Release Date: 1999
Conducted by Chris Boardman
Average Rating: 5 stars (1 user)
|2.||Porter Gets Information||1:37|
|6.||Val Meets Carter||4:06|
|7.||12 O'Clock Gang||1:#5|
|8.||Val Beats Rosie||3:34|
|9.||Porter Finds Bomb||2:48|
|10.||Steg's Ride Along||2:07|
|11.||Porter Croaks Carter||2:08|
|12.||The Warehouse / Finale||4:57|
|Total Album Time:||33:02|
|by Dan Goldwasser
June 27, 1999
Back in March 1999, in my review of the Varese Sarabande release to Payback, I commented that it would be nice if they released a promotional CD release of Chris Boardman's score to the film. My thoughts were answered, apparently, since there is such a promo score in existence. Whereas the original album contained only approximately 15 minutes of score surrounded by a cushion of songs, this promo album contains about 34 minutes - and the extra 20-minutes do make a difference.
Boardman's jazzy opening theme, which is similar in tone to The Taking of Pelham One-Two-Three, certainly evokes the same feelings of those dark, low-saturated, gritty films of the 70's. This promo score contains music from more the emotional scenes in the film, such as when we find out that Porter's wife, Lynn, has a heroin problem. In that cue, dark woodwinds somberly brood, and the main title even makes an appearance in the background. By far the most colorful character in the film, "Pearle's Entrance" heralds the introduction of Pearle with saxophones, a bass, and an organ. These are just some of the additional cues to be found on this album.
Some of the cues suffered from a sort of "improvisational" element; enjoying the score as listening music might prove difficult because some of the cues lack the smoothness that one would expect from some types of jazz. This jazz is a bit harsher than most, and the occasional dissonance might prove discomforting to those trying to enjoy the music in the background. This is music that (for some cues) works better in the film than on its own.
Overall, the score is definitely a throwback to the jazzier scores of the 1970s, and while it might not appeal to most people, this score was quite a pleasure to listen to. Payback had a lukewarm reception in theaters - some thought it to be too dark a film - but the tone of the film, in conjunction with the score, serves as a very appropriate and accurate homage to the gritty films from 20 years ago.
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