Bodysong is one of those rare film accompaniments where the rock star’s musical contribution isn’t the soundtrack, but the score. Much in the same vein as Yo La Tengo’s The Sounds of the Sounds of Science, Radiohead’s chief circuit breaker Jonny Greenwood embraces the lack of song structure and lets his creative energies overflow on this disc. The roots of Radiohead’s dystopic, claustrophobic sound of modern effluence are wiped haphazardly across the album’s grainy palette, and Greenwood would be hard-pressed to put together a bad song using his full-time band’s current anti-rock sound, but the best moments come when he covers completely new territory. “Splitter” is his hot jazz, ’60s spy film chase scene theme, complete with Tourette-ish trumpet bursts and a rattling rhythm section. “Milky Drops From Heaven” plays Jekyll and Hyde with its cool, smoky speakeasy flow and cacophonous back alley brain fever. “Converge,” perhaps the best track, is a free form percussive wall of sound, like the clatter of skeletal remains, which builds and coalesces into a huge, ominous heartbeat.
For the most part it’s hard to imagine this music being used to score a Fantastic Voyage type tour-of-the-human-body documentary. This is very fortuitous as it almost guarantees that the music will have relevancy even when it’s separated from the film. This album may not appeal to Radiohead’s more rock oriented fans, but the portion of the band’s fan base who enjoy experimentation should find some seriously exciting sounds on here.