How I Live Now is the big screen adaptation of the award-winning young adult novel by Meg Rosoff, directed by acclaimed Academy Award winning director Kevin McDonald (The Last King Of Scotland, Marley). The original soundtrack is scored by Jon Hopkins, composer, producer and longterm collaborator of Brian Eno and Coldplay. Featuring some of his darkest, most nihilistic work to date, the score is built from two contrasting elements - atonal, sub-terrestrial drones with a backbone of pounding rhythms, and sublimely pastoral acoustic piano. These two opposing musical forces guide the viewer through the film, by turns disturbing and beautifully meditative. The centrepiece of the score is the track The Hawk, a timeless and heartbreaking theme that recurs throughout the film.
Like Lucien's first effort (1970's I Am Now), Rashida didn't set the world on fire commercially speaking, but it solidified Lucien's status as a purveyor of intelligent romantic ballads and poetic if not gushy lyrics. Even to fans of jazz/R&B/pop, Lucien is a love or hate proposition, and Rashida was the effort that all but etched his persona in stone. Produced by Shep Meyers and Larry Rosen, Rashida, displays Lucien's soothing baritone and romantic nature with much aplomb. As the arranger here, he also shows an immense capacity for melodies. Although this album has a few clunky but danceable tracks, at this point Lucien was much better at handling the ballads. "Kuenda," a mellow, wordless vocal, sets the stage for the album's ambience; "Would You Believe in Me" benefits from Lucien's relentless poesy and a strong idiosyncratic horn arrangement. To a listener, Lucien no doubt might seem like an odd bird, (having a track called "Satan" doesn't help), but often when the arrangements and Lucien's vocals are in sync, he is simply one of the most focused and emotional balladeers to even step in front of a microphone.