The last couple Reznor-Ross soundtracks weren’t hitting as hard: on The Killer they ceded ground to Morrissey, replacing their multi-tone soundscapes for atmospherics; Bones and All found them exploring some more pastoral tones to admirable, if limited ends; Empire of Light, what can you say. There’s a special joy, then, listening to their work for Challengers, which our review was indeed correct in calling “their most inspired work in some time”––it suggests those bouncier, more aggressive bits from The Social Network becoming an entire album unto themselves. (Remiss not to note a leitmotif that sounds just the least bit like a Nintendo 64 tennis game, which can only be offered as highest praise.)

There’s also “Compress / Repress,” a track the duo wrote with Luca Guadagnino and which finds Reznor making a rare vocal appearance. It’s been, somehow, six years since a non-instrumental Nine Inch Nails album; this writer hopes it sparks something of the frontman’s old habits.

Listen below:

There’s also a version of the score remixed by Boys Noize, which you can listen to below.

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