Dissonance and powerful movements dominate the work, and help give the movie an appropriate off-balance feel. And with soundtracks often full of artists more for marketing purposes than anything, Greenwood's strings provide a smart alternative, even taking a minimal, artistic approach.
The opening track, "Open Spaces", begins with a dark presence before adding an element of intrigue with angular violins. It sets the tone of dangerous mystery, as represented by Day-Lewis' performance throughout. "Future Markets" chugs perilously before releasing the tension in an eerie calm. The jagged violins and prickling piano interplay on "Eat Him By His Own Light" is another great example of Greenwood's ability to portray the way Day-Lewis' character cuts into his environment with an intentionally careless lack of precision. "Henry Plainview" features some of the most startlingly disturbed strings ever heard in a movie soundtrack.
The depth of the There Will Be Blood soundtrack comes from Jonny Greenwood's arrangements, which are understated enough to not distract from the movie and provoke it instead. The sometimes quiet, sometimes wild, and often striking orchestration go beyond the typical, shallow movie soundtrack while intelligently fueling the uniquely sinister vibe of There Will Be Blood.
MP3 Stream: "Open Spaces"