There has been so much playing in my place this month, it's actually been a tricky decision to make... This week's winner however has to be Ramin Djawadi's score for Westworld!

I almost didn't go for it on the basis that I'm only halfway through the first season and I kind of wanted to complete it before writing about the score, but I decided to just go for it anyway...

With 34 cues and a running time of 1hr 49mins, it's packed full of emotive and provocative ideas which work alongside the show perfectly, but I feel we need to talk about this soundtrack in two parts... The "score" part and the "covers' part...

First off, I've got to say that the Pianola (which performs the bulk of the "covers" part of the soundtrack) in the show is basically my favourite character, I know that probably sounds strange, but I literally feel like that self playing piano is a person as it has so much to say! I first caught it playing Radiohead's No Surprises which totally took me by surprise (no pun intended)... Later I came to find that it would perform more than just Radiohead; The Rolling Stones, Soundgarden, The Animals, The Cure and even Amy Winehouse make an appearance at different times thorough the show. Djawadi must have had so much fun mapping those songs out for the piano, and I love the mechanical approach he achieves through rigid performance quantisation juxtaposed with the slightly out of tune, almost honky tonk tone that the piano outputs; it's a real mechanical perfection meets imperfection approach which in context with the show, is actually very cleaver. 

The "score" parts of the soundtrack really hit me during playback, I truly think this is some of Ramin's best work in terms of his TV scores, and he's worked on a lot of shows! I love upbeat, energetic cues which nod at Ennio Morricone's approach to the classic westerns we have come to know and love; the dark, moody and haunting underscores; the simplistic and gentle emotional approach when it comes the more sombre subjects, the ambient piano beds; and of course those aggressive hybrid cues.

Let's face it, the whole score is amazing, but my three standout cues would have to be "Dr. Ford" for it's lush opening violin performance, gripping ambient beds, relaxing piano sections and overwhelming orchestration of the main theme towards the finale of the cue. This is quickly followed by "Reveries" (yes I love Harmonics), but it's just the way the track builds, the sweeping movement of the strings, the melody told perfectly by the piano and final violin performance which gets me. Finally, "Paint It Black", I mean it's a classic Rolling Stones track anyway, but it's been arranged for orchestra in the style of Ennio Morricone, must I really say any more? 

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