Thom Yorke: Suspiria review – uneasy beauty

(XL)

Following the critical acclaim afforded the soundtrack work of Radiohead bandmate Jonny Greenwood – Phantom Thread was Oscar-nominated – Thom Yorke makes his first foray into film scores. Suspiria is Luca Guadagnino’s reimagining of a 1977 Dario Argento horror flick, and certainly there’s a darkness to much of the music here too, most obviously A Choir of One, a 14-minute drone. The unsettling instrumental Voiceless Terror, as its title suggests, is hardly a bundle of laughs either.

Nestled within the murky unease, however, there are also moments of fragile beauty, not least Suspirium, a combination of keening Yorke vocal and piano that could have fitted seamlessly on to In Rainbows. Unmade mines a similar vein, while the acoustic guitar on the hypnotic Open Again finds itself gradually submerged beneath a wash of eerie sounds. There’s relatively little of the glitchy electronica that defined Yorke’s most recent solo album, 2014’s Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. Instead, this 80-minute soundtrack features choral pieces (Sabbath Incantation), sparse piano interludes (The Hooks) and ominous interstices (The Inevitable Pull). It’s to Yorke’s credit that the sense of foreboding he conjures, whether in the discordant Volk or the more elegant Olga’s Destruction (Volk Tape), manages to be so evocative even without Guadagnino’s visuals.

Listen to Suspirium by Thom Yorke.

Contributor

Phil Mongredien

The GuardianTramp

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