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The Crown: Season Two by Rupert Gregson-Williams & Lorne Balfe (Review)

posted Jan 12, 2018, 9:38 AM by Kaya Savas

Netflix’s The Crown brought us an extremely engaging series from writer Peter Morgan. The score by Rupert Gregson-Williams filled the narrative with a bedding of warmth and fullness that added to the drama. The score was able to do a lot by infusing intricate builds and sequences in the longer track times. For season 2 we see a somewhat similar approach, but that “blanket” feel is reduced and the score has a bit more mobility. Lorne Balfe joins in as co-composer, and his involvement definitely evolved the sound of the score into some great new territory.

The Crown is heavy drama, and the score reflects “heavy drama”. But what makes season 2 standout more so than season 1 is that there is a lot more nuance. The music tackles certain characters or moments with some drastically different instrumentation or a new melodic rhythm that we haven’t heard before. The music seems to be more varied, and the structure for this season works with the shape of the picture so much more. The big beautiful builds are still here from season 1, and this season has some fantastically executed moments. The score creates such a momentum so you always feel this growth and movement. And while we have a pretty substantial bigness to the score, the deep-seeded emotions are not left out. The emotional current in season 2 is quite strong, and through the music’s narrative structure we’re allowed to feel these fragile emotions grow into swells of grandeur. The album’s representation of the season’s arc is also great and you get to feel how well the score wraps things up.

The Crown: Season Two takes the groundwork that was established last season and elevates it to a much richer and intricate narrative. Season 1 felt more like big and long brush strokes, while season 2 carried a few of those large strokes over but filled in with a lot more tiny ones throughout. The music still carries an immense weight, and the beautiful builds still create wonderful emotional payoffs. But it was in the score’s more nuanced moments where fragility and intricacy seeped in to make the big swells feel even bigger. Rupert Gregson-Williams and Lorne Balfe complimented each other extremely well here, and the score evolved very impressively.