With movies becoming a global phenomenon, raking in huge numbers in the eastern markets, one thing that has been over the years made sensations out of them is the soundtracks. Over the past few years, the interest to go beyond the dazzling visual effects and gripping performances has piqued up. Soundtracks collection has become the next big passion project. With world music ascending to reachable heights through streaming services like Soundcloud, Spotify, World Radio and YouTube, you get to listen to soundtracks of the movies, perhaps even before they are released. Be it Darth Vader’s Imperial March, or Gladiator’s Last match, these tracks manage to inspire, move, and make you go beyond just the story telling. They help you live the feature. So, here’s presenting the top 20 movie soundtracks of the last decade, in no particular order :
TRON : LEGACY ( 2010 ) – Daft Punk :
Daft Punk, the duo who made electronic dance symphonies come alive with their 8-bit renditions, were already a huge name in the indie French house movement. When, Disney wanted to remake Tron into a feature film, they approached Daft Punk, as they wanted to infuse futuristic stylisation into the movie, which well dabbled with electronic science fiction albeit with LightCycles and blazing trails. Certainly, a must hear.
Tracks you can’t miss : Son Of Flynn, The Game Has Changed, Tron Legacy End Titles
INCEPTION ( 2010 ) : Hans Zimmer :
When maverick film maker Christopher Nolan meets with one of the greatest minds in music of our times, Hans Zimmer, you can be rest assured, that the music that comes out will be spectacular from the start. When Nolan and Warner Bros wanted to realize the ‘dream’ of a script that worked on intellectual heist happening over different layers of dreams, perhaps the biggest challenge was to realise the spatial sense of the happenings. The energetic and thumping music bits, were weaved to convey particularly one meaning – To dream on. Inception remains a masterful stroke not only as a movie, but also because of it’s urgent and intelligently complex music.
Tracks you can’t miss : Dream Is Collapsing, One Simple Idea, Paradox, Time.
Drive 2011 : Cliff Martinez
More so than perhaps any other film of the past 5 years, it is the music of Nicolas Winding Refn’s slick, stylish arthouse thriller that sticks most in the mind once viewed. The song choices are simply perfect: The Chromatics’ ‘Tick Of The Clock’ ideal for the nail-biting opening getaway scene; Kavinsky’s ‘Nightcall’ magnificent against the night-time LA streets; and ‘Under Your Spell’ and ‘Real Human Being’ bringing just the right amount of wistful romantic longing. But don’t discount Cliff Martinez’s superb original compositions, which are rich in atmosphere and tone. His ambient creativity using the crystal baschet is simply beautiful – not least on the deeply poignant ‘I Drive’.
Tracks you can’t miss : Nightcall, I Drive, Hammer and Bride of Deluxe
The Perks Of Being A WallFlower ( 2012 ) : Michael Brook
Before becoming a film, The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a book that was, to some, a gateway to finding new uncharted territories of music. Indie music references came thick and fast in almost every page, so it came as very little surprise that the soundtrack to the film adaptation would be astonishingly good. Keeping faithful to the tastes of the characters in the book, The Perks takes you on a musical journey touching on Bowie and The Smiths, to more obscure gems such as Galaxie 500 and Sonic Youth – using them all to spine-tingling effect.
Tracks you can’t miss : Could It Be Another Change?, Asleep, Charlie’s Last Letter, Heroes ( David Bowie )
HER 2013 : Arcade Fire
Her is an ambitious love story whose emotionally troubled protagonist struggles to be happy in a futuristic world that doesn’t seem so different from our own- one in which its inhabitants seem detached and emotionally absent from the world around them, and in which their primary solace lies the comfort provided by technology. Spike Jones’ appointment of Arcade Fire to soundtrack duties reflected his immense faith in the poignance the soundmen bring to the fore. While the score’s sonic template is rooted in both the sentiments of Theodore as well as the overall tone of the film, the means by which Arcade Fire chooses to transform those ideas into a sonic realization are relatively simple. The film is comprised largely of melancholy, drifting piano pieces and string sections that feature a shocking degree of musical virtuosity.
Tracks You Can’t Miss : The Moon Song (Karen O), Morning Talk/Supersymmetry, Loneliness
Interstellar ( 2014 ) : Hans Zimmer
Whilst it may be difficult to argue against Hans Zimmer’s other soundtrack masterpieces, the score of Insterstellar really is a feat to behold. Zimmer may have solidified his sound with Inception but he was worried that it had become predictable through influencing others. The Interstellar score was written without seeing the movie itself and was based on a page of text that Christopher Nolan gave to Zimmer. The result is a colossal organ-led epic, which echoes the wrought emotion of the lead protagonist and the constant battle with time itself. Astoundingly, every note you hear was played by Hans himself – further connecting him with that sense of isolation of being lost in space.
Tracks You Can’t Miss : No Time For Caution, Cornfield Chase, Mountains, The Wormhole, Imperfect Lock
Ex-Machina 2015 : Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow
Alex Garland (writer: The Beach, 28 days later, Sunshine) makes his directorial debut here and as the writer of Ex-Machina you can see he had a clear vision of what the look and feel of the film should be. An important step was making sure the right score was created to capture the atmosphere of this cerebral thriller. The choice of bringing in Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury to create such a score definitely shows vision. On listening, you get a real sense of the progression of the story and the complex emotions the subject matter evokes. Throughout it’s a minimal soundscape but there are also a few fuller tracks that encompass guitars and percussion which work perfectly within the flow of the album.
Tracks You Can’t Miss : Ava, The Turing Test , Bunsen Burner (composed by Cuts)
Inside Llewyn Davis ( 2013 ) : Various Artists
The Coen Brothers are no strangers to putting together complex and compelling narrative. But what often goes unnoticed his how they are able to weave original soundtracks into that narrative. making them become as integral to their characters journey as what is being spoken. Inside Llewyn Davis is one of the prime examples of this – taking traditional songs and applying them to the lonerist journey of the protagonist. A collaboration beyond worlds.
Tracks You Can’t Miss : Green Green Rocky Road, The Shoals of Herring, The Storms Are On the Ocean
The Martian (2015) : Harry Gregson-Williams
The Martian is a 2015 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Kirsten Wiig. The music manages to capture the character perfectly – at times quite playful and fun, often determined, sometimes lonely, and above all there is a calm serenity running through it. Only occasionally does it truly get big and dramatic – and because it’s occasional, those moments feel earned, part of a very well-plotted dramatic course. It’s all the more impressive that Gregson-Williams was able to do that given that several key moments in the movie are scored with retro songs.
Tracks You Can’t Miss : Making Water, Watney’s Alive, Hexadecimals, Science The Shit Out Of It
Furious 7 ( 2015 ) : Various
“Pop music and cars have a long history, but the Furious 7 soundtrack goes one step further, seeking out 16 tracks thrilling enough for the biggest chase movie of the decade. The resulting LP doesn’t just move between hip-hop, EDM and Latin pop—it shows all three genres trading ideas. Environmentalists, rejoice: This one is plenty of fun even if no one’s burning gas.” reviewed Rolling Stone about the retro-based soundtrack. Of course, Wiz Khalifa released a music video for “See You Again” as the final tribute to late Paul Walker, who had portrayed lead protagonist Brian O’Conner in the film series, which went onto become a nostalgic holdon for the fans of the franchise.
Tracks You Can’t Miss : How Bad Do You Want It (Oh Yeah), Meneo, See You Again, Get Low
These are just some of the soundtracks which you need to listen as soon as possible. We’ll soon come up with the second part of the list to celebrate music over the decade.