Visit the Movie Wave Store | Movie Wave Home | Reviews by Title | Reviews by Composer | Contact me
PRIDE AND GLORY
Mean, moody, very dark thriller score
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
* * *
Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2008 KUMAR Mobiliengesellschaft mbH & Co. Project Nr 1 KG; review copyright (c) 2008 James Southall.
A close-knit family who are all police officers in New York City is torn apart in Pride and Glory when a man (Edward Norton) finds himself investigating his brother-in-law (Colin Farrell) for his part in a corruption enquiry. The score for Gavin O'Connor's movie was provided by the prolific Mark Isham, who has been extending himself across all sorts of genres lately - incredibly, this is his eleventh film score since the start of 2007 (not counting one tv series) - and there are still another couple scheduled to come before this year is out. They aren't all masterpieces by any means, but Isham has managed to maintain a pretty consistent level of quality there and is almost invariably a composer whose music is worth hearing.
A gritty cop film like this was unlikely to receive the kind of rich, melodic score which bring Isham his best receptions; somewhat inevitably, this is for the most part dark, tension-ridden music with the small orchestra augmented by plenty of electronics. It's not all like that - fairly early on come the beautiful "Fran and Abby" and "Family", the latter featuring some beautiful guitar solos - but don't listen to this if you need cheering up. Even when it perks up in tracks like "Escape" it's still largely a grungy, dirty atmosphere.
Isham's very good at writing this kind of score - he uses electronics so well, creates music that is so organic it is invariably excellent at developing the film. In general these scores tend to fare far less well away from the film where it can be as difficult to sit and enjoy the listening experience as it is easy to sit and admire the level of craft that's gone into creating it. Pride and Glory is certainly not unlistenable - it's quite hypnotic at times, and the 53-minute album is put together very well indeed - but it can take a little work to really appreciate, and you would have to be in the right mood for it. This is textural, atmospheric music in which Isham painstakingly creates just the right, very dark, mood; if you go into it expecting that, rather than Eight Below or even The Black Dahlia, you won't go far wrong.