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Draft Day
  • Composed by John Debney
  • Lakeshore Records / 2014 / 52m

Kevin Costner stars in Draft Day, Ivan Reitman’s film about an American football coach rebuilding his team on the day of the yearly draft.  Composer John Debney teams up with Reitman for the third time.  He has always been amongst the most chameleonic film composers, seemingly happily switching at will between genres of music from one score to the next, so you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get.  Draft Day is a very modern score, so don’t be expecting one of those inspirational sports scores, with the composer laying a whole array of electronics over his orchestra.  He drew from the fact that the film takes place over a 24-hour period to give it a kind of “ticking clock” feel – it’s easy to imagine a busy newsroom with a deadline approaching while listening to the percussion urgently driving things forward.  Easy too at times to think of Thomas Newman, who seems to have been an influence to some extent.

As well as all the percussion and guitars, there’s an orchestra here which is used to full effect fairly sparingly (and always with some degree of electronics), but it’s effective enough, whether a kind of sweat-soaked brassy machismo (check out the wonderful “Bo Callahan and Ray Jennings Arrive”) or more tender writing for strings.  Draft Day is clearly not by any means going to go down as one of the great film scores, but it makes an enjoyable, if slightly over-long album.  The blend of traditional and modern works very well (there’s never a doubt that there’s a real composer behind this), there’s a good energy level behind it and the more expansive moments are very enjoyable.  On the downside it isn’t especially memorable, but it’s certainly entertaining as far as it goes.

Rating: *** | |

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  1. Muckle Dabuckle (Reply) on Friday 11 April, 2014 at 15:18

    Hmmm…I had high hopes that this would be a classic sports score like Rudy, etc. Debney is usually great with writing memorable themes for movies like this. Doesn’t sound terrible though. I’ll have to check out the samples or see if it’s on one of the music streaming subscription services.

  2. Troy Cullison (Reply) on Saturday 4 October, 2014 at 01:37

    Have just finished listening to this score, and found it highly enjoyable. I have not yet seen the film, but the tracks gave highly suggestive clues to the emotions to be found. John Debney is one of my favorite (and most versatile) composers, and I was not disappointed her.