Soundtrack Review: LBJ

Soundtrack Review: LBJ

LBJ Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score LBJ by Marc Shaiman.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 96
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 37.9
Album Excellence: 77.5%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

LBJ is a 2017 American biographical political drama film directed by Rob Reiner and starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Woody Harrelson & Bill Pullman. After powerful Senate Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson (Woody Harrelson) loses the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination to Senator John F. Kennedy (Jeffrey Donovan), he agrees to be his young rival’s running mate. But once they win the election, despite his extensive legislative experience and shrewd political instincts, Johnson finds himself sidelined in the role of vice president. That all changes on Nov. 22, 1963, when Kennedy is assassinated and Johnson, with his devoted wife Lady Bird (Jennifer Jason Leigh) by his side, is suddenly thrust into the presidency. As the nation mourns, Johnson must contend with longtime adversary Attorney General Bobby Kennedy (Michael Stahl-David) and one-time mentor Georgia Senator Richard Russell (Richard Jenkins) as he seeks to honor JFK’s legacy by championing the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. The score is composed by Marc Shaiman.

I was just thinking the other day: What is Marc Shaiman doing these days? And like magic, this score appears. Perhaps most known for The Addams Family, he done a number of drama scores over the years and I’m truly pleased to hear a new Shaiman score in 2017. The score opens with ‘Opening’, and wait, what’s this? A proper 90s sounding orchestral drama score with horns? Well that’s what is sounds like and if that’s the case, it will be a very nice reunion. There’s something about this "sound" which is very hard to find these day. It’s natural that proression in film music happens which is why when scores like this appears, it gives us a nice rose tinted glasses look at how everything was better before.

Of course that’s not true, but it still doesn’t change the fact that nostalgia is a big factor when listening to this score. It reminds me of the golden 90s era with drama scores from James Newton Howard. Remember those? Aah, the good old days. Every now and then there’s a score like this, but maybe only once every 2 or 3 years and this is one to buy and hold on to and remember a time when drama used to be filled with simple and enjoyable motifs. It’s so light it’s almost an insult in the face of 2017 which is filled with almost exclusively dark music. Sure there’s darker music on this score as well, but it still feels part of another era and not really that dark. Maybe this score lacks a great theme to be compared to the greats of 90s drama, but it’s a really nice listen. It’a fantastic time to be alive when scores like this can pop up from nowhere. Love it!

1. Opening
2. Motorcade Leaves
3. Bird, Get Me A Drink
4. Do You Want This?
5. Nomination Announcement
6. Kennedy On The Phone
8. Through Downtown Dallas
9. Gazing At The White House
12. Kennedy TV Speech
14. Air Force One
15. Swearing In
16. Funeral On TV
17. Dinner And Funeral
18. Ice Cream
19. Size Of A Texan’s Balls
20. The Oval Office
21. Writing The Speech
23. Time To Go
24. The Speech
25. Let’s Get To Work

GD Star Rating


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