Review: Liberty Heights (score)
3.5 / 5 Stars
Director Barry Levinson returns to Baltimore in the 1950s to give us a touching story about race, relationships, and class in Liberty Heights. Chosen to score the film was Andrea Morricone, the son of film scoring legend Ennio Morricone. The score is a rather intimate dramatic one, with a lyrical main theme that shows up consistently throughout the album.
"Opening", the first title on the album starts out with a lush string section with solo acoustic guitar providing the melody. There is a bit of dialogue on this track - but it only lasts about 20 seconds, and fades out rather quickly. "Graduation" is another lush track that uses a flute instead of a guitar - I will have to admit that I can see hisfather's influence on his scoring stylings. There are also some suspense cues, such as "Down A Baltimore Street", which is a sparsely orchestrated tense track.
"Nate with his Boys" and "Patterson Park Story" is a rather soulful dramatic cue, which uses another lyrical theme representing Joe Mantegna's character. Most of the score sounds the same - lots of strings, and plenty of emotion. "Liberty Heights" contains more dialogue, which was a tad distracting - since there was added "hiss" to an already clean recording.
The score to Liberty Heights is a wonderful, emotional score done in the Morricone tradition, and while the film has been critically praised, it unfortunately hasn't done well in the theaters. But if you should happen to see the film, I'm sure you'll enjoy the score as much as you enjoy the story. Liberty Heights was released on Warner Sunset / Atlantic Records, and runs about 45 minutes long. There is another album with all songs from the film, also from Atlantic Records, which is recommended as well.
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