Latest reviews of new albums:
Red Notice
  • Composed by Steve Jablonsky

A Netflix action comedy, Red Notice very boldly makes no attempt to hide its inspirations from Indiana Jones to True Lies (amongst many others) – bold, because if that’s what you’re going to force yourself to be compared with, you’d better be good. It isn’t very good, wasting the charisma of its leads (Dwayne Johnson in particular), but it passes the time. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber had worked with composer Steve Jablonsky and, while the film itself may be a bit of a damp squib, the score exceeds expectations. It opens slightly misleadingly with a piece of traditional orchestral adventure music in “The Egg”, full of portent and mystery and wonder; more typical is the fleshed-out arrangement of the fabulous main theme which follows in “Red Notice”. While it sounds very familiar – essentially a variant on the orchestral heist movie sound as heard in things like Mission: Impossible and perhaps most similarly, Ant Man – it’s extremely entertaining, immediately becoming my favourite piece of music that Jablonsky’s ever written.

The score’s action music – and there’s a fair amount of it – is good. An early example is “Roma” and while it’s not going to win any awards for originality, it’s nice to hear a clarity to the sound and orchestral performance that isn’t always present in these things; “Museum Chase” is great, actually sounding a bit like it could be from the most recent James Bond score, the main theme being used in really nice and creative ways. The most Mission: Impossible-like track is “The Captain Wants to See You” (in fact it sounds like it’s going to burst into Lalo Schifrin’s iconic theme at any moment) – which is again great fun. I love the waltz in “Too Focused on Winning”, a really stylish piece; and it’s followed shortly afterwards by one of the score’s standout tracks, “Masquerade Ball”, another terrific set of variations on the main theme. Later on, “Resting Failure” is another stylish piece of suspense/drama; and the concluding “Myth or Legend” is a really nice, sweeping finale. I don’t think there’s much doubt that this is the best thing Jablonsky’s ever done – the album’s only problem is its length, which at 71 minutes is far too much, becoming repetitive long before the end, which does diminish the experience somewhat. Still – an easy recommendation.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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  1. Edmund Meinerts (Reply) on Sunday 28 November, 2021 at 19:09

    “I don’t think there’s much doubt that this is the best thing Jablonsky’s ever done”

    It’s enjoyable, but it’s no Steamboy! 🙂

  2. Rory (Reply) on Monday 18 March, 2024 at 21:13

    Wow, guess I never commented on this back when it came out.

    While I’m