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Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

Music from the Motion Picture


Composer: Carter Burwell
Dialogue by: Tom Noonan, David Thewlis and Jennifer Jason Leigh
Label: Lakeshore Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 01 January 2016

Lakeshore Record releases music and dialogue from the movie Anomalisa. Michael Stone, husband, father and respected author of How May I Help You Help Them? is a man crippled by the mundanity of his life. On a business trip to Cincinnati, where he's scheduled to speak at a convention of customer service professionals, he checks into the Fregoli Hotel. There, he is amazed to discover a possible escape from his desperation in the form of an unassuming Akron baked goods sales rep, Lisa, who may or may not be the love of his life...

I usually don't enjoy soundtracks like this. For me, the whole point of a score being released as an album is that it gives you the chance to hear and enjoy the composer's music without it being drowned out by dialogue or sound effects. Of course, there are a lot of scores that are released that were originally designed to act as ambient background music in the projects they were composed for, and listened to on their own they sound dull.

Carter Burwell's score for Anomalisa is one example of this. The score isn't much to get excited about, but the inclusion of dialogue from the movie helps to elevate this up a little. This is really a 40+ minute audio representation of the movie.

'Lisa In His Room' is easily Burwell's most impressive track, and thankfully the dialogue is absent from the first half of this track. I found a sweetness that was hard not to enjoy in the poor singing at the heart of 'None Of Them Are You'.

By far, Jennifer Jason Leigh's performance is the most natural. It's hard not to fall for the character of Lisa, as Leigh fills the character with a sweet naivety as well as a real honesty.

Obviously this is one for fans of the film only. If you haven't seen it, it's probably a little fuzzy what is going on. The dialogue is fairly self explanatory, but you'll really need to have seen the film to get the subtle touches - the ending of 'Breakfast with Lisa' is particularly sad.

As I said, I don't usually enjoy releases like this, but what the producers have done with Anomalisa is give fans a beautiful souvenir of the movie.


Darren Rea

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