- Composed by Dave Grusin
- Kritzerland / 2011 / 57:00
A film noir set in Los Angeles, Mulholland Falls attempted to recapture the feel of the classic Chinatown, but for whatever reason – despite reasonably strong reviews – failed to find an audience (but the similar LA Confidential, released a year later, had no problem finding one). Director Lee Tamahori has generally shown himself to be as adept at picking composers for his films as he is at picking nice dresses to wear for evenings out, and he made a fine choice here, with Dave Grusin proving to be the perfect man for the job. It’s one of his finest scores, I think – as with the great noir scores, it’s smoky and sometimes edgy, but frequently very beautiful and always perfectly evocative.
The score is based around a core of very good themes. The bustling opening theme, with its urgent piano figures, is very similar to the two finest noir scores to follow this one, Jerry Goldsmith’s LA Confidential and Mark Isham’s The Black Dahlia. It’s a brilliant piece. There’s a great string theme, too, mournful and yet sexy, which is the score’s dominant feature and whose appearance is always welcome (with a lovely sax version for the end title). There isn’t a great deal in the way of action music, but when it comes it’s first-rate – exciting, colourful, with an air of real aggression. This is a very fine album from Kritzerland, a slight expansion over the previous release of the score, but more importantly, it makes it available again; highly recommended. ****