Sonic Area ‎- Music For Ghosts (2012)

The thing with Music for Ghosts is that although “score for a movie never made” is all well and good as creative premises go, minus the actual visual components the songs need something special to evoke the imaginary film they’re supposed to accompany. “Once More Unto the Breach Dear Friends” pulls it off by throwing some typewriter sounds and oddball piano accents into it’s stew of squeezebox and sing-song synth voices, but it’s sadly one of the few songs that has a life outside the album itself, and doesn’t play as a kind of compositional exercise. Trauma establishes these sorts of archetypal slices of soundtrack music and then undermines them with weird arrangement decisions, but for all its cleverness it’s never really commenting or playing off the tropes it’s invoking, just sort of viewing them through a skewed lens. I don’t think it behooves Sonic Area to make any kind of statement about program music as such, but it would be nice if such a meticulous and expertly assembled record had some ambitions beyond just tinkering with style. It’s still a reasonably interesting listen, just not one that feels especially resonant beyond its central conceit…idieyoudie

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