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Road to Perdition (Soundtrack 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.

Customer Reviews

iTunes, Why do you do this?

The movie, amazing. The soundtrack, superb. iTunes, trying to screw us over, not cool. While the truth is that this is only 24 of the actual 27 tracks from the soundtrack (missing Someday Sweetheart, Queer Notions, and There'll Be Some Changes Made), I see no reason for charging anyone who wants to buy the complete album the ridiculous price of $23.76. It sells in the store, I'm sure, for cheaper than that. I am not saying that price for this album should be $9.99 because 24 songs IS a lot for one album, but making someonbe purchase every single song? Come on iTunes, I know you all try very hard, but this is just unfair. It should be available for a much better price than this. Cheaper album prices is the whole reason we have iTunes anyway! Not because we hate going to the record store...

In Agreement

I agree. His work is very minimalist and emotive. It's nice to hear a film composer not turn every moment in a movie into a grand, epic, overdone, overemotional, scene. Thomas Newman's scores really make you feel the transcenedence of every character and the soul and the heart of their actions. Since American Beauty, I have been a huge fan.


I'm not sure you can even put into words the kind of beauty that Newman invokes with tracks like "Road to Chicago" and "The Farm". If there's music in heaven, it better be this stuff or I'm not going! If you like this album, be sure to check out other great ones like Meet Joe Black, Angels in America as well as other composers like Mark Isham, Aaron Zigman and my new personal favorite, "Beginnings" by Josh Kramer. All of these scores and composers are WONDERFUL!


Born: October 20, 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...
Full Bio

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Road to Perdition (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture), Thomas Newman
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: Jun 25, 2002

Customer Ratings