Latest reviews of new albums:
  • Composed by Brian Tyler
  • Sony Classical / 76m

Hopes were very high for Yellowstone, the first tv series written by Taylor Sheridan (writer of Sicario and its sequel, previously better-known as an actor).  Starring Kevin Costner, it’s a sprawling soap about a wealthy ranch-owner and his neighbours (native Americans, property developers). Music comes from the ever-busy Brian Tyler, no stranger to this medium despite scoring so many films; it’s performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, joined by a few soloists, and generally has quite a gentle nature, full of local flavours.  The main theme (heard in a concert arrangement at the start of the album and in its tv main title form at the end) is an absolute peach: a bit dirty, very dramatic, big and expansive, the strings joined by a bit of percussion, plenty of flavour from mandolin; it’s just perfect – and memorable, too.  There’s a melancholy to much of the score: it’s a modern take on a centuries-old tale, and there’s a backwards-looking feel about the music at times, a longing for things that used to be.  The first track after the theme is “The Return” and it’s so steeped in nostalgia, a haunting sadness entering with the main theme later in the cue.  “The River” is a great track – it’s so evocative of a beautiful landscape, the pared-back orchestration with excellent solos for violin and cello expressing a beautifully raw feeling.

There are little gems sprinkled throughout the album: the delicate, mournful “Wandering”, the guttural action piece “Let Them Come”, the stark beauty of “Valley of the Soul”, gentle piano in “Crimes of Heritage”, .  Overall though, it does start to get a bit samey in between these highlights and 76 minutes is a long time to sit through generally quite low-key, often rather sad music.  It’s a shame if that puts people off because at its core it is an impressive piece of work – a serious, singular one from a composer much more versatile than he’s given credit for.  The main theme would be worth the price of admission alone and there’s more than enough impressive material elsewhere for me to recommend it, even if taking in the whole thing in one sitting is a bit hard-going.

Rating: *** | |

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  1. sbw1980 (Reply) on Saturday 20 October, 2018 at 22:15

    Gratified to read this.
    I’m currently waiting on the CD to arrive from Amazon. I’m seeing Brian Tyler in concert in London on Thursday and I gather this will feature in the program – so I’d like to be a bit familiar with it beforehand!

  2. Ad de Nijs (Reply) on Wednesday 24 October, 2018 at 17:56

    The problem of the long sit is easily removed when it is programmed on radio.
    “Yellowstone” has been updated to the database of Screensoundradio and will be heard on a regular basis.