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The Man From U.N.C.L.E. by Daniel Pemberton

posted Aug 27, 2015, 8:57 PM by Koray Savas

Guy Ritchie's The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a wonderful throwback to the original 60s television series. He brings his knack for comedic action and gripping set pieces into what will surely be this Summer's most underrated film. Composer Daniel Pemberton matches Ritchie's visual fervor and enthusiasm with his fantastic score, elevating the plot and characters while also being an incredibly fun listen on its own.

The film's audiovisual aesthetic is very much in the same vein as Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven, but Pemberton is able to accomplish much more depth and intricate detail with the 60s lounge sound than David Holmes. The musical tapestry, including both source songs and original score, is expertly synched together, allowing the listener to soak into this whole other era purely through the music. Pemberton pays homage to classic composers of the time, including Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, and most notably Ennio Morricone. Fans of the latter will immediately pick up on the Italian western twinge present throughout the score. Morricone's music is even sourced directly in the film. Listen to "The Red Mist" to get a taste of Pemberton's take on Once Upon A Time In The West. Moreover, the album is filled to the brim at 81 minutes, yet it never feels like a second is wasted. It is rare to find an album so aptly assembled, with the score and songs continuously bringing a grin to your face from beginning to end.

Apart from the aesthetic, Pemberton's score never fails to do exactly what it needs to complement the final picture. It accomplishes what it set out to do without fault, brining life to the characters and the eclectic action scenes.  The instrumentation keeps the score fresh and interesting throughout, taking advantage of certain unique sounds and rhythms to create fun and memorable melodies. From "His Name Is Napoleon Solo" and "Escape From East Berlin" to "The Vinciguerra Affair" and "Breaking In (Searching The Factory)," the music is always luring you into this sleuthing caper. The third act begins with "Circular Story," a wonderfully slow build to "The Drums Of War," which is a hefty rhythmic cue that leads into "Take You Down," the score's highlight with its full on Morricone vocals and guitar riffs.

Daniel Pemberton achieves perfection with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Both film and score are "feel good" in the best way possible, making it incredibly difficult to not enjoy every moment from this well-oiled action flick. The original score paired with the excellent song selections create the ultimate album, with moods and rhythms ranging from slow burn jazz to loud and frantic action scoring. By and far the surprise of the Summer, do not overlook this one.