Have you ever wondered what Drive would sound like if it had a different soundtrack Well, you're not alone. Johnny Jewel, the mastermind behind Italians Do It Better and the producer of Glass Candy, Chromatics, and Desire, was originally hired to score the 2011 neo-noir thriller starring Ryan Gosling. However, most of his music was rejected by the director Nicolas Winding Refn, who opted for a more minimalist approach by Cliff Martinez.
But Jewel didn't let his work go to waste. He released his rejected score as a standalone album under the name Symmetry, titled Themes For An Imaginary Film. The album is a sprawling 37-track epic that spans over two hours and covers a wide range of genres and moods, from synth-pop to ambient to electro to orchestral. It's a cinematic journey that evokes the dark and stylish atmosphere of Drive, but also stands on its own as a coherent and captivating musical narrative.
The album opens with \"Introduction\", which sets the tone with car sounds and ominous synths. Then it transitions into \"City of Dreams\", a catchy and upbeat track that recalls the opening credits of Drive, where Gosling cruises through the neon-lit streets of Los Angeles. The album then shifts gears into more tense and suspenseful tracks, such as \"Over the Edge\", \"Paper Chase\", and \"Behind the Wheel\", which feature pulsating rhythms, distorted guitars, and eerie melodies. The album also has moments of calm and beauty, such as \"Midnight Sun\", \"Love Theme\", and \"Memories Are Forever\", which showcase Jewel's talent for crafting emotional and haunting tunes with viola, cello, piano, and vocals.
The album is not a direct translation of Drive's plot, but rather an interpretation of its themes and mood. Jewel said in an interview with Pitchfork[^1^] that he wanted to create a score that was \"more like a dream than a movie\". He also said that he was inspired by John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and Giorgio Moroder, among others. The album pays homage to these influences, but also adds Jewel's own signature touch of retro-futuristic synth sounds and production techniques.
Symmetry: Themes For An Imaginary Film is a rare example of a rejected film score that transcends its original purpose and becomes a masterpiece in its own right. It's a testament to Jewel's creativity and vision as a composer and producer. Whether you're a fan of Drive or not, you should give this album a listen. It will take you on a thrilling and mesmerizing ride that you won't forget.
The album was released in 2012 by Italians Do It Better, Jewel's own label that specializes in synth-based music. The album was initially available as a digital download, but later it was also pressed on vinyl and CD. The vinyl edition is a triple LP that comes in various colors and features a full-color jacket with embossed silver foil[^2^]. The CD edition is a double disc that comes in a cardboard sleeve. The album cover depicts a steering wheel and dashboard, which are recurring motifs in Drive and Jewel's music.
The album received critical acclaim from various publications and websites, such as Pitchfork, The Guardian, Resident Advisor, and FACT. Pitchfork gave the album an 8.1 out of 10 and praised Jewel's ability to create \"a well-rounded portrait of a key figure in the American electronic music landscape\"[^1^]. The Guardian called the album \"a stunning piece of work\" and \"a masterclass in mood-setting\". Resident Advisor described the album as \"a sprawling epic that's as ambitious as it is accomplished\" and \"a rare example of a film score that works just as well without its visual counterpart\". FACT ranked the album as the 14th best of 2012 and highlighted its \"richness and depth\".
The album also influenced other artists and projects, such as Chromatics' Kill For Love, which features some tracks from Symmetry, and Drive Radio, an online radio station that plays synthwave music inspired by Drive and its soundtrack. The album also spawned a fan-made video for the track \"Streets of Fire\", which uses footage from Drive and matches it with the lyrics sung by Adam Miller of Chromatics[^3^]. The video has over 1.5 million views on YouTube and showcases the synergy between Jewel's music and Drive's visuals. aa16f39245