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PCD 156

Artwork copyright (c) 2001 Universal Studios; review copyright (c) 2004 James Southall



Beautiful, unexpected gem from Davis


A virtually unknown 2001 movie, The Unsaid starred and was produced by Andy Garcia, playing a man who is struggling to come to terms with the suicide of his son.  The thriller was directed by Tom McLoughlin, who had collaborated on several occasions with composer Don Davis before, on the three tv movies Murder of Innocence, Leave of Absence and The Third Twin (and one more afterwards, Murder in Greenwich).  The writer notes in the CD booklet that he had envisaged dark, horrific music for the movie, but Davis took the opposite approach, and it ended up working brilliantly.

It's a truly beautiful score, written in a very different style from what might be expected by those familiar with Davis mainly through his wonderfully modern, avant garde Matrix scores.  Davis sets his stall out in the opening title cue, with a lovely piano theme backed by an orchestra of strings.  This theme is repeated many times over the 53-minute album, but there are other (similar) ones as well.  "Kyle Denial" introduces the first hint of slightly darker music, but it's done in a very detached and subtle way and so still ends up sounding beautiful.  The string elegy of "Kyle for a While" is one of the highlights, perhaps bringing to mind Christopher Young's marvellous (and similarly unexpected) Murder in the First.

One of the best little subthemes occurs in the middle of "Shelly Spills the Beans", another lovely piece.  A contrast is "Tommy Turbulence", the first really creepy piece of the score, where the darker elements certainly come to the fore in more obvious fashion.  It is somewhat restrained, psychological material, but its impact is all the greater given the beauty of what has come before.  There's an immediate contrast in the gorgeous "Barbara Blondage", and then "Harry's Little Secret" is a textbook example of a creepy track underlined with more than a hint of twisted beauty.  "Tommy's Mistake" is the first cue to really bring on the thrills, with a combination of some frantic brass and some chilling string writing.  This leads into the desperate "Tommy Trouble", an excellent piece of action music which, despite being far more aggressive than anything heard previously in the score, seems to have been where it's been heading all along.  The somewhat frenzied twelve-minute finale is split into just two tracks, "Tommy and Mommy" and "Tommy Redeems Michael"; the frenzy is mostly psychological rather than having horns blasting out all over the place, and it's effective material.  The end of the former, especially, is quite magnificent.

I've been really surprised by Don Davis's career after The Matrix, since apart from its sequels he has worked on very little films which have been widely released in cinemas.  Whether he has simply opted to work on smaller fare or whether he hasn't been offered anything else I don't know, but I had been hoping he would be able to flex his muscles on other high-profile movies.  Still, with the lack of those I'm more than happy to take a wonderful score like The Unsaid, showing off an unexpected side to the composer.  It's been released by Prometheus Records and is available from - I highly recommend it.


  1. Main Title (2:42)
  2. The Opening (2:09)
  3. Kyle's Little Secret (1:02)
  4. Kyle Denial (2:29)
  5. Barbara Cadabara (1:58)
  6. Tommy Watch Kyle Think (1:49)
  7. Kyle for a While (2:43)
  8. Shelly Contrary (1:21)
  9. Shelly Spills the Beans (4:54)
  10. Michael Machismo (1:03)
  11. Tommy Turbulence (2:52)
  12. Barbara Blondage (3:02)
  13. Harry's Little Secret (4:00)
  14. Calamity Tom (1:24)
  15. Superficial Shelly (2:27)
  16. Tommy's Mistake (2:23)
  17. Tommy Trouble (2:37)
  18. Tommy and Mommy (5:51)
  19. Tommy Redeems Michael (6:22)