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Soundtrack Review

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Judas and the Black Messiah
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composers: Mark Isham and Craig Harris
Label: Watertower Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 February 2021

WaterTower Music release the soundtrack to the film Judas and the Black Messiah, with music by Mark Isham and Craig Harris. Inspired by true events, it tells the impactful story of community activist Fred Hampton, who became the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP) in 1968, and who, through his empowering words and passion for the people, led the organization’s fight for freedom and individuals’ self-determination, before his assassination at the hands of the FBI...

The score for Judas and the Black Messiah is interesting in as much as it incorporates genres that you wouldn't expect to work well together. It's mainly a mix of jazz and standard score, but tracks like 'The Inflated Tear / The Car, the Club' use a didgeridoo in the background, whilst pieces like 'We Got a Rat' draw on horror cliches with instruments played as though the style and performance is a random noise.

Possibly the biggest issue, for fans of traditional scores, is that this feels more like a collection of music cues designed to be dropped in the film whenever the director is looking for a certain piece to complement the onscreen imagery. As such, sadly, this is a rather bland collection of themes which don't really offer up much outside the film.


Darren Rea

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Digital album
Digital album