The Neon Demon

Composed By: Cliff Martinez

Distributed by: Milan Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the psychological horror film, The Neon Demon, Elle Fanning is Jesse, a sixteen-year-old aspiring model who has moved to Los Angeles to chase her dreams.  Her vibrant, youthful good looks are enough to inspire jealousy in many in the industry and they will stop at nothing to take what she has. 

                The musical score of The Neon Demon was created by American musician and composer Cliff Martinez.  Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012 as drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Martinez has been creating musical score for movies since 1989 with his composition for Sex, Lies and Videotape.  Since then, he has amassed quite a resume of scores in varying genres for such notable films as Kafka, Traffic, Pump Up the Volume, Wonderland, Narc, Solaris, The Lincoln Lawyer, Drive, Only God Forgives, Wicker Park, The Company You Keep, The Knick, The Foreigner and more.

                The Neon Demon Soundtrack features an electronic score with electric guitars and synths at the forefront.  There are a couple of songs on this album in addition to Cliff Martinezí score.  Mine by Sweet Tempest is an alternative track that speaks of a refusal to back down, perhaps speaking to Jesseís initial journey into the world of a Los Angeles model.  The Demon Dance is just that, an amazing dance track by Julian Winding What Are You? and Don't Forget Me When You're Famous feature a liquid electronic style.  Martinez employs heavy reverb at times and plunks on high key notes, often sounding like the intonations of a child's piano.  To me, this could be a nod toward the characterís innocence or a lapse into insanity, Black Swan style.

                The score of The Neon Demon is interesting but doesnít really measure up to most Cliff Martinez soundtracks Iíve listened to in the past.  I was excited to listen to this album and expected so much more from the score.  Instead, except for the songs, this album seemed to fall flat.


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