Friday, December 1, 2023

Thenewno2 ‘Beautiful Creatures’ Album Review

Warner Brothers have a lot riding on ‘Beautiful Creatures,’ the successful series of books could well be the next ‘Twilight’ and have millions of teenagers aching to see the next instalment of pensive and angst laden love. Now you would be forgiven for already deciding that the soundtrack would be full of equally angst ridden bands all riffing and spewing forth tales of forbidden and doomed love but instead we have a son of a Beatle involved…
Soundtracks have become rather interesting ground recently with the likes of Trent Reznor getting involved in ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ with eye opening results and Eddie Vedder with ‘Into The Wild’ which I personally thought was a solid solo effort. So seeing as we have thenewno2 which features the aforementioned multi instrumental Dhani Harrison and  solo artist Ben Harper who is also no stranger experimenting with instruments that I would struggle to pronounce, and would think were ingredients in some funky vegan broth, I feel I could be in for an interesting audio assault on the senses.
‘Beautiful Creatures’ has a truckload of instrumentals that feel like they literally sit in the back ground as beautiful actors gaze pensively at things. But to dismiss them as all background noise means you will miss out on some gems! I’ve never seen the film nor read the books but just listening to tracks like ‘Interception,’ ‘The Caster Theme’ and ‘Lena’s Magic’ and you have a clear idea of ANY story of your choice! Just close your eyes and this is where music doesn’t need lyrics if its played well, you go somewhere else. In ‘Breaking The Ice’ the impossible high pitch violin shrieks in ways that paint pictures that are incredibly clear of something quite enigmatic and mysterious yet so teenage and lame; it’s not to be missed!
That’s not to say that all of them are like that there are some of the most cliche’ songs I’ve heard in a while, ‘Dark Magic’ has the whole whispering creeping feel to it and to be honest we’ve all heard that so many times in films, you could list them on both hands and feet, the same goes for several of the shorter songs but the main culprits are that and ‘Sarafine At The Church’ (choir anyone?)
There’s an odd remix slapped right in the middle of the album and its actually rather good, the slide guitar effect immediately stands out and puts you in the deep south but it’s the use of a computerised drum kick which is something that I normally loath, however here it’s genius.
This leaves you wanting more and finally at the end of the soundtrack we have two more traditionally made songs, first up ‘Run To You’ with Ben Harper at last. It has an excellent finger picking beat and again great use of slide guitar but the repetitive lyrics will get on your nerves pretty quickly much more so when the song starts to literally run around in a circle.

Beautiful Creatures actually doesn’t have that much experimenting in terms of different instruments which is a bit of a disappointment considering thenewno2’s developing and challenging sound. The instrumentals are good on the whole, there aren’t that many that you could relegate to background noise, and the tracks that really stand by themselves are wonderfully emotive.



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