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The Good Wife by David Buckley (Review)

posted Jul 1, 2014, 11:24 AM by Kaya Savas

David Buckley is an immensely talented composer whose been quietly churning out some wonderful stuff over the years. From starting out working with Harry Gregson-Williams to composing amazing scores like The Forbidden Kingdom, From Paris With Love and Gone, Buckley has shown some amazing range. He headlined one of the biggest video games of all time by composing the score to Call Of Duty: Ghosts, and co-composed Ben Affleck’s The Town with Harry Gregson-Williams. He’s also been quietly working away with the score to The Good Wife, which just wrapped up its fifth season and was renewed for a sixth. The Good Wife has consistently retained its large fanbase and its critical acclaim over the years, and it’s Buckley’s musical touch that helps bring the show to life. Since it’s quite a challenge to pull together an album of score for certain TV series, Buckley has done something that I don’t think I’ve ever come across. He re-arranged the music of his show into longer suites of music, and then re-recorded everything specifically for the album. This album takes five seasons worth of work and is woven into a narrative of its own, the life of the show remains intact but now the listener can experience the emotional flow of it all the way the composer intended it to be heard away from the picture.

The Good Wife is some of David Buckley’s most impressive writing as it shows us the composer in a truly unfiltered environment where the music speaks directly of the characters and the tone of the show. Buckley has also crafted a wholly original world of elegance and prestige for the show with the score. If you ever wanted to hear Buckley operate without outside forces possibly pushing the music in any established direction then this album would be it. The show’s model of season long arcs built around procedural episodes allows for music that works in the moment, and as something that builds over time. The story revolves around a woman whose husband goes to jail after a very public and embarrassing sex scandal. To provide for her family now she returns to work as a litigator in a law firm. There is this outer flourish to the score, but once you start digging you get into passages that have a bit more precision and intricate emotions. Buckley treats the whole thing as a flowing dance, and it’s a wonderful juxtaposition since you can very easily see the life of a lawyer as a song and dance. The show revolves around the balancing act of our main characters life, and the music reflects all of that. At times we can hear a waltz, and at times a soothing passage to hone in on a certain emotion. No matter what though the music feels alive, it builds certain moments that can bring chills or tears as well. It’s a very mature score, and I say mature in terms of established character. The music presents itself as well-grounded, but there are moments of vulnerability and in those moments there is beauty.

The Good Wife is probably the best of David Buckley as a composer. His score for these characters and this story is the backbone of the narrative. By presenting some of his score from the past 5 seasons this way, we can truly grasp the emotions. The music is eloquent and gorgeous, with large flourishing passages as well as those intricate quieter moments. The attention to the craft and the flow of the narrative presented is truly engrossing. You will be wrapped up in this score from start to finish, and it’s wonderful that a composer like Buckley has a canvas like The Good Wife to write music for. Buckley gives the show a unique sound, a fresh voice and is one of the best TV scores you will hear.