- Composed by Ludwig Goransson
- Lakeshore Records / 2013 / 52m
Fruitvale Station tells the true story of Oscar Grant, shot in cold blood by transportation police in San Francisco on New Year’s Day 2009, causing an outcry. The film has played at various festivals generally to great acclaim, winning awards at both Sundance and Cannes. The film’s score was written by Swedish composer Ludwig Goransson, but before the album gets to that, we hear a few songs – “Mob Shit” by The Jacka, Cellski and Peezy being the first. I’m not generally familiar with the work of The Jacka, Cellski and Peezy and I have to be brutally honest and say that “Mob Shit” is not very likely to turn me into a long-term fan. The other songs on the album include “Hey Little Mama” by Mistah F.A.B., Johnny Ca$h and (once more) The Jacka – though don’t be fooled into thinking that Johnny Ca$h is the same as Johnny Cash. I think it’s safe to say that if the barometer of success by which you judge a song is the number of times it features the words “fuck” and “nigger” then your barometer will be working overtime. I’m more at the end of the spectrum that thinks Elvis Presley’s pelvic thrusts are still just a little bit racy for network television. But whatever floats your boat.
Fortunately if you skip to track six then you’ll only hear the score, which doesn’t feature either “fuck” or “nigger” a single time (so you may as well put that barometer back away). Unfortunately, it’s very much of the ambient drone variety. Given the film’s subject matter, this is entirely understandable – the director wanted music that would serve to boost the atmosphere of the film but clearly not draw attention to itself, and that’s precisely what he got. The flimsiest of keyboard patches come and go with tiny little rhythmic figures buzzing in and out of audible range, occasionally joined by an electric guitar chord or a sound effect. It goes without saying that this album isn’t really aimed at someone like me, but if you’re into exceptionally low key electronica then you might find it more rewarding.
Rating: No stars