a bit of a grandad. Sorry about that. Anyway, his soundtrack to Well Groomed (a documentary about competitive dog grooming that I have precisely zero intention of ever watching) is a joyful mirror to what the dogs look like once their owners have done what they probably shouldn’t to them. A glorious mess of neon and fun.
Something else I haven’t seen, this time a Channel 5 drama/thriller that I have only just discovered was co-created by Lisa McGee and as such, probably worth a watch. Oh well, I’ll always have the soundtrack, which is (fittingly, given the subject matter of the drama) much darker than anything else on my list, with extended strings and brooding melodies bringing the angst along nicely.
So, that’s that then. I listen to soundtracks quite a lot when I am writing and if you do the same then all four of these will fit the bill nicely. If you don’t listen to soundtracks while writing then you can still listen to these four albums, obviously, just in case you were wondering. I don’t know why I mentioned it really. I’ll shut up now.