Insider

The Insider

5.0 1
by Lisa Gerrard
     
 

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At first, it might seem like a strange pairing: the lushly somber, almost sacred music of former Dead Can Dancer Lisa Gerrard and collaborator Pieter Bourke with the terse, highly stylized filmmaking of director Michael Mann ("Heat," "Miami Vice"). But considering the deeply human emotional issues underscoring Mann's "The Insider," a

Overview

At first, it might seem like a strange pairing: the lushly somber, almost sacred music of former Dead Can Dancer Lisa Gerrard and collaborator Pieter Bourke with the terse, highly stylized filmmaking of director Michael Mann ("Heat," "Miami Vice"). But considering the deeply human emotional issues underscoring Mann's "The Insider," a film about the fallout of the "60 Minutes" tobacco industry exposé, the association makes perfect sense. Gerrard's chillingly formless vocals and similarly bleak, hallowed backing -- elegiac string and synth oozings, pan-ethnic-informed percussive textures -- is charged with as much tension, despair, and electricity as Mann's storytelling. In addition to Gerrard and Bourke's shadowy near-instrumentals, the soundtrack employs pieces by composers Graeme Revell ("The Crow"), Gustavo Santaolalla, and Jan Garbarek to fill in the remaining skeletal moodscapes. Massive Attack's pulsating "Safe from Harm" offers the album's sole moment of modern pop cool, but its hypnotically pristine ebb and flow works as an unobtrusive setup for Gerrard and Bourke's vaguely trip-hopish, and equally haunting closing track, "Meltdown."

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Carol Wright
The soundtrack to Michael Mann's gripping film "The Insider" is just as compelling and potent as the story of a tobacco industry "insider" who risks everything to expose the business's evil intentions on television's "60 Minutes." The smoky sonic perfumes of singer Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke -- a.k.a. Dead Can Dance -- underscore the serious, unsettling nature of the subject. The soundtrack doesn't paint visuals of newsrooms or high-powered boardrooms; instead, the music deals with life-threatening moral issues that thump inside one's chest. The album begins with "Tempest," a dizzying yet compelling composition for Middle Eastern hand drum, gongs, sound effects, whispers, and vocalizations. The tragic "Sacrifice" is a low and resonant dirge that features Gerrard's unique voice feeling its way sorrowfully over a transcendent symphonic setting that teeters between ecstasy and total loss. ("Tempest" and "Sacrifice" were culled from Gerrard's DUALITY album). "The Subordinate" begins in a panic-stricken rush, then expands into something more ominous. Gerrard's inky vocalizations underscore the main character's "Exile." A lonely piano takes the solo on "Broken," orchestra and church bells ponder fate on "Faith," and a banjo prickles the senses on "Iguazu" (played by Gustavo Santaolalla). On "Safe from Harm," Massive Attack continues the mood, but adds trendy rhythms. In spite of the somber slant to Gerrard's music (often termed "goth" or "neo-goth"), the music is extraordinarily peaceful and healing -- which should come as no surprise to fans of Dead Can Dance. What a relief to find a top soundtrack album that's not hyped with commercial pop tunes, but offers real emotional depth.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Michael Mann is an unconventional director, so it's entirely appropriate that the score for The Insider, his meditation on tobacco whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand, doesn't play by the rules either. The bulk of the album is comprised of collaborations between Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke, with three tracks from Graeme Revell and equally atmospheric contributions from Gustavo Santaolalla, Jan Garbarek, and Massive Attack. The result is eerie and haunting, somewhere between ambient and new age, but always evocative and cinematic. This may be a strange choice for a seemingly dry journalism tale, but it works terrifically and gives a good sense of how unusual and unpredictable The Insider is.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/26/1999
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646391822
catalogNumber:
63918

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lisa Gerrard   Primary Artist,Track Performer
Jan Garbarek   Track Performer
Massive Attack   Track Performer
Graeme Revell   Track Performer
Gustavo Santaolalla   Track Performer
Pieter Bourke   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Massive Attack   Producer
Paul Oakenfold   Remixing
Graeme Revell   Producer
David Coleman   Art Direction
Manfred Eicher   Producer
Robert Fernandez   Scoring Engineer
Lisa Gerrard   Producer
John Kurlander   Scoring Engineer
Michael Mann   Soundtrack Executive Producer
Shara Nelson   Composer
Steve Osborne   Remixing
Gustavo Santaolalla   Producer
Tim Simonec   Orchestration
Dan Wallin   Scoring Engineer
Scott Smalley   Orchestration
Pieter Bourke   Producer,Engineer
Robert "3D" del Naja   Composer
Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles   Composer
William E. Cobham   Composer
Grantley Marshall   Composer
Brent Best   Composer
Johnny Dollar   Producer

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The Insider 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not only was the movie one of the best of the year, I knew that I would be buying the soundtrack half way through the movie. It wasn't until later that I discovered that much was done by Dead Can Dance, a suberb band.