An Inconvenient Truth
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“Most documentaries suffer from generic soundtracks or the most rudimentary of scores, often cut by the director’s friend. But then most of them don’t have Michael Brook as composer. The guitarist is best known for his world fusion work with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and other Real World artists and his own ambient fusion releases likeRockPaperScissors and Hybrid. It’s the latter side that’s tapped for Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, his dire documentation of Earth’s warming and the government’s inability to tackle the problem. Those themes dominate the film, but Gore’s treatise is surrounded by personal reflections and autobiographical side trips. It’s in these segments that most of Brook’s music is used. He manages to be pastoral, reflecting Gore’s Tennessee farm roots; and atmospheric, underscoring Gore’s emotional personal journey. Plaintive guitars (“Katrina”), processed guitar washes (“Main Title–River View”), touches of ambient Americana (“How Could I Spend My Time?”), and even a bit of U2’s quietly anthemic pulse (“Science”) emerge. Some of the best tracks, like “Best Unsaid” and “Carte Noir,” weren’t even used in the film. This score works as individual songs, but even better as an album-length dip into a melodic, rustic ambience, a drift down an American river, where shadows lie around the bend and dark shoals are just beneath the surface. -John Diliberto
“Guitarist/composer/Real World fusionist Michael Brook’s soundtrack for Al Gore’s environmental doomsday documentary An Inconvenient Truth relies heavily on the eclectic artist’s gifts for atmosphere. Brook’s serpentine soundscapes echo Daniel Lanois’ work on Billy Bob Thornton’s Sling Blade, relying on distinctly American-sounding motifs that illuminate Gore’s rural upbringing while maintaining the feel of the ominous smokestack that graces the album’s cover. -James Christopher Monger, All Music Guide