Cliff Martinez

Wicker Park [Original Motion Picture Score]

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Minimalist composer, electronic whiz kid, and frequent Steven Soderbergh collaborator Cliff Martinez wraps an Eno-esque blanket of chilly sunlight and subdued dread around the Josh Hartnett thriller Wicker Park. Martinez's hypnotic work on Traffic and Solaris complemented Soderbergh's intimate narrative style, so it's no real surprise that he attacks the suspense genre with the same amount of elegant subtlety. Plot boilers like Wicker Park are at their most effective when the lights are low and the only sound is the mounting of a boot at the foot of the stairs, and Martinez's ability to lay back and let the blood pressure rise is apparent throughout, utilizing loops and whistles -- as well as strings -- like Thomas Newman scoring an episode of The X-Files. As a stand-alone listening experience, Wicker Park suffers from a lack of memorable motifs and cues, but makes for a delicious and melancholy soundtrack for a rainy afternoon in the attic.

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