Jonny Greenwood: Bodysong 

CD Review

Bodysong is Radiohead member Jonny Greenwood's soundtrack to the British documentary of the same name. Because it is a soundtrack, the album feels incomplete without its conceptual correlative; one has to wonder why bother to turn Bodysong out without the visuals. Backup: some will wonder that; others will be overcome with delight for any release from a Radiohead-affiliate. After repeated listening to Bodysong, I know less and less what to say about it. Sometimes I don't think it's music at all; other times a little piano trill will take me off guard and I'm not so sure.

This is not an album of songs; the bulk of the pieces lack appreciable form. The use of orchestral instruments and curious noises and blips strongly conjures Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother, but the similarities are superficial. On Atom Hear Mother, the noises are woven into a cohesive symphony of sorts. Bodysong's tracks resist the same kind of integration. In the primal beats and swells, repetitions and crescendos, it is more clamor than music. Bodysong covers alien territory, not unlike the processes and workings of the body itself. Greenwood has crafted beautiful noise. It's a matter of personal musical boundaries whether this constitutes something you really listen to, background music or something that gathers dust on the shelf.

--Sara Beitia

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