Firstborn Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Firstborn by Michael Small.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 89.2
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 16.18
Album Excellence: 48%
Michael Small is a composer I haven’t featured on this site, but why not? I don’t even know the answer to that. It just never came up I suppose. I was looking through my blind buys Intrada collection and there it was, a 1984 thriller score composed by Michael Small. Directed by Michael Apted and starring Peter Weller aka RoboCop as the bad papa who moves into the family’s home and destroys it from within. Sounds decent enough and the trailer makes me want to see it, but mostly because it features an awesome 80s song I haven’t heard before. It got singing so I assume it’s not part of the score by Small. In any case, it’s hopefully an exciting score with some of the 80s stuff that I love. If not, then I won’t cry about it, honest. I’m really not familiar with Small at all. I know I have heard a few scores by him, but I can’t remember what and I can’t remember what they sounded like so I’m going in blind. Who’s with me?
Interestingly enough, the score starts with ‘Finale (Original Version)’ which judging by the name should be at the end. There is another version coming at the end to be fair. Anyway, the music is very nice. It’s a mellow and and very sweet piano theme with some string underscoring. Minimalistic and quite beautiful I have to say. I love 80s ballads. Also it sounds quite inspirational and positive so I assume the movie ended well. The 5 part cue ‘Hug / Hug (Alternate) / Wendy Waves / Dad And Wendy Talk / Dad Announces’ contains more lovely 80s ballads, particularly the Wendy Waves and Dad And Wendy Talk part. I’m totally in love with the way the score sounds so far. Very 80s. ‘After Dinner With Dad / Picnic / Slingshot’ contains more 80s love and Small is increasing in reputation as I listen to it. So far the piano has been used a lot and it’s been used very well. It’s perfect for this kind of music and the lovely strings and synths when they do come in, they come in with such warmth. The Slingshot is not a ballad, but it has a crazy great bass guitar sound.
Well it got serious fast and with ‘Discovers Drugs’ I hear the serious mode of Michael Small. Long strings and shorter swirling horns to create an aura of mystery is the recipe here. Well, the serious stuff is decent, but it’s a bit of a downer after all that glorious 80s music. ‘Sam’s Friend / Sam Leaves’ starts where ‘Discovers Drugs’ ends, but then it takes a more light approach with an 80s bass and a very high pitched synth which makes it more to my liking. ‘Dad On Phone / Brian Wants To Leave Wendy’ is a mix of serious thriller music and a less serious 80s tone. The mix doesn’t quit get it right though. Well just forget everything you’ve heard so far. ‘Ride To Hideaway’ is where you want to be. Small takes out the guitar and rocks this place, seriously. This is the main theme of the movie played on guitar, aggressive synths and for 1 minute and 15 seconds it’s the most awesome thing ever. It’s still good after that, but man, he brought this place down with that long minute of 80s madness. ‘Jeep Chase / On Foot / Closes Windows / Forces Jake’ has some pretty great music as well. I particularly like the killer bass synth and that guitar. It brings so much power and energy to this score. However the cue doesn’t hold up to the high standards I have now set for the score. ‘Fight (Original Version)’ has a proper 80s horror feel to it. Strong synth brass. ‘Flight (Revised)’ is a more musical version. The synths are different. It ends in awesomeness with ‘Finale (Revised)’ and finally ‘Ride To Hideaway / Tag Ending (End Credits)’
Firstborn is a great find for every 80s enthusiast. I’ve never seen the movie, or heard much from Michael Small, but I got to say he got me all excitement with the mix of 80s ballads and that bad-ass guitar / synth theme. Yes, Firstborn just earned itself many replays with me and I hope you find this score as well. If you are a child of the 80s, you really need this score. Awesome!
1. Finale (Original Version)
2. Hug / Hug (Alternate) / Wendy Waves / Dad And Wendy Talk / Dad Announces
3. After Dinner With Dad / Picnic / Slingshot *
7. Ride To Hideaway *
9. No Pain No Gain
12. Finale (Revised) *
13. Ride To Hideaway / Tag Ending (End Credits) *