The Place Beyond the Pines

Composed By: Mike Patton and Various Artists

Distributed by: Milan Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In The Place Beyond the Pines, Ryan Gosling is Luke Glanton, a motorcycle stuntman performing in a traveling carnival until he learns that he is a father.  Desperate to make enough money to take care of his girlfriend (Eva Mendez) and the son he only just found out about, Glanton leaves the carnival in search of bigger and better things.  Unfortunately, he is lured in to a bank robbing scheme that puts him on a collision course with Police Officer Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), an ambitious young man on a fast-moving climb in a corrupt police department.

                The majority of the music with the exception of a couple of tracks of The Place Beyond the Pines was composed by Mike Patton.  A singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Patton is best known as the front man of the rock band known as Faith No More.  In 2005, Mike Patton made his first foray into musical scoring with the movie Pinion.  Later, he composed the musical score for Crank: High Voltage.

                The musical score created for The Place Beyond the Pines is incredibly dramatic, but can’t be placed in a single genre.  The score contains orchestral sound mixed with contemporary and features electronic sound as well.  There is an overriding theme, perhaps representing Luke Glanton, that features an incredibly sultry bass guitar piece, implying the character is sexy yet dangerous…or perhaps sexy because he is dangerous.  Patton inserts sound effects into the soundtrack to aid in describing the scene.  I especially enjoyed the sound of crickets in the background of Forest of Conscience

                I also enjoyed the strange mixes of sultry blues guitar mixed with choir vocals and contemporary and classical sounds.  This soundtrack presented a mishmash of styles, especially with the addition of songs like the 60s track Please Stay, a Drifters song covered by The Crying Shames, the classical sounds of Miserere Mei by Vladimir Ivanoff, Fratres for Strings and Percussion by Arvo Part and Ninna Nanna Per Adulteri by Ennio Morricone.  The last track, The Wolves (Act I and II), sung in falsetto by Bon Iver, is a strange sounding track with metaphorical lyrics that sum up the characters and the events that shape their future.

                The Place Beyond the Pines Soundtrack is quite an interesting and diverse musical experience and well-worth taking a listen to.  It has a unique style and sound that will appeal to many a musical score fan and has inspired me to see the movie as soon as it hits theaters.


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