Thomas Newman/ VA “Jarhead”

Album Reviews | Dec 6th, 2005

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Record Label: Decca/Universal
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This is Thomas Newman’s score for the Sam Mendes recently released film, about a soldier’s time overseas fighting Operation Desert Storm back in the early 90’s. A departure from his usual scores, Newman switches it up a bit as he deals with a mainly quiet score, and unusual sounding themes like the track “Dickskinner,” and “Unsick Most Ricky Tick.” Thomas Newman also adds more action paced themes to the score than usual as it deals with the action of the war, like “Zoomies,” that adds more electric guitar and percussion, with a Middle Eastern feel.

I haven’t seen the film yet, but I would gather the use of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” “O.P.P” by Naughty by Nature, “Bang a Gong,” by T-Rex, and “Soldier’s Things” by Tom Waits are some of the music heard in the film and that would explain the inclusion throughout the CD of the tracks. Normally, I look forward to Thomas Newman’s scores but this one left me disappointed. Perhaps it’s the nature of the music with a tough assignment dealing with the war, but it was hard to gain a main theme out of all of this. Maybe the score will go better once I see the movie.

Bottom Line:
Notable Tracks: Desert Storm, Scuds, Jarhead for Life, Fight the Power by Public Enemy
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