The Chemical Brothers: Hanna

chemical brothers, hannaThe Chemical Brothers: Hanna
Almost half a year after it was released digitally, The Chemical Brothers debut soundtrack to the Joe Wright, Hanna is released physically.
When I heard The Chemical Brothers were going to score Hanna, the first thing I thought of was Daft Punk scoring Tron: Legacy. Both were fairly big dance groups in the 90s and both were releasing soundtracks around the same time. The difference is Tron: Legacy was a huge event with corporate tie-ins while Hanna was a fairly ignored film.
Being a fairly ignored film could have worked to the Chemical Brothers’ advantage. People did not come into Hanna expecting a futuristic, sci-fi anthem-filled soundtrack. Like most people’s knowledge of Hanna the film, most people expected nothing out of the soundtrack. The unfortunate part is that Hanna lives up to people’s expectations.
While Daft Punk’s scoring of Tron was a disappointment, at least it produced the popular single “Derezzed”. The Chemical Brothers’ soundtrack is in no danger of producing a single. As a matter of fact, The Chemical Brothers’ soundtrack is barely in danger of producing a worthwhile moment. The duo is completely stripped of their dance sensibilities and experimentalism as they produce what essentially adds up to muzak.
Some critics have praised the group that they could put away their bombastic nature that produced singles like “Setting Sun” in order to make calm background music. While I do agree that the soundtrack is good background music, it is too predictable. There are any one of thousand scorers with a much cheaper price tag than the Chemical Brothers that could have produced the exact same soundtrack.
I think even the Chemical Brothers realized this flaw as they produced 19 tracks of fairly boring instrumentals before tacking on one vocal track as track 20. “Hanna’s Theme,” the album’s opening track, gets a vocal makeover from Stephanie Dosen. The track is the closest the soundtrack comes to “single” material but it hardly packs any punch. It is more reminiscent of work by French groups like Air than of the Chemical Brothers’ previous work.
In the end, it is hard not to find Hanna more disappointing than Daft Punk’s handling of Tron. At least Daft Punk was able to hang on to some piece of themselves in their scoring efforts, the Chemical Brothers seem to lose all their characteristics while trying to make a soundtrack. In that they create a mundane and easily reproduced work.
Rating: 2.8/10
MP3: The Chemical Brothers featuring Stephanie Dosen “Hanna’s Theme”
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