John Wick

Composed By: Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                When thugs working for a New York-based Russian crime syndicate break into John Wick's (Keanu Reeves) home, beat him senseless and kill his beagle puppy in front of him, all as a lesson before stealing his car, they could never have known just what they were getting into.  That beagle, Daisy, had been a present from John's recently deceased wife (Bridget Moynahan).  It was the last tie to the loving and peaceful life John had been living after leaving his life as a hitman years ago.  Now, John is returning to his old life to hunt down the members of this syndicate...eventually leading up to a face off with his former boss (Michael Nyqvist).

                The John Wick Soundtrack contains songs by artists like The Candy Shop Boys, M86 & Susie Q and Ciscandra Nostalghia and musical score created by American composers Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard.  A music producer and composer for films, Tyler Bates is also a well-accomplished guitarist and has recently joined Marilyn Manson's band as lead guitarist on tour.  Tyler Bates is known for his adrenaline pumping electric sound and has created musical scores for film, television series and video games.  Some of his accomplishments include the scores for Rob Zombie's Halloween series, The Devil's Rejects, 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch, Doomsday, See No Evil. The Darkest Hour and Guardians of the Galaxy.

                Joel J. Richard is also an accomplished guitarist who has toured with bands in the New York hard rock scene.  Becoming interested in the scoring scene, Richard began an internship with Hans Zimmer's Media Ventures.  By 2001, he was gaining some notoriety as a composer and began collaborating with John Powell on a number of film scores, including The Bourne Identity.  Since then, Richard has worked on a number of solo film scoring projects, including Between, Locked, Mario's Story, Fallen, The Andromeda Strain, Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswood and Compound Fractures.

                According to Tyler Bates, "The first words of direction from the directors were that they wanted the score to kick ass in the same aesthetic paradigm that IS John Wick's world."  A kick ass score this definitely is, featuring an action-packed electric score with an industrial metal sound.  Evil Man Blues is a new age jazz song performed by The Candy Shop Boys.  The rest of the songs on this album are alternative rock and all have a special meaning in regards to the former life of John Wick.  There is a steady beat in this adrenaline pumping, angry beat that signifies John Wick's determination in his quest for revenge.  Just listening to this score, you know that nothing will stand in Wick's way until he reaches his ultimate goal.

                The John Wick Soundtrack is a rocking good album featuring an amazing score and some great songs.  There is no way that I would recommend listening to this album while driving as there may be a propensity to stamp on that gas peddle while the score is blasting out of your car speakers.  Fight scenes in this movie must be even more amazing when accompanied by this score.  I had no interest in seeing this movie prior to listening to the score, but now, I definitely want to see just how well the music fuses with the visuals in what has to be an action-packed joyride of a movie.


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