Album Review: HER (Soundtrack by Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett)

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by Tony Frankel on March 19, 2021

in CD-DVD,Music


Nominated for Best Original Score at the 2014 Oscars, but never properly released until now, is ARCADE FIRE and OWEN PALLETT‘s hauntingly lilting score to director Spike Jonze’s 2013 hit film HER (listen here), starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson. Available for the first time digitally today from Milan Records, the HIGHLY RECOMMENDED album features music composed by the longtime collaborators (Pallett won an “Album Of The Year” GRAMMY for his work on Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs.) Arcade Fire, the Montreal-based six-piece band that has released five albums, including its fifth and most recent, 2017’s Everything Now — a direct and heartfelt collection of songs steeped in human connection — are William Butler, Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Jeremy Gara, Tim Kingsbury and Richard Reed Parry.

The score’s release arrives nearly eight years since the film’s debut in 2013, upon which the lush, piano-driven music — almost in the vein of Twin Peaks — incited widespread acclaim. Last February, the album’s vinyl edition immediately rocketed to the top spot on Amazon’s Best Sellers in CDs & Vinyl List, completely selling out and prompting a second pressing of the fan-favorite collection, which is available here.

Of the soundtrack’s release, Butler says, “There is a mysterious alchemy in the way sound and picture work together, notes and moods shifting and reacting to one another like a kaleidoscope… And even in the absence of visuals, the emotional landscape still remains. We hope you have a moment of stillness to get lost in the music as we did writing and recording it.”

“The band had been talking about this ongoing soundtrack project with Spike for about a year before they asked me to come in to help wrap things up,” adds Pallett. “It seemed as if the soundtrack had originally planned to connect with the sci-fi aspects of the story, but Spike was urging a shift toward the score emphasizing the romantic element.”



1.          Sleepwalker
2.          Milk & Honey #1
3.          Loneliness #3 (Night Talking)
4.          Divorce Papers
5.          Morning Talk / Supersymmetry
6.          Some Other Place
7.          Song on the Beach
8.          Loneliness #4 (Other People’s Letters)
9.          Owl
10.       Photograph
11.       Milk & Honey #2
12.       We’re All Leaving
13.       Dimensions

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