There Will Be Blood (Music from the Motion Picture)
It is hard to describe Jonny Greenwood’s score for Paul Thomas Anderson’s oil epic There Will Be Blood without describing these sounds in terms of things more primal than music. The rumble of a fault line. The ominousness of a dust storm. The terror of a thousand hissing asps. Even if Greenwood’s score didn’t accompany a film that envisions the American landscape as a bastion of rage and unrelenting dread, it would still describe a place where even the sunshine is a harsh obstacle. This music might be unlistenable for the feelings it illustrates if it weren’t for the fact that Greenwood paints it in such thrilling detail. Whether this soundtrack is a brilliant accomplishment because it intensifies the film’s every moment or because it stands next to the film as its own work of devastating shock and excitement is a tough call. What is certain is that no matter how upsetting the music gets, it is so vividly executed that you will want to watch the beast come alive again and again, like a child who can’t help but listen to the story that gives him nightmares.