Latest reviews of new albums:
The Missing
  • Composed by Dominik Scherrer
  • MovieScore Media / 2015 / 44m

A BBC drama following a father’s hunt for his son, who went missing several years ago while on holiday in France, The Missing was compulsive viewing, with an outstanding central performance by James Nesbitt as the obsessed father and an unusual narrative structure split across different time periods working very well.  Dominik Scherrer has scored a number of high profile British tv shows over the last decade or so and his fine work for this one is well deserving of its release.  The composer focuses in on the loss and devastation felt in one way in the immediate aftermath of the boy’s disappearance, and cleverly links this to other loss and devastation as the father’s life unwinds in the years that follow.  For the main title Scherrer adapted a song (“Come Home”) with unnervingly appropriate lyrics by the Belgian group Amatorski, which is heard on the album both in its abbreviated version as recorded for the show and in its original form.

The score itself is sparse and rather bleak, written predominantly for keyboards and with a real prog rock vibe to it, often being turned into something unexpectedly but authentically beautiful.  “Opening Ascension” is gorgeous; some of the guitar work in later tracks really quite haunting.  At other times the music stays resolutely dark, sometimes distressing – “The Basement” is harrowing but, intriguingly, there’s a hint of hope there standing forth from the desperation.  It’s clever scoring.  Because the composer honed in on the obsessive nature of the search for the boy, the score is by design quite repetitive and slow-burning; coupled with its dark nature, it’s one you probably really need to be in the right mood for.  When that mood comes around, it’s highly rewarding and shows what a clever composer can do even without a big budget.  It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea by any means but I think The Missing is a compelling album, something refreshingly different.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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