The Lincoln Lawyer Soundtrack and Original Score

Songs By: Various Artists

Music Composed By: Cliff Martinez

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the upcoming film, The Lincoln Lawyer, based on a novel by Michael Connelly, Matthew McConaughey stars as Mickey Haller is a criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles whose office is actually his Lincoln Continental.  With such an interesting place of work, it is no surprise that Mickey’s usual cases involve the low level criminals and dregs of society in L.A.  So when he is hired to defend a rich Beverly Hills realtor (Ryan Phillippe) against charges of rape and murder, he jumps at the opportunity.  Unfortunately, what looks like a simple case turns into one of the most mind-blowing cases Haller has ever taken part in filled with manipulation and lies.  Can Haller uncover the truth behind this case before it’s too late?

            The soundtrack of The Lincoln Lawyer features quite a diverse selection of music.  I was surprised when the very first song I heard on the soundtrack of a film starring Matthew McConaughey turned out to be an R&B song from the 70’s.  Ain’t No Love In the Heart of the City, performed by Bobby “Blue” Bland, is a beautiful song about living life after losing love.  This is followed by a rap track performed by Marcus "Seige" White featuring Big Hollis.  The song is based on the film’s main character and entitled Lincoln Lawyer.  This is followed by Music, another rap song by Erick Sermon which features samplings of a song by the same name performed by Marvin Gaye

            This is not to say that the entire album is R&B, rap and hip-hop, but a good percentage of the album is just that.  Mixed in between are some alternative music and some dance/techno tracks featuring artists like Ari Hest, Citizen Cope, Colin Smith, Cinema Guitar Works and more.  I particularly enjoyed the witty lyrics of Bobblehead Girl by Danny Chaimson & The 11th Hour, an indie rock/soul band.

            The musical score of The Lincoln Lawyer was composed by Cliff Martinez, an American composer with an ear for the interesting.  A former drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Martinez knew that imaginative and innovative approaches would take him a long way in the music industry.  Quite a few of the compositions created by Cliff Martinez for movies like Wicker Park and Wonderland, and television series like Kafka, Grey’s Anatomy, Solaris and Traffic utilize instruments that have been custom created to create a unique sound.

            The same is true for the original score of The Lincoln Lawyer.  After an initial screening of the film, Cliff Martinez decided that the musical score of the film would have to be something that would punctuate the dramatic moments of the film and “give the audiences something to remember.  To that end, Martinez says, “The main ingredients in my recipe are an electric guitar, time-stretching software, baritone steel drums and my top-secret weapon of choice: the Baschet Crystal…an experimental instrument/objet d'art played with moistened fingers on glass rods.”  All of these go a long way in creating a dramatic musical score with a unique sound.

            Despite the uniqueness of the instruments used to create the musical score of The Lincoln Lawyer, I’m afraid it’s the songs that really stand out in the film.  The rest is just background music for the film and honestly, not all that memorable.  In fact, the most memorable track, Shoot Me Now, shows up near the end of the album.  If you ask me, The Lincoln Lawyer Original Score is only for the diehard fans of the film who will buy anything associated with it.  The real winner here and definite must-buy is The Lincoln Lawyer Soundtrack, an album filled with a diversity of musical genres and enjoyable songs arranged to flow into each other rather nicely to create a complete and well-worth-the-money package.


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