Legion: Volume 2
Musical Score By: Jeff Russo
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Based on the Marvel Comics series, Legion stars Dan Stevens as David Haller, a troubled young man who, diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child, has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. Now in his thirties, David has succumbed to the monotonous routine of the hospital until the arrival of Syd (Rachel Keller). A striking encounter with Syd forces David to realize that the voices he has been hearing all his life are actually real and the visions he experiences are due to a mutation in his genes. Escaping the hospital and seeking shelter with his sister Amy (Katie Aselton), but this is not an ideal situation. Syd eventually guides him to Melanie Bird (Jean Smart), a therapist with a sharp mind, unconventional methods and a team of specialist who help David see his potential.
The musical score of Legion was created by American singer, songwriter, producer, musician and composer Jeff Russo. Best known as one of two founding members of Tonic, Russo is also a founding member of the acoustic rock band known as the Low Stars. Beginning his foray into musical scoring with Fargo in 2014, for which he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special, Russo has created musical scores for a number of films, television programs, video games and commercials. Some of his credits include the scores for Tut, American Gothic, The Night Of, What Remains of Edith Finch, Snowfall, Star Trek: Discovery, Counterpart, Power, Three Christs, Lizzie and Altered Carbon.
Legion: Volume 2 contains more music from the first season of the television series. The score features a mix of strings and electronic sound. According to the composer, “I used many esoteric synths from the 70s including something called a ‘synthi.’ That along with a traditional cinematic orchestral sound makes up most of the sound of the score. I also used a lot of bowing metals...springs, and different kinds of metal percussion.” Using these altered sounds, Russo enables us to see David’s altered perception of reality.
There are a total of ten tracks on this album. Jeff Russo appeared to have a great deal of fun with the Fauxlero track, a Legion take on Maurice Ravel’s Bolero: “Fauxlero was so much fun to put together and when was the last time you heard a harpsichord cue?” My favorite track is actually Harpsichord with Undercurrent, which is exactly that: a beautifully played harpsichord track that ends in an electronic, acid-dripping, ominous undertone. My least favorite: Dan Stevens’ rendition of The Muppets’ Rainbow Connection on banjo. Sorry, but the song’s just not the same without Kermit the Frog.
Although very short in length - perhaps just scraping a half hour of music – the Legion: Volume 2 Soundtrack is rather enjoyable and would complete any fan’s collection. Definitely well worth the listen!