Sorry To Bother You (Original Score) by Tune-Yards

Sorry To Bother You is a sci-fi dark comedy directed by Boots Riley. It stars Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson along with Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross and Armie Hammer. The score is written and performed by Tune Yards. The film has a soundtrack by Californian hip-hop group The Coup. The difference being that the characters can’t hear the score but can hear the soundtrack, according to director Riley.

Limited Vinyl LP £15.25 4AD0155LPE

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Sorry To Bother You (Original Score) by Tune-Yards
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7/10 Daoud 27 November 2019

Did you watch ‘Sorry To Bother You’? Boots Riley’s brilliant pro-union, anti billionaire tech weirdo satire from last year? If you haven’t, please do, it’s well good. And that is in part thanks to a score from Tune-Yards, which managed to match the energy, inventiveness, and plain weirdness that made the film such a triumph.

It’s Tune-Yards so you pretty much know what you’re going to expect; Merrill Garbus and a loop pedal. The archetypal track here is ‘SIGNS (Detroit’s Theme) which has Garbus looping Tune-Yards-ish vocal hooks over each other until you’re left with something as disorienting and expansive as the motor city itself. The rhythms she adds give the loops a structure and direction that makes them a good fit for film.

Compared to her albums, ‘Sorry To Bother You (Original Score) is a little pared back. It’s welcome, as no film could sustain the bright and colourful chaos Garbus thrives in. It wasn’t enough for Garbus to make music to match the world of Tessa Thompson’s artist character (pictured on the artwork here in some pretty magnificent ear rings). She also had to match Arnie Hammer’s tech bro arsehole. And she does. The likes of ‘Regalview Theme’ and ‘Triumph’ are worthy sendups of the sort of benign jingle that corporations think are inspirational. 

There are snippets of dialogue from the film tastefully interspersed throughout these recordings, which make for a welcome reminded of that brilliant film. But good as this score is, it can never match the raw experience of watching the film itself.



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