Mercurial Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood's second foray into film scoring (his haunting work on Paul Thomas Anderson's 2007 masterpiece There will Be Blood should have landed him an Oscar nomination) finds the budding composer in a much more plaintive state of mind. Based on the book by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood follows a love-lorn pair of college freshmen as they navigate the emotional wasteland of 1960’s Tokyo. Peppered by three tracks from Krautrock legends Can, Greenwood's score is largely string-based, with full orchestral arrangements that eventually give way to a simple string quartet. Dreamy, evocative, and distant, Norwegian Wood's tone resides far from the quivering, feedback-laden rage that fueled There Will Be Blood, but the minimalist attitude remains. Part Arvo Pärt and Part Brian Eno, Greenwood continues to impress.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger