Score Reviews‎ > ‎

Narcos by Pedro Bromfman (Review)

posted Sep 15, 2015, 8:07 PM by Kaya Savas

Narcos is Netflix’s newest series about Pablo Escobar. It’s essentially a rise and fall story we’ve seen many times over and over. Greed and corruption leading to the top where the fall is very great. Brazilian composer Pedro Bromfman is the composer giving Escobar’s tale its South American flavoring here in what is mostly just a score meant to establish mood. Sadly there is very little dramatic weight in Narcos from a score that sounds exactly how you expected it to sound.

The tricking of an acoustic guitar, metallic tones and the gentle suspenseful shaking of the maracas meant to simulate a rattlesnake waiting to strike. It’s cliche upon cliche when it comes to the score for Narcos, where the tracks barely reach over 2-min and no dramatic flow is built. The music instantly reminded me of the fictional trailer to Medellin from Entourage starring Vinny Chase. A full trailer was made for the show’s plot point, and the fact that it took itself so overtly serious with the same expected music, it became comical. Look it up on YouTube, it’s pretty great. Sadly the score here doesn’t do anything except be that stock South American mood setting score. It takes no risks, establishes hardly any emotional flow, and the hour of music presented in the album starts to sound the same after a few tracks.

Narcos is not a terribly interesting journey, and the score barely rises above just being typical Hispanic sounding music. If trickling acoustic guitar with the standard maracas and metallic sound textures shimmering underneath is your thing, then Narcos might be of interest. The score never finds a narrative flow and with the short track lengths it mostly services to establish a scene or mood instead of actually score it in a traditional sense. This is in no blame to Bromfman who I’m sure was simply doing what the director and producers asked of him. It’s just a shame nothing more exciting came of a project like this.