Suggested Retail Price: (CD) – $11.98 / (DVD) – $11.98
When I first heard Black Francis (i.e. Frank Black, i.e. Charles Thompson) was concocting a soundtrack to the classic 1915 German silent film THE GOLEM, I thought it might be a more traditional kind of score.
Instead, true to his music roots, he’s created a more rock and roll soundtrack for this endeavor featuring both instrumentals and actual songs (the songs are featured here on this new CD). This results in one of Francis’ strongest and most consistent albums in years. He originally performed his score live in San Francisco – and this is the studio version of that performance.
Currently, you can purchase both the album and a DVD of The Golem with the Francis’ soundtrack on it. That said, you can enjoy one without the other.
Anyone familiar with Francis’ output with the Pixies knows what a great song craftsman he is, and the music here works perfectly with the film. It adds so much more weight and atmosphere to an already impressive classic film. Sure, Giorgio Morodo produced an album of rock tracks for the re-release of 1927’s METROPOLIS silent film in the 1980s, so this is frankly not a ground-breaking concept, but at least here, the voice of the movie is a consistent whole coming from one artist.
“Bad News” is classic Francis – a great star-crossed lovers tune while “The Flower Song” is one of his rare ballads.
Accompanying Francis is longtime collaborator Eric Drew Feldman of Pere Ubu who produced and provided the keyboards and synths (his orchestral arrangements are phenomenal).
It’s great to see Francis trying new things and branching out. His quirky sensibilities really brings out the magic and offbeat nature of THE GOLEM film itself. Sure, this is far from being a mainstream release (most kids today would probably have no idea what to make of the film in this new incarnation), but it’s this kind of thinking outside the box that has kept Francis so vibrant and compelling throughout his three decades plus in the business.
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