Tuesday, 1 January 2008



Angelo Badalamenti and David Lynch have always been something of a match made in heaven.  Here are two individuals very much in sync with their art.  The emotions they form with their expressions are mirror like.  One could survive without the other and still conjure a similar response from the listener or viewer but combined together the impact is massive and huge.

If you have never seen Blue Velvet you have truly missed out.  It is a terrifying small town experience of the seedy underbelly that inhabits the suburbs of everywhere and anywhere you live.  It is also about innocence lost and how curiosity killed the cat.  It is also timeless and serves to work across the board.  The viewer is subjected to a rollercoaster ride of the worst aspects of reality but are thrilled and compelled to indulge in the small scale horror.  Such story traits are those of what becomes legend.  It stings but then again so does life.

Enhancing the images on screen comes Badalamenti’s orchestration.  Throughout it is slow, menacing and brooding.  At the moments when the film is thrown into blackness, the strings of these pieces serve to enhance the dark and lace them with discomfort.  Equally when participants remain frozen and silent the punishing din acts as a pulse for the piece and shuddering danger (sometimes death) that is being suggested.

The piece “Frank” closes with some cheeky slash gestures, a distinct recollection and probable homage to the master Hermann and his Psycho score.  The worlds in this movie and that are not necessarily completely removed.

It is late Friday night now and still I am listening to this record.  Outside it is dark and inside it’s not much better.  These times are ageless.  This age is timeless.  To buy into this album has been to buy into beauty.

Then comes “Lumberton U.S.A.” a weird and horrific sound collision jingle “sound effects suite” that tastes explicitly like something later to come with Twin Peaks.  In other words an audio track most Lynchian.  Similarly the lush lounge groove of “Akron Meets The Blues” recalls something likely to inhabit Laura Palmer’s hometown.

Towards the end of the album the orchestration and score songs give way to the vocal tracks from the movie.  Of these it is “In Dreams” by Roy Orbison that conjures up the most spinechilling of recollections.  There was always something about that man which was not quite right.

Finally it all comes to a conclusion with Julee Cruise delivering “Mysteries Of Love”.  And if film history has taught us nothing else, it is that bad things happen when the vocal skills of this lady are around.  It is a very dreamy way to close things.

Over the years David Lynch has displayed time and time again just how important it is to get the correct score in your movie, how powerful the results can be and just how consistently amazing the people he works with are.  The soundtrack to Blue Velvet is no exception, it’s a huge piece of work.

Thesaurus moment: expansive.

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