The Company You Keep

Composed By: Cliff Martinez

Distributed by: Milan Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Based on a novel by Neil Gordon, The Company You Keep stars Robert Redford as Jim Grant, a widower and single father who works as a lawyer in Albany until a secret from his past is revealed by aggressive reporter Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf).  As it turns out, Jim Grant is actually a former Weathermen Underground anti-Vietnam War militant wanted for bank robbery and murder.  Now Grant is on the run, ducking the FBI to find his former lover (Anna Kendrick) and clear his name before he loses everything he holds dear.

                The musical score of The Company You Keep was created by former punk rock scene musician Cliff Martinez.  Known for his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Wierdos, The Dickies and more, Martinez has since turned his musical talents towards film scoring.  Some of his film compositions include the musical scores for Pump up the Volume, Solaris, The Limey, Wonderland, The Lincoln Lawyer, Wicker Park, Drive and Arbitrage

                In his approach to creating the musical score of The Company You Keep, director and star Robert Redford said, “There’s a bittersweet, rueful quality to the film.  I wanted the music to support the emotion from underneath – to be strong yet subtle, emotional yet restrained – Cliff does that instinctually and I think his work speaks for itself.”  To that end, Cliff Martinez has created a musical score with an aura of intrigue and subterfuge.  Electronic sounds, keyboards, electric guitars and reverb in lower octaves create that bittersweet feeling surrounding the main character. 

                I’ve no doubt that Cliff Martinez has created a musical score that blends perfectly with the visuals of the movie.  I can actually picture the events of this film while listening to the soundtrack.  That being said, I am not so certain that folks will want to spend anywhere from $9.50 to $14.00US to own The Company You Keep Soundtrack.  The music is great as background music for the film, but as a solo album, were it me, I would probably pass it up in a store.


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