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The Matrix: Original Motion Picture Score by Don Davis - editorial reads, "Musically avant-garde elements have been utilized in film scores for decades, usually as shock elements to denote horror or the otherworldly. In recent times, modern composer Philip Glass has enjoyed varying degrees of success adapting his minimalist techniques to film scoring. Given that background, Don Davis's powerful, innovative score to the Wachowskis' 1999 sci-fi hit The Matrix has all the makings of a landmark. Utilizing his extensive interest and training in the avant-garde, Davis has composed what's been touted as the first "New York school postmodern" film score, a jarring departure from his hugely successful work as an orchestrator of such populist fare as Titanic, Pleasantville, A Bug's Life, and Toy Story. The Matrix weds Davis's mastery of musical detail and coloration to a largely atonal postmodern concerto that's complex, dark, and unrelenting. Many film scores have driven tonal writing and heroic motifs into the ground; Davis's deft, sparing use of them here places them in stark, effective relief. The Matrix offers up a rewarding orchestral challenge that may just be a decade--or two--ahead of its time. --Jerry McCulley "

The Matrix: Music From The Motion Picture by various artists - Features music from M1 not written by Don Davis, which is the metal and techno music heard during various scenes of M1.One reviewer writes, "...this has been an enlightening introduction to modern metal for me. But the strongest pieces on this CD are the instrumentals. Propellerheads' 'Spybreak!', which was used in The Matrix's mind-blowing lobby scene, more strongly evokes a scene from the film than any other piece of music. It's a brilliant techno romp that would energize even the most sedentary soul. Rob D's 'Clubbed to Death' is also excellent, and, even on its own, creates that distinctly aggressive but focused mood that made it such great soundtrack material for "The Matrix".

Kristy Ojala (editorial) writes, "The opener, Marilyn Manson's anti-consumerism rant 'Rock Is Dead,' paints an aural portrait of urban decay.Ominous sirens permeate the Propellerheads' drum 'n' bass track 'Spybreak!'; mournful piano alternates with hard shiny beats on Rob D's 'Clubbed to Death'; and Meat Beat Manifesto fills 'Prime Audio Soup' with enough bleeps to make one imagine being trapped inside a motherboard in Hell. It may sound dismal, but the friction permeating this compilation of techno, grindcore, and heavy metal is energizing enough to make fans of these genres feel the same unity as a clandestine community of hackers."

The Animatrix by various artists - One reviewer writes, "This CD has some really excellent tracks, some OK ones, and some that make you scratch you head with "what-were-the-artists-thinking" kind of bewilderment. The track Masters of the Universe (when the Kid is escaping the Agents on his skateboard), amazingly, is omitted. However, the first track (the "credits" music), Supermoves, and Conga Fury are great fun to listen to.

"As for the genre itself, Trance seems to me to be the equivalent of classical music for our time. Some is good, some is bad, but it all gives you a sense of free-mind feel, without words or lyrics or pop influences mucking up the experience of the music itself. If that makes any sense..."

Another reviewer writes, "Nope... its not another unenjoyable rap or pop album. What I'm trying to get at is that its so, so sad that electronic music is not popular and deserves to be. Repeatable lovey-dovey pop and false rap is what mostly strikes listeners through the radio. Though I do understand electronic music is meant for mainstream listening and is meant to stay deep underground in the clubs, lets hope to see electronic music favored in the future.

"Due to some great electronic tracks left out from the film, I did give the compilation a 4.5, but nonetheless, being a huge electronic/techno fan, is a very well done and not far from a masterpiece."

The Matrix Reloaded (2 CDs) by various artists (including Don Davis) - One reviewer writes a long but informative account: "Bought this CD the day it came out and it was well worth it. While not perfect it still has the right combination of metal, classical score, and techno/hip-hop. Sometimes all those elements are fused into one song! I'll go song by song:

Disc 1:

  1. "Session" by Linkin Park: Very un-Linkin Park; haunting, beautiful, melodic and atmospheric all at the same time.
  2. "This is the New Sh*t" by Marilyn Manson: Unlike the title suggests, this is nothing new. Not impressive or very good.
  3. "Reload" by Rob Zombie: Metal mixed with techno and Zombie's vocals. Very hard and rough. LOUD!
  4. "Furious Angels" by Rob Dougan: Beautiful, plain and simple. Easily one of the best songs on the soundtrack. Mixing of orchestral music with techno beats results in a song that lets you close your eyes and almost feel the Matrix.
  5. "Lucky You" by The Deftones: Very mellow, moody and haunting. Beautifully done and very fitting for the soundtrack.
  6. "The Passportal" by Team Sleep: Techno mostly, not much to say about it. Mid tempo.
  7. "Sleeping Awake" by P.O.D.: Never been a POD fan, and this song hasn't changed that fact. More of the same from them. Not sure why its on this soundtrack other than for the lyrics. Musically it doesn't fit with the rest of the songs.
  8. "Bruises" by Unloco: Have never heard of the band before, but this song makes me want to listen to more of them. Good heavy song.
  9. "Calm Like a Bomb" by Rage Against the Machine: Classic, a song by RATM almost seemed inevitable after the ending of the first movie.
  10. "Dread Rock" by Oakenfold: The song most likely alludes to the Twins, The two men in the matrix who are dressed in white and can go all ghostly. Techno and typical Oakenfold but very good.
  11. "Zion" by Fluke: More techno, although this one is less hectic and more tribal than "Dread Rock." Most likely will be used in the movie during the Zion scene.
  12. "When the World Ends (Oakenfold Remix)" by Dave Matthews Band: BIGGEST surprise of the soundtrack and easily the best song on the first disc. Matthew's voice is creepy and haunting and the remix by Oakenfold fits right in with it. Should play over the end credits. Beautiful song and a big change from the original, which was featured on the DMB album "Everyday."

Disc 2: Score

  1. "Main Title" by Don Davis (Pure score, sounds like the original.)
  2. "Trinity Dream" by Don Davis (Pure score.)
  3. "Teahouse" by Juno Reactor featuring Gocoo (Amazing track! Tribal Drums!)
  4. "Chateau" by Rob Dougan (Like 'Furious Angels,' another brilliant song!)
  5. "Mona Lisa Overdrive" by Juno Reactor/Don Davis (good track)
  6. "Burly Brawl" by Juno Reactor vs. Don Davis (BIG, loud and fun.)
  7. "Matrix Reloaded Suite" by Don Davis (more straight score)

Matrix Revolutions (Score) by Don Davis - One reviewer writes, "There is a lot to rave about regarding Don Davis' work on the Matrix scores, but the clearest and most appropriate compliment would be to attest to their uniqueness. He did not find the right sound for the film; he invented a completely new sound. That this new sound was also the right sound--the only right sound--is what beckons the listener to pay attention. This is not music for every occasion; it want lull your baby to sleep. But when the moment is right, and you are in the right mood, it is an experience like no other.

"Whereas the score to Reloaded was a techno-feat that was pure fun, this score establishes deeper orchestral roots that take it to a more refined, emotional level. Listen to the many places to which the listener travels: the frenetic chaos of the action cues, the solemnity of the elegies, the operatic tidal wave of the full chorus, and the sublimity of the film's denouement. Each is united into a unique and altogether representative symphony that has come not just to underline the Matrix universe but to utterly define it.

"Three cheers for Don Davis, with the unavoidable question: why don't you score more films?"

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