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Boomkat Product Review:
It's no longer a novelty to talk about Jonny Greenwood as a serious compositional force outside his day job as Radiohead's guitarist and soundsculptor-in-chief. Having been recruited by the BBC as their composer in residence in 2004, Greenwood has since gone on to be recorded by the London Sinfonietta and win the Radio 3 Listeners' award for his piece, Popcorn Superhet Reciever. One thing that seems to have followed him around from the very beginning is a close association with 20th century giants like Krzysztof Penderecki and Olivier Messaien, in part because Greenwood himself has publicly cited them as major influences on his work. In fact, Greenwood's reintroduction of the Ondes Martenot into contemporary music stems from Messaien's own use of the instrument. To this day, there's still no escaping the comparisons, to some degree at least: the chromatic phrases spilled out by piano over certain passages of 'Prospectors Arrive' and the outlandish intervals of 'Eat Him By His Own Light' are suggestive of Messaien's Quartet For The End Of Time, while the excerpts from Popcorn Superhet Receiver (as revisited here on 'Henry Plainview' and 'Proven Lands') prompt further Pendercki references. The tangled up, microtonal glissandos of the former piece take steps toward dissonant sound-mass composition, which makes for some remarkably adventurous music considering this guy's only supposed to be a guitar player in a rock band. Heck, it's even more adventurous when you consider that this the soundtrack to a major Hollywood film. By no means is There Will Be Blood a difficult listen throughout though: from the pizzicato drama of 'Future Markets' to the lyrical 'Prospectors Quartet' (which rounds off the score on a bittersweet, melodious flourish), there's an abundance of material to demonstrate Greenwood's versatility and inventiveness as an exciting new composer. Very highly recommended.