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Road to Perdition (Music from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

Thomas Newman has a talent for composing disquieting little motifs played on unusual instruments (think of his theme music for the television series Six Feet Under), and he puts it to use in his score for the Depression-era gangster film Road to Perdition. Director Sam Mendes, who called Newman in to work on American Beauty, which earned him an Academy Award nomination, brings him back for a similar role here. Even discounting the inclusion of period (Fletcher Henderson's "Queer Notions," the Chicago Rhythm Kings' "There'll Be Some Changes Made") and period-sounding ("Someday Sweetheart" by the Charleston Chasers) source music, this is a long soundtrack, but it is one consisting of small and subtle effects. Newman likes dissonance, but he places it unobtrusively within quiet passages, so that it creates odd and comic tones. He is also capable of writing more conventional cues, such as "Dirty Money," with its martial percussion and contrasting sections carried by strings and brass, but it is the dark, slow-paced pieces that dominate this score.

Biography

Born: 20 October 1955 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A second-generation member of Hollywood's preeminent musical dynasty, composer Thomas Newman carried on his family's legacy through a series of Academy Award-nominated film scores. He was born in Los Angeles on October 20, 1955, the son of Alfred Newman and the nephew of Lionel and Emil Newman, all three renowned composers and conductors from Hollywood's golden age. (Thomas' brother David also followed in the family business, as did their cousin, the sardonic singer/songwriter Randy Newman.) Thomas...
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Road to Perdition (Music from the Motion Picture), Thomas Newman
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  • Partial Album
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: 01 January 2002

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