Whether you believe "Inland Empire" is a great film filled with mystery, or a meaningless assemblage of unsettling scenes, you can't deny that it has a great soundtrack. Sound design has become so important to Lynch that all of his films since "Lost Highway" feature a constant extra-diegetic sound source of some sort. In "Lost Highway", there were obvious musical selections separated by ominous rumblings and barely audible industrial sounds. Now in IE, the distinction between what is "music" in the traditional sense and what is ambient sound is almost totally blurred. Not all music has melody, and not all ambient sound is without melody - even if only in an abstract sense. While I'm disappointed that Angelo Badalamenti didn't collaborate, Lynch seems to have taken on the task himself with great success.
In many ways, this is an interesting companion to the film. It appears that Lynch created lengthy selections, which he subsequently cut and arranged to work with the editing and flow of the film. Now, we're able to hear them in their entirety, as Lynch originally conceived them. To me, it's a fascinating window into his creative mind.
Beyond Lynch's original material, there are some interesting selections ranging from Beck to Penderecki's intense modernist works. The big disappointment for me was the curious omission of the music from the burlesque club scene. It was a great subversion of sleazy stripper jazz into something atonal, but still groovy.
Finally, many speculate that a lot of the film is explained in the lyrics of "Polish Poem", and this is an easy way to hear it. There do seem to be some answers, but as is typical for Lynch, they're clouded in vague, poetic language and end up raising more questions than they answer.
01. David Lynch - Ghost of Love
02. David Lynch - Rabbits Theme
03. Mantovani - Colors of My Life
04. David Lynch - Woods Variation
05. Dave Brubeck - Three To Get Ready
06. Boguslaw Schaeffer - Klavier Konzert
07. Kroke - The Secrets of the Life Tree
08. Little Eva - The Locomotion
09. David Lynch - Call From the Past
10. Krzysztof Penderecki - Als Jakob Erwachte
11. Witold Lutoslawski and Joey Altruda - Novele
12. Beck - Black Tambourine (film version)
13. David Lynch - Mansion Theme
14. David Lynch - Walkin' on the Sky
15. David Lynch and Marek Zebrowski - Polish Nig
16. David Lynch and Chrysta Bell - Polish Poem
17. Nina Simone - Sinnerman (edit)
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