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Sons of Liberty
  • Composed by Lorne Balfe
  • A&E Television / 2015 / 50m

The latest miniseries from The History Channel whose connection with actual history is dubious at best, Sons of Liberty tells the story of the beginnings of the American Revolution as it’s never been told before.  The strive for historical authenticity extended to the score, by Lorne Balfe, which sounds like Pirates of the Caribbean without any memorable tunes.  There’s much fiddling, the bass is cranked right up, drums are banged and so on and so forth.  Bizarrely, it was apparently written as library music (leading to the odd “Score by Lorne Balfe courtesy of the Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop” credit) not to picture, for the show makers to paste in as they please.  Frankly I thought one of the whole points of Remote Control was the one size fits all  model, so I’m not really sure how much difference that made.  The main theme which opens the disc – co-credited to Hans Zimmer – is a jaunty little number.  You can imagine Jack Sparrow lying back in a hammock, grinning and gurning and sloshing some rum; or maybe you can imagine John Adams and Thomas Jefferson debating great matters of state while drafting the declaration of independence, I don’t know.

The rest of the score is largely in a similar vein, with occasional drifts into more “serious” territory (you can tell it’s serious because of the bloated melodrama of the  sampled choir).  You have to remove any preconceptions about what music for Sons of Liberty might sound like and there’s certainly some fun to be had – undoubtedly more than the last real Pirates of the Caribbean score provided.  The action music is the most entertaining thing, those samples pounding away in what sounds like a ramped-up version of Remote Control clichés that might have been written for a Jerry Bruckheimer parody sketch on a comedy show, or maybe one of those “reality” shows usually set in Alaska where people face apparent impending doom, the catering facilities and 20-strong medical crew just out of shot.  The attempts to force through some more harrowing moments are just a step too far, rather insipid to be honest, but the rest of the time there’s a certain entertainment value up to a point.

Rating: **

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  1. TDidz927 (Reply) on Monday 2 March, 2015 at 21:01

    I’m with you. I sort of enjoyed the first track, but I can’t remember much from the rest of the album. Not bad stuff overall, just nothing terribly interesting.