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Furious 7 by Brian Tyler (Review)

posted Apr 14, 2015, 11:35 AM by Leo Mayr

While I still have not recovered from the fact that I cannot have Lucas Vidal‘s amazing score to Fast and Furious 6, time moved on and so we now have a seventh movie, along with its own score. Brian Tyler returns to the franchise after having prevously scored the third, fourth and fifth movie in the franchise. Out of his four Fast And Furious scores, this is easily the most developed. While some of his recent scores like The Expendables 3 fell a bit short in terms of new material, Furious 7 feels fresh while still keeping the previously established themes.

Right from the start, in “Furious 7“ we are greeted by Tyler‘s amazing main theme from Fast Five that turns into new material that perfectly introduces the album. The score mostly consists of action tracks, but while composers like Hans Zimmer often tend to compose few action pieces and use variations throughout the movie (yes, I am talking about Man Of Steel), this album contains few similar action pieces with only some recurring sections. Some of the action sounds similar to Tyler‘s Fast Five, mainly due to the shared main theme. But here, Tyler excellently combines traditional orchestra with intense electronics to create one amazing journey. This journey is dented only slightly by the fact that the tracks are out of order.

“Vow For Revenge“ introduces the new villain, Deckard Shaw with a menacing theme that carries in the album's espionage thriller part. By the franchise departing from pureley street racing, it allowed the music to be much more diverse and establish its own identity. Shaw‘s theme returns at key points in the score, mainly in “Hobbs Vs Shaw“ and “Battle Of The Titans“, the latter being one of the most interesting the album has to offer. The title already shows what it is about: two muscular action heroes beating each other up. Tyler adds to this absurdity by going full on with epic climax building music that even uses a dramatic choir before turning into an electronics heavy action piece. The Dubai action scene is probably the score‘s strongest moment with “Beast In A Cage“, suspenseful espionage turns into one of the most intense action pieces Tyler has composed and “Party Crashers“. Opening with electric guitars similar to Henry Jackman‘s G.I. Joe Retaliation, the track features the score‘s main action themes (those who have played the videogame Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast And Furious might remember them from the final mission). This is also the place to look for some of Tyler‘s signature action writing and overall a fluent track.

Hobbs‘s theme from Fast Five (and also Lucas Vidal‘s Fast And Furious 6) returns as well, most notably in “Hobbs Is The Cavalry“, this time mixed with electronics. While normally I don‘t really like electronics in film scores, Tyler uses them in a way which makes sense, and does not feel repetitive or overused. Hobbs‘s theme shows up again in “One Last Stand“, the intense climax that concludes with Tyler‘s Fast Five theme which seems to have become his main Fast And Furious theme.

Hidden behind all this action is an emotional component that is surprisingly well composed. There is little repetition and a lot of beautiful themes, most notably “Awakening“ and “Parting Ways“. Again, themes known from previous Fast And Furious scores return (see “Homefront“) and we get a lot of guitars for “Letty And Dom“ to add to the variety. Since this is the last Fast And Furious movie to feature Paul Walker as Brian O‘Connor, the score gets very emotional, especially with it‘s final track “Farewell“. Not only does it perfectly conclude the album, but also Brian‘s story.

While some of Tyler‘s recent scores fell a bit short in terms of memorability, Furious 7 is definiteley one of his best scores so far. I have not found a single part where the music felt undeveloped or wrong. It simply could not be better. Everything comes together just perfectly and while there is a lot of action, there's enough emotion to calm you down right before hell breaks loose again. This is not a score you want to miss, a definite highlight of the year.