Latest reviews of new albums:
Let Them All Talk
  • Composed by Thomas Newman
  • Lakeshore / 20m

A comedy drama from Steven Soderbergh, Let Them All Talk is set on a cruise ship and stars Meryl Streep playing a writer traveling across the Atlantic to collect an award, with her entourage. Low-budget and reportedly largely improvised, the film has proved to be a critical hit but you can only see it if you’ve got HBO Max, which at the moment means you can only see it if you’re in America. The brief score is by the great Thomas Newman, who has worked with the director a couple of times before, and opens typically enough for the composer, with it hard to imagine a more prototypical Newman drama piece than the quirky “Consciousness”.

What follows is very much not a typical Newman drama score. From “Waltz for Alice” onwards we are firmly set in 60s cool territory – that piece, clearly inspired by John Barry’s The Knack, is a foot-tapping little piece with great use of female voices over the jazz ensemble. I love “Poison” with its Hammond organ, a prime example of what the score really does throughout – with the exception of that opening cue, the dissonant “Bees” and the shimmering electronic soundscape of “Night Sky”, it’s much more like source music than dramatic underscore, but Newman does manage to convey feelings – some ironic, some straight. It’s not really like anything else he’s done, at least that I can think of – but he’s done it very well, for what it is. It’s like a little vignette showing a different side of Thomas Newman, and a very nice album.

Rating: *** | |

Tags: ,

  1. Kevin (Reply) on Thursday 24 December, 2020 at 02:34

    Maybe similar to The Linguini Incident?