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Soundtrack Review

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Lean on Pete
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: James Edward Barker
Label: Varèse Sarabande Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 27 April 2018

Varèse Sarabande Records release Lean On Pete original motion picture soundtrack featuring the film’s original score by award-winning composer James Edward Barker. Fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson arrives in Portland, Oregon with his father Ray, both of them eager for a fresh start after a series of hard knocks. While Ray descends into personal turmoil, Charley finds acceptance and camaraderie at a local racetrack where he lands a job caring for an aging Quarter Horse named Lean On Pete. The horse’s gruff owner Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi) and his seasoned jockey Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny) help Charley fill the void of his father’s absence - until he discovers that Pete is bound for slaughter, prompting him to take extreme measures to spare his new friend’s life...

James Edward Barker delivers an atmospheric score here, but it's one of those soundtrack that just doesn't work without the visual imagery of the film. The 11 tracks here (28 min, 43 sec) are more music cues than they are themes in their own right.

Despite listening to this several times over a couple of weeks, I didn't become any closer to it than I did on my first listen. There's no character, emotion or anything to make you want to relisten to it. Sadly this is yet another score that's best heard in the movie.


Darren Rea

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