Musical Score By: Clint Mansell

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the new adrenaline pumping action film Faster, Dwayne Johnson stars as Driver, a man who has spent ten years in prison with only one thought in mind - to avenge his brotherís murder that took place during the botched bank robbery that landed him in prison.  Now that he is free to hunt down those responsible for his brotherís death, Driver discovers heís not the only one hunting.  Billy Bob Thornton is a veteran cop short on the retirement string and itching to get his hands on Driver.  Then thereís Oliver Jackson-Cohen who portrays a young egocentric hitman who has made killing an art.  He, too, is hunting Driver, a man he has found to be a worthy opponent.  To make matters worse, as the hunt moves forward, Driver discovers that his hit list may be a name or two short.  Can Driver avenge his brotherís death before he ends up in the same condition?

            The Faster Soundtrack is a mix of musical score and original songs by various artists like Iggy Pop, Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, The Heavy and more.  The musical score was created by English composer and musician Clint Mansell who began his career as front man for the band Pop Will Eat Itself.  The band released seven albums between the years 1987 and 1996 before splitting up to pursue solo projects.  Mansell headed to New York where he met Darren Aronofsky and his career in film score began with his debut in the independent film Pi.  Since then, Mansell has composed musical scores for a variety of films including Requiem for a Dream, Sahara, Smokiní Aces, The Fountain, Doom and Definitely Maybe.

            The musical score created for the Faster Soundtrack alternates between hard-hitting, adrenaline pumping, action tracks and quiet, reflective tracks.  The action scene music features rocking guitars and percussion beats, loud and aggressive and definitely moving.  Thereís an intensity there that is incredibly engaging and powerful.  The reflective tracks feature quiet pianos and strings meant to touch the heart of the listener.  The alternating of these themes not only musically describe what is taking place on screen, but give the listener an idea of the conflicting emotions experienced by Driver as he follows through with his vendetta.

            The original songs featured on the soundtrack feature some gritty vocals from interesting sources.  You have I Wanna Be Your Dog by Iggy Pop who provides a hard rock, harsh metallic sort of sound.  Then there is Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) by Kenny Rogers & the First Edition, an older, gritty song that showed me a side of country western singer Kenny Rogers I never knew.  All of the original songs seemed to fit in except the very strange track entitled John the Revelator, a gospel/blues song performed by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, an actor in the film.  Iím sure that the song fits the film somehow, but without having seen Faster, I have no idea how. 

            Although the songs fit the film, it is the musical score that is the star of the Faster Soundtrack.  I especially enjoyed the rocking guitars and mazing drum beats found on tracks like History Lesson (my favorite in the bunch).  In his compositions for the Faster Soundtrack, Clint Mansell has proven that he understands not only the events taking place in the film, but the emotional anguish experienced by the characters as well.  The Faster Soundtrack is an interesting and exciting listen and perfect for guitar lovers who will enjoy the rocking guitar riffs as much as I did.


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