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Soundtrack Review

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Nate Heller
Label: Sony Music Masterworks
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 15 November 2019

Sony Music releases the original soundtrack to A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with music by Nate Heller. Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in this timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about kindness, love and forgiveness from America’s most beloved neighbour...

The name Mr Rogers means a lot less to people in the UK than it does to those who grew up in the USA. For decades Mr Rogers was welcomed into the home of millions. Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was a half-hour educational children's program which was first broadcast in 1968 and ran for 895 episodes, finally concluding in 2001. So on an emotional level, the film was always going to hit home with those who grew up knowing the character.

The soundtrack is a strange collection of songs, music cues, an original Mr Rogers's song from the TV show and the score. If I'm honest it wasn't an album that I really engaged with. In fact there was only one track, 'You Are My Friend' that made me sit up and take notice. But, 'Fred at the End' is also interesting.

Obviously it's a score that works well in the movie, sitting quietly in the background, but is rather bland and lifeless when listened to on its own merits. Plus the strange mix of styles makes for a rather bizarre listening experience.


Darren Rea

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