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Soundtrack Review

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Charlie Clouser
Label: Lakeshore Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 27 October 2017

Lakeshore Records releases Jigsaw – the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, available for digital download. The scores for the previous seven Saw films in the franchise were created by Charlie Clouser, and he returns here to contribute both continuity and originality to the concept’s soundscape. In the movie itself a new game begins. When a number of elaborate killings seem to point to the Jigsaw Killer, John Kramer, the police and the public are put into disarray. After all, Kramer has been dead for ten years. Is it a sick tribute copycat or the real thing? The soundtrack features over an hour of theme and incidental music...

The first Saw film was quite inventive, managing to incorporate gruesome set-pieces which were conducive to the plot. The killer was dying and, like a judge, enticed a group of people into a series of traps and charged them with proving their right to existence. The sequels which followed were variations on a theme; they proved watchable without saying anything new or different.

One thing immediately evident upon hearing the Jigsaw soundtrack is that it perfectly fits the theme and premise of the movie. As you would expect, it’s essentially industrial in its design, with mechanical sound effects playing just as much a part as the music itself. In fact, this score is very much a sum of its parts. Those parts include not only the expected modulated synthesizers and electronic paraphernalia, but also electric, acoustic and pedal steel guitars, along with a Chinese ghuzheng which creates a shuddering sound by use of a bow, and a Que Lastas – a stainless steel sheet with piano strings and metal rods. The point is that this potpourri of instruments allows the origins of the sounds to be unidentifiable; thus it sneaks in under the radar screen and simply enhances the visual entertainment.

It’s difficult to fully appreciate these tracks, detached as they are from the complete film-going experience. The incidental sounds mainly come across as noise and effects intended to heighten tension – which is what they are! Thus, as independent music, the best examples are 'Zepp Eight' (an adaptation of a previously utilised montage by Clouser), and 'Cycle Trap' (an enjoyable piece of industrial Metal music). 'Chain Hangers', and 'Shotgun' are also worth a listen. The first half of 'Replica Lair' sounds very similar to The Exorcist/Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells.


Ty Power

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