Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Music Composed and Conducted by John Williams
OK, had my first listen to this. I like it far better than The Last Jedi — I’m even tempted to say it’s my second favourite JW score after War Horse since 2005!
I still haven’t seen the movie, so I have no idea what scenes these tracks accompany.
01. The Papers (3:56) – Shades of Presumed Innocent, Munich and Nixon (all as expected). A surprising presence of pulsating electronics (even more pronounced than the opening of MUNICH). I wonder how much input Williams had in this, or if it was all produced by someone else (Randy Kerber?)? Dark, undulating strings and solemn brass throughout.
02. The Presses Roll (5:00) – Slightly lighter string ostinato, with brass as occasional punctuation marks. Sounds surprisingly “contemporary” (think Marianelli, Korzeniowski etc.). Gorgeous string harmonies towards the end. Nice track!
03. Nixon’s Order (1:47) – Basically VERY dark, slow string harmonies.
04. The Oak Room, 1971 (1:46) – Sounds like a ‘loungey’ jazz track with pronounced solo piano and a bass. A source cue, presumably? Very smooth. Could have been an outtake from Sabrina.
05. Setting the Type (2:34) – A steady rhythm builds gradually with exploratory string harmonies, almost setting into a Star Wars-type march on several occasions, but it’s always “cut off” before it gets going.
06. Mother and Daughter (3:23) – Lovely, melancholic piano. Very delicate with shades of Americana. Eventually strings join in. Beautiful! In the territory of Stanley & Iris, The Accidental Tourist or Stepmom, although perhaps without the strong melody.
07. Scanning the Papers (2:22) – More Presumed Innocent stylings. Cautious, with circular figures. Not very remarkable track.
08. Two Martini Lunch (2:34) – More loungey piano jazz. Another source cue, I presume. Same quality as “The Oak Room, 1971”, although more ‘improvisational’.
09. Deciding to Publish (5:42) – Clearly a pivotal moment in the film. Starts off cautious and suspenseful, slightly dissonant. Then at 1.44, a more steady string ostinato comes in — still keeping it all eerie. At 2:19, the track grows more busy. The string ostinato picks up its pace. The trademark Williams brass counterpoints emerge, as does the electronic beat. It’s not a particularly remarkable track (there is NO melody or theme), but I love the gradual build and “riffs”.
10. The Court’s Decision & End Credits (11:04) – The ‘tour-de-force’ track. Americana is back, with both brass and strings harmonizing in typical Williams fashion. The rhytmical patterns appear regularly — Williams’ new love of clusters and motifs — but the vast-leaped Americana melodies are never far away. Some lovely woodwinds here too (oh, how I’ve missed them!). At about 5 minutes, the faux-march appears for a few moments — reminiscent of the opening track of Nixon. Superb track!