“Bonnie & Clyde (2013)”
Music By John Debney
La-La Land Records
28 Tracks/Disc Time: 60:28
After the unforgettable 1967 film starring Oscar Winners Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway was released, “Bonnie & Clyde” became an icon in the public conciousness and soon would inspire other films following their memorable lead to little or no success. Last year, A&E Networks after their success on another mini-series “Hatfields & Mccoys” came back with another one on the legendary duo with Emilie Hirsch (“The Girl Next Door”, “Speed Racer”) and Holliday Grainger (“The Borgias”) starring as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker respectively. The film follows the meeting between Barrow and Parker, who was a petite waitress working in a small town charmed by Barrow and soon fall in love and go on a bank robbery spree that would make them the most notorious criminals in the history of this country. The series would also co-star Oscar nominees William Hurt (“Broadcast News”) and Holly Hunter (“Raising Arizona”, “The Firm”) and Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”) and the series was directed by Oscar winner Bruce Beresford (“Driving Miss Daisy”).
Having been no stranger to the mini-series format after the success of “Hatfield’s & Mccoy’s” composer John Debney was once again chosen to retell the memorable story of the infamous criminal duo. Debney, who’s a very talented composer and one with an amazing resume of films that include “Cutthroat Island”, “Sudden Death”, “Little Giants”, “Hocus Pocus” amongst many applies his versitility to this score with basically a jazzy period style mixed with a bit of a contemporary feel to the music which surprisingly really works and as the score went along, I personally found myself more and more into the music. Beginning with the pulsing electronic and rhythmic “Main Title” that quickly shifts gears into a country twang styled theme complete with guitar and solo trumpet that is very reminiscent of Mark Isham’s work to set the mood of the score. Mixing this jazzy/country flavor in the next track “Chicken Thieves/I Was Born/Bonnie’s Theme”, again shifting gears to set up another theme for the lovely Bonnie Parker for piano and saxophone which is similar to that of Thomas Newman’s work.
There’s some rhythmic action work that is very ecclectic that mixes a 30’s styled big band motif in “First Robbery” which is very wild featuring bass solos and it would culminate later on in aggressive work in “I’m Bonnie Parker/Escape/Bonnie’s Sacrifice”, “Bank Job”, “Don’t Mess With Bonnie And Clyde/Bonnie’s Theme Piano”, “Forest Shootout/Buck Shot/Morning After”, and “Like A Rubber Ball/Prelude To Hell Unleashed/Aftermath/The Graves” which also feature moody electronics as sweetner. What I enjoyed most about this score is the fun, thematic material featured in “Speakeasy Raid/Prison Escape/Love At First Sight”, “Sometimes Fate Steps In/Ballerina”, “Bonnie Walks Home”, “Clyde Dreams Of Happiness”, and “The Headlines/Robbery Gone Wrong”, which feature an engaging styled version of the Bonnie & Clyde theme in various different guises and mixed in with darker and suspense material that actually does work for the score quite well.
La-La Land’s release of this album is actually one of my favorite John Debney scores in quite sometime and every engaging in everyway. It is not a perfect score however in that it features a little too much electronics and if they were left just for minimal use, I think the score would’ve been even that much better in my opinion because the do seem to grate on you after a little bit. Otherwise, this is a really fine effort by Debney and a very good score for what it is. Thumbs up!