- Composed by Ennio Morricone
- Epic / 1997 / 70:03 (score 42:12)
Oliver Stone’s excellent U-Turn sees Sean Penn’s car break down in a small town in the American south while he’s on the run, with various shenanigans following involving him and Jennifer Lopez, whose husband hires him to kill her – and then she offers him money to kill her husband (Nick Nolte). Stone enticed the great Ennio Morricone to write the score, one the final ones he did for Hollywood. The album opens with half an hour of mostly country songs (including some classics from Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline) before the focus turns to Morricone’s score. The film’s a modern-day western in some ways and of course this composer has quite some experience in that genre, and he brings the quirkier aspects of his western style here too, in a score brimming with creativity. It starts with the sultry main theme, “Grace”, a breathy female vocal performing the hypnotic melody.
“U-Turn” is another great theme, a whole host of fluttering reeds accompanied by harmonica and guitars supporting the great tune. ”Bobby” has a really noirish tint to it, a slightly dangerous mystique. ”Hallucination Walk” is really hypnotic; “Go On… Kill Grace” devilishly darkly humorous. ”A Banjo in the Desert” does what it says – the instrument performing a duet with a harmonica over some trademark Morricone suspenseful strings. A sequence of more tense music follows – it doesn’t have the memorable melodies of the score’s earlier parts, but it’s still full of flavour and very entertaining. There are some more fantastic pieces, like the fabulously quirky “Dialogue with the Indian” and the diabolical action track “End of Sheriff”. Morricone does manage to build in one heart-meltingly gorgeous piece, “Old Family Souvenirs”, the theme being heard first performed by a dreamy female vocal before being taken up by violin, all with lilting guitar accompaniment. The whole score’s a wonderful piece of entertainment, so enjoyable throughout. Highly recommended.