Soundtrack Review: Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Composers: Tykwer, Klimek, and Heil
Running Time: 77 min.
Released: 2012




The film adaption of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is releasing in theaters this weekend – a fact which has me both excited and apprehensive. Great literature and Hollywood do not, in my experience, go well together, and I’d hate to see such a magnificent novel turned into a lackluster movie. But enough about that – I’m here to talk about the music. I could probably spend a few dozen paragraphs extolling the brilliance of it, but I’ve chosen to reduce my commendation to two simple sentences: the Cloud Atlas soundtrack is finally here. Buy it now.

The main theme is an exquisite piano melody, otherwise known as The Atlas March. It’s introduced early on and reappears frequently (and in different forms) throughout the rest of the score – the thread that holds Tykwer’s musical tapestry together. Though the score as a whole is not action-oriented, tracks like The Escape and Chasing Luisa Rey deliver more than their share of excitement. Cavendish in Distress has a comical sound to it (appropriate, considering the character in question), while Papa Song throbs with futuristic ambience. Good stuff, to be sure, but the most powerful moments occur in pieces like Sonmi-451 Meets Chang, Death Is Only A Door, Finale, and End Title – for it is in pieces like these that the orchestra is allowed to soar in all its spectacular, cloud-brushing glory.

Buy the MP3 album on iTunes or

13 thoughts on “Soundtrack Review: Cloud Atlas”

  1. Sounds fantastical! *lame joke* … My brother got my share of wittiness. All I can do is just sadly watch him in his awesomeness! :)

    Anyway, I will have to note this music.

  2. I never even would have thought to check this out had I not visited your blog today via FB. I’ve never been a fan of movie soundtracks (gasp) but I might just have to give it a go. Nervously looking forward to the movie, too. I have a feeling that they’ve bitten off a little more than they could chew.

    1. I have a feeling you’re probably right. One of my friends is already predicting that it will be a failure… and then he adds, “But I’ll go see it anyway, just to see how badly they screwed things up.” He’s rather pessimistic about the whole thing. :)

  3. This score is a listen to behold. Wow. I love Death is Only a Door and love The End Title–especially the last 4 minutes. Sounds so epic. A Excellent score.

  4. The music on its own is a glorious masterwork, but the way it’s used in the movie is *pristine*. Love the movie or hate it (I, for one, loved it), the music and the use of the music were, unchallengeably, brilliant.

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