Musical Score By: Rob Simonsen
Songs By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the movie Burnt, Bradley Cooper is Adam Jones, a chef who earned two Michelin stars in the restaurants of Paris. But drug use and manic need for perfection destroyed him and those around him. Now, three years later, Adam seeks a comeback. Completely sober and having completed his self-imposed sentence of oyster shucking, Adam has traveled to London in search of a new career and the elusive third Michelin star.
The Burnt Soundtrack features songs by various artists including Barnes Courtney, RY X and Autograf. The score was created by Rob Simonsen, an American composer who grew up surrounded by music thanks to his vocal teacher grandmother. Learning how to play the piano by ear as a child, Simonsen went on to study piano performance and music theory in college. His first break into film composing came in 2003 with Westender and since then he has composed musical scores for a number of films, including The Spectacular Now, The Way, Way Back, Wish I Was Here, The Age of Adeline, Foxcatcher and more.
The soundtrack begins with the songs and some fun songs they are! Fire, by Barnes Courtney, is a bluesy rock song that reflects the tale of Adam Jones in its lyrics: "Thousand faces staring at me / Thousand time I've fallen / Thousand voices dead at my feet / Now I'm gone now I'm gone now I'm gone...Now give me that fire." He's fallen and destroyed lives, but he rises up and goes back to his passion (fire) for one last try. It Serves Your Right to Suffer, by The Avener and John Lee Hooker, is a blues song that is a reflection of Adam's depression. As you listen to the tehcno track Dream by Autograf, you can picture Adam going through the motions, unable to find happiness. The alternative track, Fade Out Lines by The Avener, is a strange sounding track with some real meaning for the main character as he struggles with the idea of a comeback and all it will mean.
We then move into some instrumental tracks. Flashlight, by Bonobo, is an enjoyable techno dance track, while RY X's Love Like This is a romantic track with a funky style. The rest of the album features score by Rob Simonsen. These tracks feature Adam on the way to his comeback. This music is more upbeat and softer. According to Simonsen, "We wanted something elegant, but with movement. A small chamber orchestra seemed to fit the bill, along with looped and treated sounds and electronics."
The Burnt Soundtrack is an excellent music experience. Serving well as background music for the film, it also makes for an excellent stand alone album that weaves a story through song and music. Without knowing anything about the film, you understand that this is a story about a rising star crashing and burning and the transformed man that emerges from the ashes with new hope. This is one movie soundtrack well worth the listen!