Celluloid Tunes # 69: The 10 Best Scores of 2020 (22nd International Edition)

While 2020 was a troublesome year for all of us, especially due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, film and music production did not cease altogether. In fact, the year saw plenty of soundtracks gems, many of which have probably gone under the radar for most of you. As usual, we present our 10 best of the year – both fairly known and fairly unknown – plus a record-breaking amount of runner-ups, from traditional orchestral scores to art music to funky synthwave.

Feel free to post your disagreements or own lists below. You can also send feedback to tjhaga@celluloidtunes.no. Happy listening!

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  1. Robin sier:

    Quick comment: Göransson does indeed underline the theme of time in Tenet by playing with retrograde music or tunes that sound the same forward and backward (consistent throughout). I also think it’s much, much more experimental and exciting than you give it credit for here; some examples would be incorporating the uncomfortable, raspy sounds of Nolan breathing into a mic (Sator’s theme) or basing a tune on the reversed intro of ‘Blackened’ by Metallica. Deeming it just a confused mixture ostinato is a bit tabloid to me. I get the Göransson “hate”, I find him ridiculously overrated (winning an Oscar for Black Panther), but I found his work on Tenet inspired and very re-listenable.

    Agree to disagree, I guess. 😉

    1. Thor Joachim Haga sier:

      Thanks for the feedback, Robin. My statement regarding TENET wasn’t so much tabloid as it was a super-quick value judgement. I never intended to dwell on it, or elaborate. Wanted to get to the positive stuff quickly. Some of the time elements that you propose might be there, but they aren’t easy to glean when the sound mix is completely, over-the-top dense. Any nuance is lost. This was not the case on earlier Nolan pics. For me, it was a wall of sound that felt completety interchangeable with other genre colleagues in recent years. However, I did like ONE sequence, musically speaking — the somewhat slower and broader theme for an overhead shot of the boat going out to sea. I tried to listen to the soundtrack, just to get a clearer picture outside the horrible film mix, but a) it was too long, b) it wasn’t sequenced well and c) my impression from the film held up. So I quickly gave up. Might give it another go down the line, though.

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