Mad Men: On the Rocks

Musical Score By: David Carbonnara

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Set in the 1960s, Mad Men is a dramatic AMC television series starring Jon Hamm as Don Draper, creative director at the Sterling Cooper advertising agency on Madison Avenue, and later, cofounder of Sterling Draper Cooper Pryce.  The series focuses on Draper and the people in his professional and home life.  Receiving high praise since its premiere in 2007, Mad Men completed its sixth season in June 2013.  In August 2013, Silva Screen Records released Mad Men: On the Rocks, featuring previously released music from the series and some new tracks.

                The music of Mad Men is composed by former touring trombonist, television composer and music editor David Carbonara.  Best known for his work on Mad Men, Carbonara has also created musical score for the movies The Young Girl and the Monsoon and Amélia and the television series Vegas.  He has also worked as music editor for such notable directors as Milos Forman, Ron Howard and Lasse Hallstrom.

                The music of Mad Men: On the Rocks is mainly jazz.  Tracks like Beautiful Girls, Hotel Bossa and Christmas Conga have a Latin flare, while Track 4, Betty Home and Sally's Story flows from jazz into country.  Pacific Coast Highway has a laid back, carefree flavor about it, while Draper's Ruse has a noir feel.  Most of the tracks are upbeat, but a few of the tracks have an ominous flare leading one to believe that something underhanded is taking place.  The final track, A Beautiful Mine, is actually music producer and musician RJD2's composition, a track that is used as the opening theme of Mad MenA Beautiful Mine is a jazz track with a modern twist.

                Being a fan of jazz, I happened to enjoy Mad Men: On the Rocks immensely.  The tracks were short, but everything a jazz fan could ask for and the percussions were amazing.  My favorite track of the bunch was A Beautiful Mine, but they were all great and I loved the diversity in the jazz sound to be found on the album.  Fans of the show are bound to love Mad Men: On the Rocks, but the album is also bound to appeal to jazz fans who have never seen an episode of the series.  A great mix of songs from a very talented music composer.


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