2013 has been a terrific year for movie music. There has been an embarassment of riches of ridiculously excellent soundtracks coming from unexpected places. And while you may not have heard of all these films, you have definitely heard of the artists such as Skrillex, Dave Grohl and Philip Glass that contributed to these great albums.
The music is diverse and often stunning. Check out this startling performance by Emily Wells from the Stoker soundtrack.
Here are some soundtracks that are good enough to stand apart from the films they were scoring. This is some of the best music I have heard all year long.
Director Park Chan-wook's first English language film is a psychological thriller about a family with lethal secrets. It boasts a lyrical score by Clint Mansell that is hauntingly beautiful. The album also includes some intriguing hip hop styled tracks from Emily Wells (check out the video above) and a very unsettling piano duet with Philip Glass.
Dave Grohl (of the Foo Fighters and Nirvana) gathered together artists like Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield and Trent Reznor to cut new tracks in the iconic studio as part of his documentary. The rockin' result shows off the famous sound mixing of the studio as well as some awesome collaborations with legendary talent.
The famous dubstep artist Skrillex and composer Cliff Martinez create an electronica infused soundscape that is agressively attention grabbing in the film. It is also extremely catchy and fun to listen to separately.
Composer David Wingo and country punk band Lucero create music that invokes a feeling of the deep south for this atmospheric film about a drifter and his sons. Wingo's tracks reflect the mysterious side of this film's setting while the tracks by Lucero rock out in a complimentary way. Ben Nichols adds some authentic southern music to round out this top notch effort.
In a movie about bodybuilders turned murderers, we might expect a score that is all flash. However, action movie composer Steve Jablonsky veers off into more interesting territory with this fresh and layered movie score.
The Way Way Back is a coming of age movie that is not set in a specific period. Its soundtrack music features classic pop by Mr. Mister and INXS. It also features contemporary artists like Wild Belle and Ben Kweller. The combination of old school pop and current alternative artists makes for a surprisingly satisfying listening experience.