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21 Jump Street by Mark Mothersbaugh (Review)

posted Nov 4, 2014, 5:24 AM by Leo Mayr   [ updated Nov 4, 2014, 10:18 AM by Kaya Savas ]



When a friend forced me to watch 21 Jump Street back in 2012, I had no idea that comedies like that even got their own scores as most of the music seemed to consist of pop songs and other genres, but indeed there was a score, composed by none other than Mark Mothersbaugh.

Immediately the album plays its best card, in the form of the main Jump Street theme at the beginning of “Back Together“. An over the top action theme that is as heroic as usually only superhero scores are. This theme no matter how simple it may be, manages to do just about everything for the score. In the second half of “Back Together“, it changes into an emotional track that still uses the same theme that was intense and heroic a minute ago. We then return to an electronic track, a style that you will have to get used to if you like Mothersbaugh‘s music. Sadly, the action tracks really lack a structure most of the time. “Park Chase“ for example works great for the scene in the movie but as a listening experience, it suffers from just that as the track just stops and repeats itself with little variation. “Shoot Out“ is the first action track that really uses the movie‘s main theme and “Walters holds Molly Hostage“ is using mostly orchestral sounds to build tension while “Limo Chase“ buries every real instrument under a load of electronics.

So even though the score manages to build a rich narrative and does the emotional parts of the movie really well, the electronic-heavy action parts make the entire score rather unmemorable. There is a clear line of how many synthetic sounds a score can handle and this one just barely passed that line. This is a really nice bonus disc for Mothersbaugh‘s magnificent 22 Jump Street score (seeing as you can only get them together...), but on its own feels incomplete.