Michael Abels ‎– Get Out

3 out of 5

Label: Waxwork Records

Produced by: Thomas Dimuzio (pre-master); George Horn (mastering)

An interesting release with some absolutely stunning moments, Get Out‘s score is more of a collection of ideas and styles than a “usual” movie soundtrack, which is both fitting regarding my feeling of the movie itself – a watchable but forced mishmash of intentions – as well as writer / director Jordan Peele’s liner notes on Michael Abels’ music, which name drops some horror names and talks up the purposefully mixed palette of what Abels delivered.  The score’s fallback theme of chanting voices (in Swahili, I believe) is reverbed and backed with similarly echoey noises for a haunting effect, and when Abels follows this muse to conduct some similarly off-kilter clashes of instruments, the music can get damned intense.  But while this is a theme, it’s moreso thematic in its reuse than in establishing a memorable melody; the soundtrack jumps all around – and at 40+ tracks, most barely cracking a minute, it has much opportunity to do so – and nips from not only some of the references Peele makes in his notes (Rosemary’s Baby; Hitchcock) but also falls back on some generic horror movie jump scare biz, albeit maybe orchestrated a bit more “organically.”  This results in something that’s not necessarily engaging, but has a lot of tracks that will catch your ear and make you wish it had been fleshed out along one specific line or another.  At the same time, having sort of a mix tape of all these ideas does prevent it from being boring or generic, and is worth a spin / purchase if that encourages Abels to develop his movie music making further.