The perfect complement to the woozy, paranoid, not-too-distant future captured in Richard Linklater's adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, the film's score features compositions by Graham Reynolds and performances by his group, the Golden Arm Trio. The album is full of quicksilver changes in mood and sound, highlighting the surreal atmosphere of the post-war-on-drugs America that the film creates. Strands of post-rock, electronica, jazz, and vintage rock are woven and recombined throughout the album for unusual juxtapositions like "Aphids," which mixes frantic, scrabbling percussion with twangy guitars out of some long-lost spy movie theme, and "Strawberry Pie," which has syrupy-sweet pedal steel and brushed drums that recall classic instrumental pop like Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk." Elsewhere, as on the title track and "Little Blue Flowers," a brooding, almost bleak mood emerges. Hallucinatory and evocative, A Scanner Darkly is the musical embodiment of a bad trip -- but that's a compliment.
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AllMusic Review by Heather Phares