Road to Perdition (Music from the Motion Picture)
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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.
Born: 20 October 1955 in Los Angeles, CA
Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s