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Comments about the soundtrack for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Reznor/Ross)
Just stop reviewing ambient film music

Phil
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  Responses to this Comment:
pt1992
Just stop reviewing ambient film music   Thursday, March 1, 2012 (10:51 a.m.) 

You knucklehead.
I read all of your reviews on scores that are rather ambient. And I simply have to say, that you don't understand this type of music, because you gave them ALL negative reviews. Be it David Julyan, be it Howard Shore, be it Hans Zimmer, be it Trent Reznor.
You simply don't understand that music can also work w/o orchestral music, that this ambient music is exactly what the director had in mind.
Please stop reviewing such scores in the future, because you simply have no idea!



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pt1992
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eton.edu)

  In Response to:
Phil

  Responses to this Comment:
Phil
Re: Just stop reviewing ambient film music   Thursday, March 1, 2012 (4:36 p.m.) 

Someone doesn't like something =/= someone doesn't understand it. That's the ultimate cop out. Trying to justify your views not by looking at the thing in question but by claiming the opposition doesn't understand it for the sole reason that they dislike it...



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Phil
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  In Response to:
pt1992

  Responses to this Comment:
JP Ward
Re: Just stop reviewing ambient film music   Friday, March 2, 2012 (12:36 a.m.) 

I think I don't even have to look at this in question anymore. Because it's always the same line. It is not "sophisticated" enough, it is sort of "wannabe", it doesn't "evolve".
If you read other reviews on such scores, you will find out that the vast majority has a completely different opinion.
I'm not saying that it is bad thing to have another opinion, but his dislike for this genre is so obvious, it just sucks. This guy wants to tell me that he's not biased?
I used to like this site, but recently I'm very pissed off.



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JP Ward
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Phil

  Responses to this Comment:
Jon Adamich
Re: Just stop reviewing ambient film music   Saturday, March 31, 2012 (10:40 p.m.) 
• Now Playing: Killing Joke  

> If you read other reviews on such scores, you will find out that the vast
> majority has a completely different opinion.
> I'm not saying that it is bad thing to have another opinion, but his
> dislike for this genre is so obvious, it just sucks.

I agree. I can understand someone simply not liking the Reznor scores, but it's the condescending attitude towards composers like Cliff Martinez that just reek of narrow-mindedness & this anti-ambient elitism, essentially reducing ambient to "background music".

I keep coming back to this site because this rigid, orthodox school of film score purism rather fascinates me as a completely alien way perceiving music (I'm drawn to music through atmosphere & mood, not thematic treatises). I've found no other ambient-haters on the web that articulate on a regular basis why they hate ambient music. This, I think, gives Filmtracks some value to people like us in an arch-nemesis sort of way. I like to know *why* the enemy thinks what they do.


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Jon Adamich
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JP Ward

  Responses to this Comment:
Drew C.
Re: Just stop reviewing ambient film music   Monday, June 4, 2012 (3:29 a.m.) 
• Now Playing: Stargate  

> I agree. I can understand someone simply not liking the Reznor scores, but
> it's the condescending attitude towards composers like Cliff Martinez that
> just reek of narrow-mindedness & this anti-ambient elitism,
> essentially reducing ambient to "background music".

> I keep coming back to this site because this rigid, orthodox school of
> film score purism rather fascinates me as a completely alien way
> perceiving music (I'm drawn to music through atmosphere & mood, not
> thematic treatises). I've found no other ambient-haters on the web that
> articulate on a regular basis why they hate ambient music. This, I think,
> gives Filmtracks some value to people like us in an arch-nemesis sort of
> way. I like to know *why* the enemy thinks what they do.

As much as you guys like to think, music is very objective. Yes, there can be opinions on scores, but music is either good or bad. The opinions can sway from "good" to "ok" , but no more then that. It's very easy for people who have no musical background to put in their 2 cents because they feel entitled to (playing electric guitar does not count as "musical background"). They listen to music on a regular basis, so they think they know it and have a valid opinion on what is a truly good composition and what is not. Tough news people, it's not valid.
If I had a conversation with Chaucer, I would not argue about writing styles with him on the merit that I wrote an essay in High School. That does not give me enough experience to state my opinion on a subject I know close to nothing about.
There is no genius behind anything that Reznor does, in anyway, as much as you guys like to believe. Filmtracks put it beautifully, most people equate "different" with "cool" or "radical" and therefore "effective."
I apologize if you do not like reading reviews that go against an artist you like. The fact of the matter is, he is only here because of his fame. Scoring for film is an art, and you have no idea how this Reznor stuff has [bleep!] all over it. It's fine that you enjoy the music, but it is no where near what any other composer could and would have done. Ambiance music can be amazing, beautiful, haunting. Reznor does not do this, and he is not capable of doing this. Do you think Reznor can write How to Train Your Dragon? Of course not. Do you think Powell can write The Social Network? Even if deaf, he would do a better job.

This predisposition that rock artists are somehow great composers is killing me. They have fame because of the quick fix they give their listeners. People enjoy masculine, simple music. It's like a shot of adrenaline. But in terms of actual music, of MUSIC, it is nothing more then what a first year composer at a music college can do.

Just to reiterate, ambiance music can be amazing. This is not in any way amazing.



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Drew C.
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  In Response to:
Jon Adamich

  Responses to this Comment:
Phil
Re: Just stop reviewing ambient film music   Saturday, August 18, 2012 (3:06 p.m.) 
• Now Playing: The Nutcracker - A REAL masterpiece  

> As much as you guys like to think, music is very objective. Yes, there can
> be opinions on scores, but music is either good or bad. The opinions can
> sway from "good" to "ok" , but no more then that. It's
> very easy for people who have no musical background to put in their 2
> cents because they feel entitled to (playing electric guitar does not
> count as "musical background"). They listen to music on a
> regular basis, so they think they know it and have a valid opinion on what
> is a truly good composition and what is not. Tough news people, it's not
> valid.
> If I had a conversation with Chaucer, I would not argue about writing
> styles with him on the merit that I wrote an essay in High School. That
> does not give me enough experience to state my opinion on a subject I know
> close to nothing about.
> There is no genius behind anything that Reznor does, in anyway, as much as
> you guys like to believe. Filmtracks put it beautifully, most people
> equate "different" with "cool" or "radical"
> and therefore "effective."
> I apologize if you do not like reading reviews that go against an artist
> you like. The fact of the matter is, he is only here because of his fame.
> Scoring for film is an art, and you have no idea how this Reznor stuff has
> [bleep!] all over it. It's fine that you enjoy the music, but it is no
> where near what any other composer could and would have done. Ambiance
> music can be amazing, beautiful, haunting. Reznor does not do this, and he
> is not capable of doing this. Do you think Reznor can write How to Train
> Your Dragon? Of course not. Do you think Powell can write The Social
> Network? Even if deaf, he would do a better job.

> This predisposition that rock artists are somehow great composers is
> killing me. They have fame because of the quick fix they give their
> listeners. People enjoy masculine, simple music. It's like a shot of
> adrenaline. But in terms of actual music, of MUSIC, it is nothing more
> then what a first year composer at a music college can do.

> Just to reiterate, ambiance music can be amazing. This is not in any way
> amazing.

Very well said. Film scoring is indeed an art, and it truly hurts me that the public is trying to 'dumb it down'.



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Phil
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  In Response to:
Drew C.

  Responses to this Comment:
Drew C.
Re: Just stop reviewing ambient film music   Tuesday, August 28, 2012 (10:46 a.m.) 
• Now Playing: Trevor Jones - Memories of Shell Beach  

Your posting is somewhat ridiculous. You claim to see a difference between people who have an understanding of “good or bad music”, the existence of an objective opinion, while at the same time saying that Trent Reznor is a bad musician, which is nothing less than a VERY subjective opinion.
The whole premise is wrong when you try to persuade us by saying that music is “very objective”. Then take a look at the ratings for this score outside filmtracks, in this case you’re just bluntly wrong. “music is either good or bad” – if it was so, then, according to the majority of reviewers outside filmtracks, this score must be excellent, and I didn’t even claim that it is.

It is absurd to say that anyone who likes this score has no clue about musical scores, merely liking it because the “outsider” Reznor came into the holy world of film music and produced it, therefore it must be soooo cool – hilarious.
There is no clear line anymore between film score composers or other musicians. What about The Dust Brothers’ score for Fight Club? Great score, perfect fit, huge success. I don’t want to imagine what would have become of this score if, say, John Williams or John Barry, had made the score. David Fincher cares about the perfect fit, not if a certain musician belongs to a certain genre of music or not. Did you even know that Fincher made a music video for NIN long time ago?
Just because you don’t care or don’t like Trent Reznor and NIN’s success – which obviously outweighs that of any film score producer – doesn’t mean that he really is a bad musician. We can just stick to the facts, deal with it. I guess you never listened to his music anyway, but in case you did, it’s just that you don’t like his style. That’s it. Now, THAT is your subjective opinion. And it’s completely okay if you do, but don’t try to claim that anyone thinks just like you.

I’ve been listening to music scores up to 15 years now, I have a classical musical background as well, I play guitar and piano. To say that playing guitar doesn’t have anything to do with being a musically experienced person – hilarious.

I also think I know to distinguish between the good and the bad scores. I agree that this score lacks coherence, but I just don’t care, because the atmosphere that it produces is just gripping. By the way, if the lack of coherence is your main argument why Reznor has failed, you should listen to Howard Shore’s score for “Se7en” or “The Cell”.

As I already said in my previous posting, it doesn’t matter if an ambient score is good or bad, because it is completely obvious that Clemmensen doesn’t like this specific genre of music, it is not relevant if it is a film score at all.
It’s ludicrous to assume that his opinion is so important that this would go for any ambient score. He certainly has a good musical background, his analysis is often reasonable. He has a very old-fashioned mindset about film music, which is not a bad thing, but it makes him also very biased. Nevertheless, his endless condescending attitude has become a means to an end. It may had given him a certain status in the past when the Internet was young, when he was the only one who wrote film score reviews. But it’s obvious that he has outlived himself and no one really cares anymore if a self-proclaimed music score geek is unsatisfied with the result because of “old-fashioned” reasons that no one cares about as well anymore. Music changes…

Btw, Drew C., explain to me, who is the “public”?



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Drew C.
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  In Response to:
Phil
Re: Just stop reviewing ambient film music   Tuesday, August 28, 2012 (2:19 p.m.) 

> Your posting is somewhat ridiculous. You claim to see a difference between
> people who have an understanding of “good or bad music”, the existence of
> an objective opinion, while at the same time saying that Trent Reznor is a
> bad musician, which is nothing less than a VERY subjective opinion.
> The whole premise is wrong when you try to persuade us by saying that
> music is “very objective”. Then take a look at the ratings for this score
> outside filmtracks, in this case you’re just bluntly wrong. “music is
> either good or bad” – if it was so, then, according to the majority of
> reviewers outside filmtracks, this score must be excellent, and I didn’t
> even claim that it is.

> It is absurd to say that anyone who likes this score has no clue about
> musical scores, merely liking it because the “outsider” Reznor came into
> the holy world of film music and produced it, therefore it must be soooo
> cool – hilarious.
> There is no clear line anymore between film score composers or other
> musicians. What about The Dust Brothers’ score for Fight Club? Great
> score, perfect fit, huge success. I don’t want to imagine what would have
> become of this score if, say, John Williams or John Barry, had made the
> score. David Fincher cares about the perfect fit, not if a certain
> musician belongs to a certain genre of music or not. Did you even know
> that Fincher made a music video for NIN long time ago?
> Just because you don’t care or don’t like Trent Reznor and NIN’s success –
> which obviously outweighs that of any film score producer – doesn’t mean
> that he really is a bad musician. We can just stick to the facts, deal
> with it. I guess you never listened to his music anyway, but in case you
> did, it’s just that you don’t like his style. That’s it. Now, THAT is your
> subjective opinion. And it’s completely okay if you do, but don’t try to
> claim that anyone thinks just like you.

> I’ve been listening to music scores up to 15 years now, I have a classical
> musical background as well, I play guitar and piano. To say that playing
> guitar doesn’t have anything to do with being a musically experienced
> person – hilarious.

Electric guitars, without a doubt, are musical. But a musician who only has experience playing an electric guitar cannot just jump musical borders and declare mastery of an orchestra, or claim to have knowledge of every last emotion that is required in a film score.

> I also think I know to distinguish between the good and the bad scores. I
> agree that this score lacks coherence, but I just don’t care, because the
> atmosphere that it produces is just gripping. By the way, if the lack of
> coherence is your main argument why Reznor has failed, you should listen
> to Howard Shore’s score for “Se7en” or “The Cell”.

Shore's scores are musical, with humans playing notes written on a page, unlike Reznor and Ross's two efforts.

> As I already said in my previous posting, it doesn’t matter if an ambient
> score is good or bad, because it is completely obvious that Clemmensen
> doesn’t like this specific genre of music, it is not relevant if it is a
> film score at all.
> It’s ludicrous to assume that his opinion is so important that this would
> go for any ambient score. He certainly has a good musical background, his
> analysis is often reasonable. He has a very old-fashioned mindset about
> film music, which is not a bad thing, but it makes him also very biased.
> Nevertheless, his endless condescending attitude has become a means to an
> end. It may had given him a certain status in the past when the Internet
> was young, when he was the only one who wrote film score reviews. But it’s
> obvious that he has outlived himself and no one really cares anymore if a
> self-proclaimed music score geek is unsatisfied with the result because of
> “old-fashioned” reasons that no one cares about as well anymore. Music
> changes…

Music doesn't change. What's popular is what changes. Music, like a film itself, is supposed to be timeless. A decade from now, people will have forgotten this...sound that Reznor and Ross wrote. A decade from now, people will still be humming the iconic themes from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean. Why? Because those scores are timeless.

> Btw, Drew C., explain to me, who is the “public”?

The "public" refers to everyone who listens to 'regular music' and has no real understanding the ways of film music. The standard quality of film music has, in my opinion, gone down the past few years, because the "public" cannot seem to stand "intelligent" music in films anymore, therefore the music is dumbed down to a nearly emotionless state.



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