My experience with Howard Shore’s Rosewater Soundtrack wasn’t an easy pill to swallow. Also, mind you the album does feature other artists such as Leonard Cohen, 25 Band, and Mahdyar Aghajani.
The soundtrack opens with Rosewater, a moody track that runs just under three minutes and features the poem “These Are Strange Times Dearest”, written by Ahmad Shamloo and read by Shahreh Aghdashloo (an actress from the film). Beneath the poem is Shore’s peaceful, yet ominous brooding composition that unfortunately doesn’t do much to stir the imagination, an attribute I like soundtracks to have. If I haven’t seen the film, guide me with thought provoking movements.
Green Movement is a great track, even at just a little over one minute. The fast paced percussion, subtle strings that burst into life the further the track progresses and the Ney Flute that kind of acts as your guiding light gives you an edge of your seat feel. I can see this as a movement that brings on a chase or danger slowly progressing towards shattering calm.
New Bloom (excerpt) is the first electronic track on the album that features the voice talent of Mahdyar Aghajani. The electronic composition can induce anything from fear to wonder. Out of context with it’s place in the film it’s hard to gauge where the song is coming from other then the title, but it works well as a stand alone tune.
Evin Prison is the first track from Shore himself that steps outside of the recent tracks comfort zones. It’s like Howard Shore meets The Dust Brothers. Shores kind of quiet front meets the ominous cool of the Fight Club soundtrack.
Solitary really does convey a sense of solitary ambiance. It sounds like you’re down a well and the world is going on above you, yet you are unable to see what’s happening. It’s a bit frightening as well.
Vagheyi (excerpt) is another track featuring Mahfyar Aghajani and mixes a percussion/vocal base that features some rapping but feels a bit short even at two minutes and thirteen seconds. It is an excellent track though.
Davood returns to that strange mix of Shore meets Dust Brothers feel. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t seem to move away from the idea. The track seems like a springboard that moves from nervousness into action.
The album closes out with 25 Band’s Ye Baade Khonak. It’s an acquired taste. Personally it reminded me of the many Korean Pop tunes from various soundtracks my wife listens to. Very poppy, kind of trying to tie in pop, rock, rap and fun together in a commercially viable way. You learn to love it or ignore it I guess.