This is classic soundtrack stuff, a lot of keyboard and picked guitar driven tracks with washes of strings, brushed drumwork, the odd bit of fuzzy guitar etc. We do however also have a country tinged track in What are they doing in Heaven... but theree are also tracks which are maybe more typical Mogwai, quiet, louder, loud then quiet again. Eagle Tax springs to mind for this and the album closer Wizard Motor is a kitchen sink and all track but on the whole this is one of those albums where soundscapes and mood are predominant, an air of menace tinging the experience without it ever quite becoming fright night. This is an album to play once, then immediately play again as new nuances become apparent and then play it a third time with the lights off.
I'll admit that until The Returned started on TV, all I knew about Mogwai was the fact that they had a pretty awesome name. But the music for the TV program stuck out for me from the first episode, especially the wonderfully delicate yet punchy opening credits theme.
I'm already a fan of ambient music from the likes of Brian Eno, so if I had to make a comparison I'd describe Mogwai's soundtrack as being a darker cousin to Eno's stuff. Most of the tracks are quietly ominous, but easy to listen to and enjoy for their inventive and memorable melodies. There's really only one *uplifting* track, 'Special N' - most definitely one of my favourites, and a nice refresher before plunging back into the brooding mystery of The Returned's other music. Aside from 'Special N', the stand-out tracks are 'Hungry Face' (the opening credits theme), 'Modern' (very catchy electronic track) and 'Wizard Motor'. You've got to love the names. 'Wizard Motor' is surely the most recognisable track after 'Hungry Face'; it accompanies many of The Returned's more dramatic scenes, and whenever I listen to it I can't avoid remembering the end of the first episode when we get a disturbingly immersive view of Camille's school coach plunging down the mountainside.
The only track I don't like out of the whole album is 'What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?'. I found hearing a lyrical song at the very end of an instrumental album to be jarring, and it wasn't helped by the singer's rather drawling, monotone delivery. Apart from that, 'Les Revenants' is an unblemished piece of musical delight, great for listening to in the background (especially for writing) or just listening for the sake of listening. Recommended.
I have found this to be a beautiful album....atmospheric ........I like many others enjoyed the TV series and the soundtrack enhanced my enjoyment.....when listening to the full tracks you are pulled in by their beauty.....I like Mogwai's stuff anyway but particulerly enjoyed this.......
Yes, this is fine if you like "quiet" atmospheric Mogwai, such as Music For a Forgotten Future from Hardcore Will Never Die. If you're looking for loud Mogwai, put on Batcat. There are 12 short quiet instrumentals - no long epics. Plus "What are they doing in heaven today", a "traditional arrangement" with vocals. Then the last track "Wizard Motor" is more of a normal Mogwai album track, and reminds me of White Noise. 50 minutes of stuff overall.
Wonderful soundtrack to a beautiful TV series. The Returned was the most original and thought provoking take on return of the dead ever made in my view, so very different to the American approach. Mogwai provided the perfect soundtrack which is haunting and very evocative of the series. I find it hard to judge the music without the pictures from the series in my head but I suspect that it would still work incredibly well simply as an album.
Having watched the TV series, which I think is great (can't wait for the next series to start), I thought I'd get the soundtrack and I'm really pleased I did, excellent. If you're a fan if the series or even if not and enjoy good music, BUY IT! You won't be disappointed. I actually bought the MP3 version, a perfect download