Philip Selway - Let Me Go (Official Soundtrack) album review

First film score from Radiohead’s dark horse

Philip Selway - Let Me Go (Official Soundtrack) album artwork

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With two fine solo albums, Familial and Weatherhouse, Philip Selway has already proved that he’s a viable musical force away from the Radiohead drum stool, but this is his most impressive project yet. The soundtrack to Polly Steele’s film of Helga Schneider’s memoir, it rises to the story’s serious themes (family, loss and Auschwitz) with a refined, gentle touch, managing to stir the emotions while never sacrificing intimacy for the sake of pomp. Of course it’s foolish and reductive to box Selway as ‘the drummer’ anyway, his musical contributions to Radiohead having been so much more diverse. Here he brings in gorgeous strings (arranged by Laura Moody), electronics, glockenspiels and vibraphones. Lou Rhodes (Lamb) sings Walk with understated presence, while Selway sings two tracks with skilfully repressed urgency. His motifs find pockets of warmth within the sombre subject and while there are appropriately chilly, haunted diversions, there’s a kinship with the comforting melancholy of David Sylvian or John Martyn, or the softly invigorating atmospheres of Talk Talk. Let Me Go fills the room with a delicate grace. Jonny Greenwood, watch your back!

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.