Mandy OST by Johann Johannsson

mandyostListening to Johann Johannsson’s final score, a twisted and disturbing work drenched in sadness, misery and darkness, is certainly a sobering prospect. It is hard to seperate it from the perspective of the composer’s sudden passing earlier this year. As an unintended footnote of the man’s career it is stark and unforgiving. In some ways it is quite unlike his other work (although hints of it’s darkness are strewn across many of his works) but the almost unbearable melancholy of the love theme -one of the saddest love themes to grace a movie- betrays the score as being that of Johannsson, while the ’80s electronic soundscape of the final track ‘Children of the New Dawn’, presumably the end title (I haven’t seen the film yet), evokes the John Carpenter scores of that era so authentically its hard not to do a double-take at the credits.

It hints that perhaps new directions for the composer lay ahead of him- perhaps a reaction to his rejected BR2049 score? Then again, and its a grim game to play, but listening to some of the moodier, menacing and almost experimental tracks I have to wonder if there’s actually indication here of what some of BR2049‘s score may have sounded like, some of its atonal horror harking back to some of the original Vangelis score’s underscore. Which seems at odds to reports of Villeneuve thinking that Johannsson’s score was too much a deviation from the Vangelis original, so likely I’m wrong here (and unless the rejected score gets released someday we’ll never really know).

In any case, while its hardly easy listening there is something rather hypnotic about the terrible darkness of this music, especially in relation to it being the composers final work we are likely to hear. The sadness wallows within and about the music, dreadfully.

3 thoughts on “Mandy OST by Johann Johannsson

  1. gregory moss

    Looking forward to adding this to my collection – having seen the film last week. Posted my review of it today. I’ll be interested to hear what you think once you see the movie. It’s a uniquely different experience viewing a film after listening to the ST. I did that with Moroder’s Cat People back in the day. 🙂

    1. Funnily enough, this weekend I’ve been doing something similar with First Man- I have tickets for Monday and listened to some of the soundtrack over the weekend. Its something I used to do more of years ago, simply because film releases used to be so staggered and soundtrack albums would be released weeks/months before the movie got over here- I heard Darth Vader’s theme a while before I saw Empire Strikes Back and it raised my expectations greatly. Soundtracks can infer so much on tone and mood and approach ahead of seeing the film they support. Back when I was really ‘into’ James Horner’s early work, his music would actually get me to see the films themselves. Odd, looking back on it- studios tend to think the choice of actor got people’s bums on seats but for me it was the choice of composer. How nerdish is that!

  2. Pingback: Mandy (2018) – the ghost of 82

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