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Boomkat Product Review:
Given the post-apocalyptic context of The Road you might be surprised by how often its Nick Cave and Warren Ellis soundtrack verges on unblemished optimism and warmth.
Applying themselves to the score for the cinematic interpretation of the Pulitzer-winning Cormac McCarthy novel the two Bad Seeds and Grinderman veterans do well to avoid wallowing in gloom for the entire stretch. The compositions gathered for this album release certainly cater to the mournful potential of the project, but you'll encounter uncynical hopefulness permeating pieces like 'The Church', 'Home' and 'The Bath', and a sophisticated, inconclusive mood cast over others such as 'Storytime' and 'Memory'.
There are however one or two choice moments of abject terror. 'Cannibals' gives away its horrific intentions with its title, but the blood-curdling urgency and gutsy, chaotic rhythms prove to be impressively hair-raising. Elsewhere, 'The House' offers discordant menace and violin strangling with a side-order of blood-curdling electronic distortion. At the other extreme you're greeted by ridiculously emotive pieces like 'The Mother', which jostles alongside Max Richter and Sigur Ros in the sentimentality stakes. Listening to achingly sad and beautiful music by Cave and Ellis isn't quite the same experience as it might have been had other musicians authored it: the fact that you know what dark musical deeds these two are capable of tints the most tearjerking passages with a little extra gravitas. String and piano arrangements make up the bulk of the instrumentation here, but key to the success of this project is that unlike so many orchestral film scores this sounds like a bonafide album, retaining the personalities of the two composers and central performers.