With Nine Inch Nails currently on hold, NIN mastermind Trent Reznor has been delving into various projects following his decision to retire the group as a live entity. After releasing the self-titled EP to his new project How to Destroy Angels with wife Mariqueen Maandig-Reznor and longtime associate Atticus Ross in June. Reznor maintained a low profile until he made an official announcement where he and Atticus Ross will provide a score piece to David Fincher’s 2010 film The Social Network. A film about the founding of Facebook in its early days as the score that Reznor and Ross has created is filled with a sense of foreboding and melancholia around the mind of one of its co-founders in Mark Zuckerberg.
The score soundtrack to The Social Network is reminiscent to the 2008 NIN double-instrumental album Ghosts I-IV. While a few pieces of that album are heard in some of the score pieces, the record is a chilling, dark, ambient-inspired record that dwells into Mark Zuckerberg’s troubled state of mind. While almost every track on the album is written by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, only one is a cover piece in the form of Edvard Grieg’s In The Hall Of The Mountain King. The result is definitely one of the most eerie and discomforting film scores ever created for a mainstream film.
Opening the album is Hand Covers Bruise, a somber piano piece that is accompanied by screeching electronic drones. With Reznor on piano and Ross providing bass-heavy sounds along with a violin-like screech in the mix, the track plays to Mark Zuckerberg’s emotions after he had just been dumped as the film opens. In Motion is an up-tempo track of sorts of throbbing rhythms, flourishing sequencers, melodic synthesizers, and sputtering beats. Featuring a swooning yet low-key keyboard wail, the track plays up to Zuckerberg’s absorbed mind as he creates the foundation that would become Facebook. A Familiar Taste is an ethereal track that features a somber, ambient feel that is later surrounded by throbbing, bass-heavy synthesizer melodies and droning guitar wails that thrash through as it features elements of 35 Ghosts IV from Ghosts I-IV.
It Catches Up With You is a short, one-minute, thirty-nine seconds track that is a smooth, drone-heavy bass line that is followed by a melancholy piano piece to dwell into Eduardo Saverin’s melancholia as he is fighting Zuckerberg in a deposition. Intriguing Possibilities is a synthesizer-heavy track led by pulsating electronic melodies that flourish throughout the entire track as Reznor plays a slow piano piece. Featuring a wailing guitar in the background, the track intensifies as it dwells into Zuckerberg’s troubled mind as he is creating Facebook. Painted Sun In Abstract is led by a siren-like synthesizer melody that wails through with a soft, sputtering keyboard track in the background along with a soft piano in the mix. Featuring a swooning electronic drone, the track is a standout in terms of its subtle arrangements and performance. 3:14 Every Night is a drone-bass heavy track with chugging sounds of growling electronics and sputtering beats. With sounds of wailing sirens in the guitars and a morose piano, it’s a track that maintains the eerie tone for the album and film.
Pieces Form The Whole is led by a melodic keyboard track with a throbbing bass beat that is also carried by atmospheric electronic sounds. Featuring a twanging, discordant beat in the background, the track wails through on its swirling synthesizers as it plays to the tense tone of the depositions Zuckerberg is facing. Carbon Prevails is an upbeat track of sorts with static-like, sputtering beats, buzzing synthesizer melodies and a bleeping keyboard track as it also features a wailing noise in the background. Notably as it plays to Zuckerberg and his team working on to improve Facebook. Eventually We Find Our Way is led by a droning buzz with soft, static-like beats pulsating through along with wailing sounds to express Zuckerberg’s tense feelings as he is becoming more ambitious. Penetration is a short, piano-led piece featuring Reznor’s somber piano mixed in with Ross’ soothing, ambient-inspired keyboards to emphasize the calm tone in Zuckeberg’s rise.
Next is a cover of Edvard Grieg’s In The Hall Of The Mountain King, a track with a famous melody as Reznor and Ross’ arrangement is filled with a slowed-down, melodic synthesizer that later intensifies with speeding synthesizer melodies and crashing, buzzing noises. The track plays to the Winklevoss twins competing in a boat race just as they later learn about Facebook arriving in the U.K. campuses. On We March is a smooth, mid-tempo track where slow, sludgy bass beats sputter through with Reznor’s melodic piano and a wailing buzz sound in the background. Magnetic is a variation of 14 Ghosts II with its swirling bass-synthesizer drones and melodic, chime-like keyboards that is followed by pounding bass beats and a wailing guitar track. Almost Home is another piano-driven track feature low-register melodies and tick-tock beats in the background. Featuring a swooning guitar wail in the background, it is a track that plays to Saverin’s own downfall as he is being pushed out of the company he co-founded.
A reprise of Hand Covers Bruise appears to recall Zuckerberg’s own alienation as he is on the rise with a more, droning buzz in the background to accompany Reznor’s melancholic piano. Complication With Optimistic Outcome is a track led by wailing guitar swirls as it buzzes through with Ross’ pulsating synthesizer loops. With the melodic-drenched synthesizers intensifying, it is a track that continues to confirm the split between Zuckerberg and Saverin with Sean Parker instigating the split even more. The Gentle Hum Of Anxiety is led by a swooning sound of keyboards and drones with Reznor’s piano providing a somber feel. Notably for the increasing tension between Zuckerberg and his enemies as he is more distracted by things around him. The final track is Soft Trees Break The Fall, a somber piano piece led by Reznor’s melodic piano and Ross’ swooning ambient drones. The drone track intensify with chime-laden keyboards playing in the background as it plays to Zuckerberg’s alienation while facing his own fate.
The album is available through the Null Corporation’s album site (now dead as of 2018) as it is presented in various formats which includes a free download of a five-track sampler EP. The digital format in 320kps MP3, FLAC, and Apple Lossless is priced at five dollars. A CD version, plus the digital format, is available for $8. A Blu-Ray DVD format in 5.1 Surround Sound (no video content) and lossless stereo in a 6-panel digi-pack package is available for $20, that also includes immediate download of the digital album. The fourth and final format in 2 180-gram vinyl discs with a triple gatefold packaging along with the digital album for the price of $25. This is part of Trent Reznor’s plan to release the soundtrack on his own terms with Sony’s permission to release it independently.
The Social Network score soundtrack is a remarkable album from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Fans of NIN will no doubt enjoy this album for its take on dark ambient with elements that fans will be familiar to. For audiences outside of the NIN camp who enjoyed the film, should definitely pick up this soundtrack as its unconventional style is truly one of the more original film soundtracks to come out in years. While it’s unlikely that Reznor and Ross some awards either due to rules or just plain ignorance. It’s definitely one of the year’s best film scores as it defies the idea of what a score can be. In the end, the score soundtrack to The Social Network is a brilliant achievement from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
NIN Reviews: halos: halo 1 - halo 2 – halo 3 – halo 4 – halo 5 – halo 6 - halo 7 – halo 8 – halo 9 – halo 10 – (halo 11) – (halo 12) - (halo 13) – (halo 14) – (halo 15) – (halo 16) – (halo 17) - (halo 18) – (halo 19) – (halo 20) – (halo 21) – (halo 22) - (halo 23) – (halo 24) – (halo 25) – (halo 26) – (halo 27) - (halo 28) – (halo 29) – (halo 30) – (halo 31) – (halo 32)
Soundtracks/Related: The Broken Movie - Natural Born Killers OST - (Quake OST) - (Lost Highway OST) - The Social Network
Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross Scores: null 2 - (null 3)- (null 4) - (null 5) - (null 6
Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross Scores: null 2 - (null 3)- (null 4) - (null 5) - (null 6
Promos: (seed 1) - (seed 2) - (seed 3) - (seed 4) - (seed 5) - (seed 6) - (seed 7) - (seed 8)
Live Shows: (NIN/Bauhaus/TV on the Radio-6/7/06 Atlanta, GA Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater) - (NIN/Deerhunter-8/13/08 Duluth, GA Gwinnett Arena) - (Jane’s Addiction/NIN/Street Sweeper Social Club-5/18/09 Atlanta, GA Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheater) - NIN/Godspeed You! Black Emperor-10/24/13 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena - (NIN/Jesus & Mary Chain/Tobacco-9/27/18 Atlanta, GA Fox Theatre)
© thevoid99 2011