Music By Cliff Martinez & Various Artists
Score Produced By Cliff Martinez
Lakeshore Records LKS 342322
19 Tracks/Running Time: 70:19 (50:03 of Martinez’s Score)
To Be Released On September 27, 2011
Drive which opens this weekend is a throwback action-thriller that harkens to both the 70’s and 80’s when thrillers of this sort were the style and in vogue. The film which features a dynamite cast starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Ron Pearlman, Christina Hendricks and Bryan Cranston features a plot involving a Hollywood stunt performer played by Gosling who moonlights as a wheelman off the clock. After a botched heist, a contract hit is put on him and soon has to quickly outwit his mentor crime boss played by Brooks and also protect a woman (Mulligan) and her child from her whacked out husband. The film was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn who is an up and coming international director.
This has been a rather busy year for Cliff Martinez, the former member of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers having scored the terrific and extremely entertaining adapation of Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey and Ryan Phillippe and Steven Soderburgh’s viral thriller Contagion, which opened just last week at top of the box office. Not to mention this is the third film he’s scored featuring Breaking Mad star Bryan Cranston, as also co-starred in Lincoln Lawyer and Contagion.
Martinez has been an intriguing composer and has really stretched his style as his brilliant score for Soderburgh’s remake of Solaris, ten years ago attests to. He always tries to do something different for each film he scores and the three films including this one that he’s scored do feature something unique. Drive like I said is a throwback film and one that looks more 80’s in feel and it’s not surprsing that the style that Martinez aims for with his score is to that of the legendary synthesizer group Tangerine Dream, who dominated the early 80’s with some terrific work for Risky Business, Thief and The Keep. The score not surprisingly sounds in style to Risky Business with it’s moody ambiance and colorful keyboard work. The music doesn’t try to stand out as much as it really should, but then again maybe that’s what it was aiming for. There are some solid moments like the mood and atmospheric tracks “Where’s The Deluxe Version?”, “After The Chase” and “Hammer”. The rest is a mixed bag of moodiness that sometimes just is a bit much unfortunately. While it may work in the film, it probably is a turn off for most on an album.
I’m a fan of 80’s synthesizer scores and while this score isn’t entirely bad, but it’s not entirely memorable either at times. That’s a shame because Martinez has put a lot of effort into this one, but I guess it was the film’s tone that was largely the inspiration for the music. His music is good when he’s really given alot of room to stretch like he did with Lincoln Lawyer and for most of Steven Soderburgh’s films. About twenty minutes worth of songs also add to this very nice package by Kavinsky & Lovefoxx, Desire, Chriomatics and Riz Ortolani which provide solid backing to Martinez’s music.
Drive is an album that is definitely for fans of 80’s electronic scores and mostly for nostalgia. For current fans, it unfortunately might be a turn off in that regard. I highly recommend his Lincoln Lawyer score which is terrific and a perfect companion piece to this score.
(UPDATE) In relistening to this soundtrack again, I’m going to have to say that this score is better than the first time around and it just wasn’t one that at time would stick out as much as it has. So instead of a two star, it gets a four star review instead. Check out Martinez’ interview with Carson Daily on NBC Tonight at 12:30 EST!!!!!
Drive opens in theaters this Friday nationwide and the soundtrack will be released on October 11 (UPDATED) available locally at Barnes and Noble and J&R Music And Computer World downtown as well as Amazon.
01. Nightcall – Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx
02. Under Your Spell – Desire
03. A Real Hero – College feat. Electric Youth
04. Oh My Love – Riz Ortolani feat. Katyna Ranieri
05. Tick of the Clock – The Chromatics
06. Rubber Head—Cliff Martinez
07. I Drive—Cliff Martinez
08. He Had a Good Time—Cliff Martinez
09. They Broke His Pelvis—Cliff Martinez
10. Kick Your Teeth—Cliff Martinez
11. Where’s The Deluxe Version?—Cliff Martinez
12. See You in Four—Cliff Martinez
13. After The Chase—Cliff Martinez
14. Hammer—Cliff Martinez
15. Wrong Floor—Cliff Martinez
16. Skull Crushing—Cliff Martinez
17. My Name on a Car—Cliff Martinez
18. On The Beach—Cliff Martinez
19. Bride of Deluxe—Cliff Martinez
– Danny Gonzalez
Film Music Examiner New York-NYC