‘A Walk Among The Tombstones’
Soundtrack Review Music By Carlos Rafael Rivera
Varese Sarabande/13 Tracks/Disc Time: 30:48
The film “A Walk Among The Tombstones” is the latest film from Writer/Director Scott Frank, who had directed the brilliant “The Lookout” seven years ago and contributed heavily to the well-received “The Wolverine”. Here Frank recruited hot leading action star Liam Neeson (“Taken”, “Non-Stop”) as Matthew Scudder, a former cop turned private investigator hired by a mob boss whose wife is kidnapped and It seems like they killed her even after he paid them. Scudder takes the job. He does some research and thinks the men he is looking for have done this more than once. And that everyone they grabbed is connected to a drug dealer. He was about to give up when they grab another girl and Scudder tries make sure she’s returned alive. The film is based on the novel by Lawrence Black and is to be released on Blu-Ray and DVD in the next month.
Doing the music for the film is composer Carlos Rafael Rivera, who until this score had personally never heard of him and from my research, he’s a guitarist and a solid musician. This score is really moody in every aspect and his guitar solos do give it some warmth and humanity admist the darkness that shrowds the score and the film along with this album for its’ brief duration. There is a nice rich orchestrial setting along with a choir that make the score a little more diverse than expected.
From the opening strains of the films’ “Main Title” which features a guitar solo amongst electronics that set up a dark, moody world that filled with melodic darkness. The rest of the score pretty much takes up its’ cue from the opening material, but there are some nice moments that try to lighten up the material somewhat and those tracks are the scores’ best asset to me personally. Highlighted by the tracks “Kenny’s Story”, “Matt Scudder”, and “Kenny In The Basement”, these track feature a nice diverse orchestrial feel to them along with the added choir at times that fill it with a darkly hued richness. “Aftermath / Reprise” ends the score reprising the scores’ main thematic material that really feels like a downbeat ending of sorts with acoustic guitar and keyboards with strings flowing in the background giving it some sort of warmth. The suspense material highlighted by “Red Hook”, “Matt Follows Loogan”, “Finding Loogan’s Shed”, “Drive To The Cemetery”, and “Among The Tombstones” that are exactly as advertised mood, moody and moodier throughout the length of their tracks.
Varese Sarabande’s album is very brief at 30 minutes like the old days of the label and this is plenty for this score which is just moody and atmospheric throughout with some brief moments of light and tenderness with is a rarity especially with a revenge thriller of this sort. I’ve heard alot of these scores over the years and there are many that work and most are just think they’re too cleaver for its’ audience and go for something that is a complete turn off. Here it’s a tale of two cases: it works because it it does exactly what it is supposed to do and that is create a darkly hued canvas of darkness and scum and the other is that alittle of it goes a long way and it gets tiresome after a while. Rivera does get alot of credit for originality and for being a fresh face on the scene as well as the label for always giving chances for new composers and exposure for their music. “A Walk Among The Tombstones” has some good moments, but I can’t quite recommend it despite some solid original material. Marginal thumbs down.