Soundtrack Review: THE COMPANY YOU KEEP (Cliff Martinez)

Company_you_keep_CDMusic composed by Cliff Martinez
Label: Milan Records
Catalog: 36624
Release Date: April 9, 2013
Rating: ***

The New York-born Cliff Martinez is a household name related to director Steven Soderbergh (Contagion, Traffic, Side Effects). Their partnership kicked off in 1989 with the cult hit Sex, Lies, and Videotape starring Andie MacDowell, James Spader and Peter Gallagher. Martinez is also known for his stint with the Californian band Red Hot Chilli Peppers which led to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a drummer due to his contribution in the mid-80’s.

The story of The Company You Keep follows Robert Redford as a man trying to get away from his dark past when a young and aggressive journalist (Shia LaBeouf) uncovers and reveals it. Also starring Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte, Terrence Howard, Stanley Tucci and Chris Cooper.

If one could put this score in a box, it would definitely be the ambient one. Cliff Martinez makes lots of use of the background to give the notion that something else is going on. Moreover, the strings are not as shiny and squeaky clean as some would expect, they are a bit more raspy and longing for rest which in the end is what the character of Robert Redford had but was blatantly disturbed by the nosy parker journalist played by Shia LaBeouf.

There are moments of reconciliation with the past like on “The Cabin”, where Martinez employs some phaser effects to portray the melancholy. There is a diversity of sounds on The Company You Keep but they are all ultimately highly synthesised like the guitars on “I Met Your Daughter”, the strings on “Father & Daughter Reunion” that sound very much like “The Cabin”, and the brass on “Can’t Say I’m Happy to See You” that presents the film leitmotif concluding the score.

The overall feeling is that there is something missing, something memorable that detached from the film makes the listener go back and try to experience that moment. Apart from that, Cliff Martinez pulled off a competent and good technical job.

Track Listing:

1. You Have a Full Green Light
2. We Could Have Made a Difference
3. Who is Your Best Reporter?
4. Somewhere Someone Knows Something
5. Diversion
6. Weathermen
7. Still Got the Juice
8. Nothing But a Dream You Once Had
9. On the 10 Yard Line
10. The Cabin
11. Put the Pieces Together
12. Real Estate Records and Plot Maps
13. I Met Your Daughter
14. Father and Daughter Reunion
15. Can’t Say I’m Happy to See You

Total Time: 47:14

Atila Almeida

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