- Composed by Marc Streitenfeld
- Lakeshore Records LKS 341982 / 2010 / 34:22
James Gandolfini plays a plumber in Welcome to the Rileys who, while on a business trip to New Orleans, meets a troubled young lap dancer played by Kristen Stewart and decides to “fix” her in an attempt to find salvation in his own life. Musically, it’s notable as being the first score by Marc Streitenfeld for a film which isn’t directed by Ridley Scott. Without wishing to sound cruel, the composer has sounded somewhat out of his depth a lot of the time on Scott’s films, particularly the most recent, Robin Hood; so one wonders what made this film’s director turn to him. One doesn’t wonder for very long, though – the film’s directed by Jake Scott. Guess who his dad is. If the family’s big enough and they all keep making films, Streitenfeld will probably end up with a perfectly lucrative career even if he never works for another family!
In fact, he is far more at home on this smaller film and his score is easily his most impressive to date. Writing for a small ensemble – banjo, piano, guitar, percussion, harp, mandolin, bass, violin and cello – the composer is able to evoke the flavour of the vivid French Quarter without ever going over the top – and the music is a beautiful little portrait of a particular slice of life. It’s a very short score (half of the album’s 34 minutes are taken up by songs) but that’s not much of a problem – Streitenfeld has time to say all he needs to. The only real flaw is the overly-simple main theme which verges on irritation, but otherwise this is a highly-listenable, colourful score whose low-budget nature actually sees the composer write his most creative and impressive score to date. ***