Informant/Hamlisch

September 26, 2009

informant artwork

Opening in the theaters on September 18, 2009, the Steven Soderbergh directed film The Informant starring Matt Damon is based on a true story by Kurt Eichenwald of a whistleblower who worked for Archer Daniels Midland. The dark comedy also stars Scott Bakula, Joel Mchale, and Melanie Lynskey. It’s opening weekend at the box office (9-18-2009) saw a return of $10.5 million.

Marvin Hamlisch, a three time Oscar winner and a veteran of more than 40 years of composing film scores, chose a retro-style score from the 60’s that certainly brought back the memories of the big band sound with melodies that get stuck in your head and you can’t seem to shake it loose. Both the main theme “The Informant” and “Trust Me,” performed as a vocal and instrumental fall into that category. “The Informant” starts out on the dark side with a bassoon solo but it quickly turns to a lush and a little schmaltzy melody with a piano, trumpet, and harmonica offering solos. This same theme is also repeated in “Boxes,” “Triplets,” and as a honky tonk piano solo style in the last track “The Informant.” “Trust Me,” offers nice lyrics from Marilyn and Alan Bergman and a very nice vocal from Steve Tyrell in a Las Vegas style big band arrangement. There is also an instrumental version of the same melody in a two-step dance style, which has the lounge piano, wa-wa muted trumpet, and a nice contribution from clarinet and sax. “Meet Mark” is definitely a muzak style theme from the 60’s complete with organ. This same theme is also repeated in “After Car” with the addition of a nice lead in bass solo to the main melody. “The Raid” is a Neal Hefti type tune complete with cool flutes, bass and regular trombones, and a kazoo. “Multi-Tasking” is a muzak type track with a sudden change at the end repeating the spy spoof in “Car Meeting.” “Polygraph” is a banjo-picking hoe down style with a foot stomping violin. “Car Meeting” definitely falls into the category of spy spoof style music. “Sellout” is a South American style dance number. “Golf” is another spy music track leaning more toward a Mission Impossible style of jazz/spy material. If your looking for a variety of styles and types in your music look no further.

However, this music will not appeal to everyone. Some will find this material to appear corny and out of date. This is a good score from Marvin Hamlisch, which will interest those who’re interested in older style lounge, big band, and 60’s type music. In this reviewer’s opinion it was exactly the type of material that the film needed. A newer style score would have taken away from the film. Currently the material is available via digital download. Silva UK will release the CD on October 12th, which can be purchased from SAE and other outlets. Recommended.

Track Listing:

1.… The Informant

2.… Meet Mark

3.… Car Meeting

4.… The Raid

5.… Multi-Tasking

6.… Polygraph

7.… Boxes

8.… After Car

9.… Trust Me (instrumental)

10.. Sellout

11.. Triplets

12.. Golf

13.. Trust Me (vocal by Steve Tyrell)

14.. The Informant (solo piano)

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