SPINEMA Issue 34: Mondo’s BLADE RUNNER 2049

Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch deliver a fitting followup to the original Vangelis score

Image courtesy of Mondo

Lend an ear to SPINEMA: a column exploring all movie music, music related to movies, and movies related to music. Be they film scores on vinyl, documentaries on legendary musicians, or albums of original songs by horror directors, all shall be reviewed here. Batten down your headphones, because shit’s about to sound cinematic.

Sequels, reboots, remakes. However it happens, the studios often find a way to further continue (read milk) a beloved film. It’s rare that one of these things do justice to the original, even more so to end up with a film that is one of the best films of the year (2018), but Blade Runner 2049 does just that. Huzzah then for the esteemed folks at Mondo for continue their rather splendid series of vinyl releases with a new presentation of this stunning score .

The Music

The original Blade Runner is not just a landmark of cinema, it is also graced with one of the most memorable scores in memory by Vangelis. A doubly daunting task to succeed. Zimmer (Dunkirk, Gladiator, Inception) & Benjamin Wallfisch (IT, A Cure for Wellness, Hidden Figures) approach their followup in the correct way, being inspired by the world and sounds of what came before, but expanding upon it while working in new material.

The BR2049 score is immersive, dreamy, and often propulsive, but always tinged with a somber quality, appropriate given what unfurls in 2049. It feels more harsh and cool in contrast to the relative warmth that came with the original film and score. The pair reach back and work in subtle nods to the original score (Tears in Rain notably, which also gets reinterpreted here in new track Tears In The Rain). They again rolls out the use of a synthesizer, but tempered it with more melodic accompaniment. There’s a nice range, with calmer, emotional tracks like Rain and Memory, with an escalation in more bombastic tracks like Blade Runner and Sea Wall.

Also included are two Elvis tracks used effectively in the film, Suspicious Minds and Can’t Help Falling in Love, along with Frank Sinatra’s One For My Baby (And One More For The Road). It’s a weird transition to go from the score into these undisputed classics, but nice to have them included given their effective deployment in the film. Less can be said for the closing track, Lauren Daigle’s Almost Human that tonally feels more like it should be used on a teen series on the CW.

The Package

The vinyl packaging is a beauty, showcasing Viktor Kalvachev’s art with a spot Varnish Cover, with some reflective elements showing off a stylized BR2049 title treatment. The focus is on the Ana De Armas character of Joi.

The gatefold offers up a depiction of one of the more stunning moments in a gorgeous movie, one that brought legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins his long overdue Academy Award (after 14 nominations!).

Inside each vinyl comes in a cover-sleeve, showing off additional art and the layout work by Chris Bilheimer. Track listings are worked into designs inspired by/lifting from various screens and computer interfaces seen int he film, notably the updated “replicant test”, taken by Ryan Goslings’ K in the film.

Inside the sleeves are the records themselves, pressed on 2X 180 Gram Teal and Pink colored vinyl.

Image courtesy of Mondo

The release also includes a code allowing you to access a digital copy of the soundtrack.

Track Listing:

1. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — 2049
2. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Sapper’s Tree
3. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Flight to LAPD
4. Frank Sinatra — Summer Wind
5. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Rain
6. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Wallace
7. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Memory
8. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Mesa
9. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Orphanage
10. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Furnace
11. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Someone Lived This
12. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Joi
13. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Pilot
14. Elvis Presley — Suspicious Minds
15. Elvis Presley & The Jordanaires — Can’t Help Falling in Love
16. Frank Sinatra — One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)
17. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Hijack
18. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — That’s Why We Believe
19. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Her Eyes Were Green
20. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Sea Wall
21. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — All the Best Memories Are Hers
22. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Tears In the Rain
23. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Blade Runner
24. Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch — Almost Human

Blade Runner 2049 LP is available via Mondo now

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