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Album Review: Interstellar – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

2 min read

Hans Zimmer is back with his new motion picture soundtrack for sci-fi epic Interstellar – but does it manage to stand up to his previous work with director Christopher Nolan?

Interstellar OSTWith his previous brilliant work on Nolan’s Batman movies, Zimmer fails to disappoint on the latest effort. He had a big task here, and for anyone who has seen the movie they will know how grandiose in style, stature and scope the picture is; the soundtrack needed something suitably large in scale to adapt to this. It creates a much different sound to what was used in the caped crusader films, allowing both film and music to push boundaries and explore new territories.

Opener Dreaming of the Crash silently leads into sounds of wind and thunder, creating a dreamy and relaxing atmosphere, giving off an ominous presence that many of Pink Floyds tracks manage to muster. Zimmer borrows the vision and continues it with the excellent Cornfield Chase, featuring a nostalgic build up which suddenly simmers  and leavs you with harrowing piano based synths.

Where the album truly comes alive for the first time however is with album highlight Stay. This track shows how good the composer is at controlling emotions, atmosphere and prescience, whilst creating space inspired imagery in your mind – even if you didn’t know the movie was mostly set in space. The track rises into a whirlwind of emotion all held together by haunting violins, and reminds you of the build up at the end of The Beatles A Day In the Life, but with more feeling instead of anger.

Being alone plays an important part in the film, and this emotion is also reflected among tracks on the album. A Place Among The Stars gives off the fear and uneasiness associated with the black of space, where, to quote a famous film, ‘no one can hear you scream’. Minor notes are set against dubious rhythms creating anxiety in a perfect tension-building track. Coward carries on the theme with devilish horror film stepping sounds backed up with a twisted beat reminiscent of a beating heart to put you on edge. Throughout its eight minutes, it leads you though an exorcism filled with religious connotations, finishing in monolithic grandeur.

Half of Interstellar’s appeal is won through the well thought out and impressive soundtrack accompanying it. It features beautiful mind-opening pieces that can sit just as well on their own and it does with the movie, taking through a plethora of emotions in an honest and sometimes nostalgic way. It borrows from 70s and 80s eras of classic sci-fi, just like the movie itself, but backs this up with a present atmosphere, creating its own unique and brilliant whole. This is Zimmers best work and a must have for lovers of emotion through instrumentals.