Road to Perdition score by Thomas Newman

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dan Brecher, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    Thought I'd drop a couple of pence in for my thoughts on the score for the new film, The Road to Perdition.

    Those who know me well will know I am a bit of a Thomas Newman fanatic, actually, the whole Newman clan, Randy, Thomas, David and of course, Alfred, are very dear to my heart when it comes to film music.

    Released late last month, I only managed to pick up Thomas Newman's Road to Perdition score this morning. It's not out officialy here in the UK yet, so I had to wait for an import source. Sam Mendes takes his musical relationship with Newman to the next level, a good few steps up from the rather precussion based American Beauty.

    Typically, I love this score, it's everything I love about Thomas Newman's work. Incredibly moving cues of score are something that Newman delivers with ease. I can never fault them.
    I guess the fact that he's a string and piano fan like myself, is one of the reasons I am constantly drawn to his work. 'Tha Farm' (track 13) is one of a few such moving cues to be found on the Perdition score.

    The score is very strings based, yes there are the typical Thomas Newman sweeping moments, but there's darker tones at work here, much like the darker moments felt in his Green Mile score. In keeping with the Chicago routes of the film, the score also highlights many an Irish instrument (the Irish Bouzouki is one such instrument highlighted in the credit notes) which is somewhat of a new area for Newman to probe. He integrates such instruments perfectly with his usual approach in orchestration.

    The main theme itself, which you will hear in many cues (put to glorious use in the 'Cathedral cue) is a strings affair, just classic Newman. A seperate piano theme appears in many cues too. This is very much the Newman of Shawshank Redmption and Green Mile, if I am pressed to compare it to his previous works at least.

    'Dirty Money', track 14, is a rather grand cue, stirring strings rising and rising. The whole cue makes me smile, it's a great bit of music, dare I say, inspiring. It's the sort of cue you want to run when you need to get things done. As a writer, I like to write to music constantly, I can see this entire score assisting my imagination as I work.

    Newman pretty much delivers his full range of talents here with the score. Moving cues, light harted moments, dark brooding cues and cues with epic prescence. Instantly recognisable as Newman (his bringing together of various orchestral components and players rarely changes), this score is further continuation of a great, great composer who can frankly do it all.

    Of course, I am lusting to see the film itself, and hear how the music plays against the images. The UK release date for the film I believe is next month. I am pleased to see some HTF members in praise of the film over in the Movies forum.

    Dan
     
  2. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the review. I am also a fan of the Newmans. I espacially like Thomas Newmman's Shawshank Redemption and Randy Newman's Avalon and The Natural.

    I am anxious to see this movie, since a great deal of it was filmed in and around Chicago, although I live about 125 miles south of Chicago.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Great review Dan and I have been listening to the cd since yesterday. I usually don't buy soundtracks, but I couldn't help myself.



    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Kirk Tsai

    Kirk Tsai Screenwriter

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    From hearing the score within the context of the movie, I can see how this score on a CD could be a good listen, but I don't think it is effective in the movie. Because of the film's deliberate pace and mood, the score reaches out too many times as if to teach us what to think. Unlike many unjust criticisms on film scores being bombastic, this one is indeed overbearing to the point of distrusting the audience's reaction. Still, I look forward to individual tracks like Dirty Money which are clearly exciting cues even within the movie.
     
  5. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Thanks for the review Dan, we don't get enough detailed reviews like this here in the Music Forum. I enjoyed the music within the films context, I'm anxious to hear this outside of that. Not my next purchase, but it is on the list, thanks
     
  6. Paul.S

    Paul.S Producer

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    Dan:

    Wait 'til you see the outstanding film--replete with beautiful images thanks to Conrad Hall--which that score accompanies!

    Cheers,
    Paul
     
  7. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Dan Brecher said:
     
  8. Dan Brecher

    Dan Brecher Producer

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    You cut it close there, Dome... Comments like that about some hack like Horner I can handle. [​IMG] A strike against any of the the Newman clan results in a serious ass whoppin. [​IMG]
    Dan
     

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