Composed By: Carter Burwell

Performed By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Set in New York in the 1950s, the romantic drama Carol stars Rooney Mara as Therese Belivet, a store clerk who dreams of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett).  Trapped in a loveless marriage of convenience, Carol intrigues Therese and soon sparks fly, the two embarking on a forbidden romance that quickly becomes complicated as Carol's husband (Kyle Chandler) threatens to keep her from seeing her daughter.

                The soundtrack of Carol features songs from the era by various artists and a musical score created by American composer Carter Burwell.  Though his studies saw him venture into animation and film, Burwell also ventured into music, studying electronic music, performing in bands in New York City and composing music for dance, theatre and film.  Some of Burwell's compositions include Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Fargo, Burn After Reading, Twilight, The Kids Are Alright and Seven Psychopaths.

                The score of Carol, mainly piano, strings and woodwinds, with some harp mixed in, centers on a main theme which can be found in the Opening track and throughout the soundtrack.  The music begins with a sense of wonderment, openness and happily venturing into the unknown.  As the score goes forward, things become a tad darker, a sense of the emotional distress brought on by the exposure of Carol and Therese's affair and the repercussions thereafter.

                Interspersed between the tracks of score are songs that not only represent the time period of the film, but also speak volumes about the relationship between Therese and Carol.  These songs are terrific and blend well with the score.  Favorites include One Mint Julep by The Clovers, Easy Living by Billie Holiday with Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra and Kiss of Fire by Georgia Gibbs.

                I have listened to the Carol Soundtrack three times now and can't seem to get enough of the beauty of the score created by Carter Burwell and the songs by various artists.  The music and the storyline have intrigued me enough to want to see this film and that's what a good soundtrack is all about, isn't it?  The soundtrack of Carol is definitely well worth the listen.


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