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Jonny Greenwood | Bodysong | review | alternative | rock | Lollipop

Jonny Greenwood

Bodysong (Capitol)
by Tim Den

It's almost too fitting that the first member of Radiohead to release a "solo album" is multi-instrumentalist Jonny Greenwood. Over the years, young Greenwood has expanded his "lead guitarist" role into a gaggle of duties, from radio static dude to theremin guy to xylophonist. It was only a matter of time before he explored the full potential of each of his tools to make something entirely his own.

Well, in this case, maybe not entirely his own. Bodysong is the accompanying soundtrack to the documentary of the same name, based upon the journey of the human lifespan. Greenwood, keeping the film's themes and moods in mind, fulfills his most experimental leanings by using what seems like everything but the guitar to paint his work. The standard strings-and-percussion "film score" set-up is utilized on most of Bodysong, but never without some sort of electronic dabbling or sound manipulation. The result is 13 vignettes that feel like the crossroads of humanity and technology, pulsing with atmosphere that's both utterly real yet artificial and cold.

Obviously, don't bother looking for any sort of "songs" here. Bodysong is meant to be a musical dialogue for the film, which means it tries to communicate through movement rather than please the three-minute song appetite. Perhaps the best way to experience it would be to watch the film, but Bodysong - on its own - still accomplishes its intent of capturing both the subject matter's essence and Greenwood's composing abilities.

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