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Soundtrack Review

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: James Horner
Label: Sony Masterworks
RRP: £13.99
8 887509 93526
Release Date: 24 July 2015

Sony Masterworks release James Horner's score for Southpaw. The movie tells the story of Billy "The Great" Hope, reigning Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World. Hope seemingly has it all with an impressive career, a beautiful and loving wife, an adorable daughter and a lavish lifestyle. When tragedy strikes and his lifelong manager and friend leaves him behind, Hope hits rock bottom and turns to an unlikely savior at a run-down local gym: Tick Willis, a retired fighter and trainer to the city's toughest amateur boxers. With his future riding on Tick's guidance and tenacity, Billy enters the hardest battle of his life as he struggles with redemption and to win back the trust of those he loves...

The score for Southpaw is, sadly, one of the final scores that composer James Horner wrote before his tragic passing. In some online listing's it's credited as his final score. This being the case, any follower of his will be sadly disappointed to discover that this is a rather by-the-numbers affair with hardly anything of interest.

But, just as I was beginning to worry that Horner had phoned this one in... along came 'Dream Crusher' a beautiful track. In addition, 'How Much They Miss Her' revisits the same theme. This is the only theme on the album worth getting excited about, but to be honest it does sound a little like a watered down version of a lot of his earlier, more impressive work.

This is not the last impression I want to have of one my all time favourite composers. I'll be remembering Horner for his work on Casper, Jumanji, The Boy with the Stripped Pyjamas, Star Trek: II - The Wrath of Kahn, Star Trek: III - The Search for Spock, The New World, The Land Before Time, Cocoon, Aliens and Bicentennial Man.

Sadly, Southpaw is functional and nothing more.


Darren Rea

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