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CD review: ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ soundtrack

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Annie Zaleski

The Details

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack
Two and a half stars

Fans of Nine Inch Nails’ 2008 instrumental collection Ghosts I-IV, rejoice: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ music for David Fincher-directed film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sounds like a logical sequel. At nearly three hours, however, the soundtrack is more than more than most will want to absorb. Although the skeletal piano, droning keyboards and bursts of thunderstomp percussion produce no shortage of atmosphere—ominous dread, dreary chill and sinister evil dominate—the three-disc set often feels like gray background noise.

Unsurprisingly, the highlights resemble echoes from Reznor’s past: “Oracalum” has skittering synth perforations layered over clanking machinery noises. “An Itch” is a nice chunk of twitching industrial-electro. The Fragile-esque “You’re Here” matches ghostly marimba with whirring keyboards. And “Hypomania” features concerned piano thuds and panicked strings.

While the ambition is admirable—and the Karen O-driven, slashing cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” is gnarly and noisy—paring down to an hour or so would have maximized the music’s impact.

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