“My Love Affair With Marriage” Review on FSMO


My Love Affair With Marriage *** 1/2
50 tracks – 48:17 Writer-Director Signe Baumane’s latest animated film, My Love Affair With Marriage, follows a young girl named Zelma who must come to grips with her own mythologized understanding of what it means to be female. The film played at Tribeca last year and then made the rounds on the festival circuit before landing a limited release in the States in October. Kristian Sensini (Rocks in My Pocket, La Sorpresa) is on hand once again to craft the score for his collaborator Baumane.A slow moving major scale kicks off the album in the “Main Titles,” with a vocalise sliding in amidst a lighter texture as it concludes. A more emotional track follows in the form of 
      “Enter Zelma
 where a warm string line is set against percussive rhythms that add a sense of energy. The percussive idea acts as an important propulsive component throughout the album, while the cello also serves as a sort of musical voice for this character, evolving across the score.A light harp and flute idea provides a contrasting flavor in “Love Fantasy,” while some of the score’s quirkier blends of instrumentation and styles can be found in “Self Control,” “Puberty” and “Nerve Growth Factor.” As the album progresses, the pervasive percussive segments seem to take on an almost world music quality. Furthering the score’s diversity, “Zelma Jonas Fantasy” features a nice waltz variant.Sensini’s score for My Love Affair With Marriage features strong thematic ideas that mostly alternate with the percussion-driven passages. Also prominent on the album are the film’s eclectic songs “Soul Mate”; the jazzy 
      “Elita’s Song
 “Marriage Is Forever,” “Alone” and plenty more—including several that feature dialogue and play out like brief musical theater excerpts. Many of these songs are texturally quirky in their own right, and are interspersed throughout the playlist in such a way that they feel integrated with the underscore.In the end, My Love Affair With Marriage features some of Kristian Sensini’s finest lyrical writing to date, as well as some more experimental stylings. The songs also stretch the music into various popular music idioms, diversifying the listening experience. Steven A. Kennedy