The Infiltrator Soundtrack and Score
Musical Score By: Chris Hajian
Song By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on a true story, The Infiltrator stars Bryan Cranston as Robert Mazur, a federal agent assigned to a deep cover mission to infiltrate Pablo Escobar’s drug trafficking scene in 1986. Posing as a money-laundering businessman and teamed up with a streetwise fellow agent named Emir (John Leguizamo) and a rookie agent posing as his fiancé (Diane Kruger), Mazur is able to befriend Escobar’s top lieutenant Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt). Though danger lurks at every corner, Robert Mazur puts his life on the line to build a case leading to the indictment of over a hundred drug lords and corrupt bankers.
In July 2016, Lakeshore Records digitally released two albums for The Infiltrator – The Infiltrator Score and The Infiltrator Soundtrack. Both were available via CD by August. The Infiltrator Soundtrack features songs by various artists, including Rush, Jody Williams, Nu Shooz, Them Two, Curtis Mayfield, The Who and more. The Infiltrator Score features music created by American composer Chris Hajian. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Hajian attended the High School of the Performing Arts before studying classical composition at the Manhattan School of Music. He began composing music for film during the indie film movement of the 1990s. Since then, he has composed music for a number of notable films and television series, including Ten Benny, Mr. Vincent, Naked States, The Knights of Prosperity, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Inspector Gadget 2, The Take, Yonkers Joe, Chihuahua 2, The Greatest Movie Ever Made, Unraveled and Start Up.
Set in the 1980s, I wasn’t surprised to hear some of the songs on the soundtrack, nor was I surprised to hear synths in the score. According to Chris Hajian, “I wanted to create a very captivating score, and one that puts an emotional depth into the film in a powerful yet nuanced way. This combination of 80s synths, modern ambient textures and string melodies is one that I believe captures the time and emotion of the story and draws you into the world…”
It would seem to me that music was a very important part of this film as there are thirty tracks of musical score totaling over an hour of music and twelve tracks of songs. The songs set the tone for the time and often describe the locale as in the club sounds of I Can't Wait and Que Nadie Sepa Mi Surfrir. Many of the songs contain references to drugs or altered states and Tom Sawyer sort of reminds me of Cranston’s on-screen character. The score is used to enhance the danger and drama in each scene. Danger is expressed in edgy electronic tracks that have an acid-like sound to them – crackling static-y edges that mimic the sound of acid dropped on metal. The emotional drama is expressed through dramatic keyboard and string compositions. One piece of score in particular stood out for me – Santeria features reverb and distorted voices and is just plain spooky.When record companies put out full albums of score and songs for a single movie, it is not often worth spending hard earned money on one or the other. Sometimes tracks of score added to songs would suffice for a movie soundtrack. In this case, there is so much relevant music in this film that this wouldn’t have worked. I loved The Infiltrator Soundtrack for bringing me back to the 80s, but I loved The Infiltrator Score for the drama and danger reflected in the music created by Chris Hajian. Thus, I found that both albums are quite worthy of my hard earned dough and well-worth any music lover’s listen.