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The Lincoln Lawyer by Cliff Martinez (Review)

posted Feb 28, 2011, 9:58 AM by Kaya Savas   [ updated Feb 28, 2011, 10:16 AM ]

Cliff Martinez is an amazing composer so I always look forward to any project he does. The Lincoln Lawyer is not a film I'd probably line up at the theatre for, but the score does warrant a listen. Martinez is probably most known for Traffic and Solaris with other great scores like First Snow and The Limey. The Lincoln Lawyer shows off more of Martinez's unique textures but the overall lacks a progressive experience.

The music and the soundscape are made up of mostly ambient textures and dissonant tones. It creates at amazing atmosphere without a doubt. The score is sprinkled with small rhythms here and there and that allows it to grasp you. However, for me in the end it wasn't enough to hook me. The score does indeed pick up its pace in the final act, but I found that the journey that led up to it didn't really build me up. So when the final act came I was more or less indifferent to what the score was trying to do. You spend a lot of time wandering through non structured ambience that has a purpose of setting mood. So when the structured stuff kicks in later in the score it feels like you were dropped into the pool with your clothes on.

I'm not saying this is a bad score. It isn't. It's actually really good, but maybe as a solo listening experience it's not that effective. For me personally I need themes and a score that is structured like a movie, but if you need good writing music or a score to let your mind wander I would suggest The Lincoln Lawyer. You'd be better off hearing it in the film because scores like this require the images and characters.