Album Review
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Social... Album Cover

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Social...

Reviewed by
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - The Social Network OST
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Record Label: Null
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
What is the state of intellectual property as art with new technology as the means of producing, distributing and (illegally) sharing it in the market place? An even more important question raised in this era of rapid growth due to said new technology used in creating art: Has analog and large-scale musical composition (with orchestras and symphonies) long run its course for media? Is the new soundtrack to television and film (and to an extent, online audio-visual media) going to be shifted into programs like Reason and hours of fun with midi boards and synthesizers that are easily plugged into a simple series of connections straight to a computer's keyboard?

Certain artists have proven their creativity through this new age paintbrush by using these machines in direct manipulation to make the listener feel something, be moved or even unwound. Much like a pedal board that many of our favorite guitarists set themselves up with, to me the intellectual property is within each step the artist takes in succession in creating the sound they are aiming at.

For Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, their manipulation of technology to create the background music for The Social Network is half the movie to me. I'm sure there was a percentage of sounds created with studio feedback, guitars and real (in hand) instruments, but the majority of the album sounds like it was created at a coffee shop on a laptop - and that's not a negative point. It further shows it's not the machine, but the thought that goes into cranking it.

As I diligently worked on my laptop and this site, drove home from a long night of work or just cruised the web this past week, The Social Network OST has become my background. I'm not sure what about it pushes me along. Is it the way I can visually see the constant frequencies of "Complication With Optimistic Outcome" in my head? Maybe it's how "A Familiar Taste" seductively makes me feel empowered, to the point that whatever I do, whether a positive or a negative outcome, it will be badass.

There is a reverse end to this drive on the album as "It Catches Up With You" and "3:14 Every Night" moves life along as simple, but savant, background music that still keeps the slightest of our attention held. A lot of dark timbre falls across the soundtrack with "Almost Here" and "Carbon Prevails." There's nothing as eerie as the opening "Hand Covers Bruise," lingering in the back of the mind. As "Soft Trees Break the Fall" carries the album off with its lush piano line, I still wonder, does the IP of the album rise because of its ideas, or is it how they are executed? Isn't it the execution that matters? Sure, there is that test in fair use about how much you hurt the other person's value of their intellectual property, but in essence, aren't you just really pissed because they executed their idea(s) better?

The Social Network raised a lot of questions about the current state of intellectual property in the new digital age - one that is quite rapidly moving. Its soundtrack, in all its glory, raises an even greater question amongst creative artists: What does it take to bring your ideas to life these days? Is it years of classical training, or just tinkering for years with new instruments at your disposal? In a time where everyone can be an artist per se, will it be harder or easier to weed out the real talent?
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 33
05:39 AM on 01/28/11
Burnette Drive
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simplejack's Avatar
Brilliant soundtrack for a brilliant movie. Ideas are nothing without execution.
05:08 PM on 01/28/11
Grace and Peace
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inthemidst's Avatar
This review is ironically adjacent to your blog post the other day, Adam. Just wanted to point that out haha. Honestly though, this is the best musical score since Explosions in the Sky did Friday Night Lights back in 2004, in my opinion of course. Great review as always.
07:50 AM on 01/29/11
Ryan Gardner
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Ryan Gardner's Avatar
Great review, soundtrack, and film. Period.
10:01 PM on 01/29/11
Registered Infant Consumer
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eatbabiesyum's Avatar
amazing soundtrack and movie.
09:45 AM on 01/30/11
Thomas Nassiff
retired staff member
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Thomas Nassiff's Avatar
Film is amazing and I love the soundtrack...but your first sentence doesn't really make sense to me. Maybe my writing has gotten too simple since I started doing more reporting but that just goes straight over my head.
09:52 AM on 01/30/11
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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Adam Pfleider's Avatar
Film is amazing and I love the soundtrack...but your first sentence doesn't really make sense to me. Maybe my writing has gotten too simple since I started doing more reporting but that just goes straight over my head.
two major types of intellectual property: art (media, film, music, paintings, etc.) and physical products (ie Shamwow, Slap Chop, brakes on a car). I wanted to be specific of what we were talking about. there is talk amongst the legislative and judicial branches about changing the laws of IP because of new technology and how it's created and shared throughout not only the U.S. but globally....
11:03 AM on 01/30/11
Keagan Ilvonen
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Keagan Ilvonen's Avatar
So amazing.
11:10 AM on 01/30/11
Matt Chylak
contextblues.wordpress.co m
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Matt Chylak's Avatar
nice review, though if you cut the first and last paragraphs it would be much better.
07:35 AM on 01/31/11
Alexx Miller
Dominic Decoco
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09:24 AM on 01/31/11
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No Avatar Selected
why is the member rating so low?
10:00 AM on 01/31/11
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himynameiszack's Avatar
Should win the Oscar.
11:08 AM on 01/31/11
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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Adam Pfleider's Avatar
why is the member rating so low?
hahaha. the last time I checked this it was at a 100...hahahaha
01:52 PM on 01/31/11
Registered User
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ZurichIsStained's Avatar
Was about to shout "2deep4u" when I saw 61% on the AP home page.
02:38 PM on 01/31/11
Rock The Walls: http://idobi.com
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RockTheWalls's Avatar
Didn't even come to me that Trent Reznor did the score until someone mentioned it after I saw it. Just didn't jump out to me for some reason.

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