Kingsman: The Secret Service

Composed By: Henry Jackman and Mattew Margeson

Distributed by: La-La Land Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the spy action film based on the comic book series, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Colin Firth is Harry Hart, a secret agent whose failure to prevent the death of one of his fellow agents moves him to personally deliver a bravery medal to his family featuring a telephone number on the back they should call if ever in trouble.  Seventeen years later, Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton), the son of that brave agent, finds himself under arrest for auto theft.  Calling the number for assistance gets Eggsy more than he bargained for - an invitation to apply for the secret intelligence agency known as the Kingsmen.  Should he complete his training, he may find himself up against Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) one of the most conniving terrorists in the world.

                The musical score of Kingsman: The Secret Service was created by the collaborative efforts of Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson.  English composer Henry Jackman, born to a family with ties to the music industry, was destined for a career in music.  A composer, conductor, programmer, arranger, musician, pianist and songwriter, Jackman began his foray into film score composition in the late 2000s, providing additional music for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, The Simpsons Movie, Kung Fu Panda and Hancock.  By 2009, he was working on full length movie scores for such notable films as Monsters vs. Aliens, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Wreck-It Ralph, X-Men: First Class, Captain Phillips and more.  This is not the first time he has worked with Matthew Margeson.

                American composer and pianist Matthew Margeson studied at the Berklee College of Music before earning an apprenticeship at Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions in 2003.  While there, he collaborated on scores for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, X-Men: First Class and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Since then, he has composed the musical scores of the feature films Skyline and Scouts vs. Zombies and the video games All-Star Battle Royale and Knack.  Jackman and Margeson have worked together on the scores of Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos and Kick Ass 2.

                Being an action film, the score of Kingsman: The Secret Service was bound to feature heavy percussion, fast-paced strings and blaring horns.  But there is more to this film than just action.  There is a tale of a man wracked by guilt over the death of a fellow agent, of a young man lacking direction who is about to find some, of an unspeakable evil about to be unleashed on the world.  Thus, there is more than just an action score here.  Dramatic orchestral pieces abound in this soundtrack, such as The Medallion, Toast to a Kingsman and An 1815 Napoleonic Brandy

                The sound of the Kingsmen is quite heroic, featuring a heroes serenade of horns and percussion.  Valentine's theme features a very ominous sound complete with reverb.  When the two clash, as in the track Calculated Infiltration, the sounds intertwine and are joined by a choir.  This track has a lot going on.  Softer moments tell you that some stealth is involved.  Heavy percussion and louder burst of fast-paced music let you know we're about to see some action.  High-pitched violins speak of peril.  This may be the best track on the album.

                The Kingsman: The Secret Service Soundtrack features a score perfectly suited for the genre of this film and makes for an exciting musical experience.  I had already planned on seeing this film at the earliest opportunity, but listening to the soundtrack makes me want to see it that much more.


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