Magic City - The Score

Composed By: Daniele Luppi

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                   In Magic City, the new hit series on STARZ set in Miami‘s Miramar Playa Hotel near the beginning of 1959 hotelier Ike Evans (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is trying to find new ways to finance his dream. He sells his soul to mob boss Ben “The Butcher” Diamond (Danny Huston). While his former showgirl wife (Olga Kurylenko) and his kids think he is an honorable man, Ike finds himself in deep with the most dangerous criminal in town.  I recently had an opportunity to review an album containing songs from the television series.  On October 2, 2012, Silva Screen Records released Magic City - The Score.

                The musical score of Magic City was created by Italian composer Daniele Luppi, a classically trained pianist who also learned how to play jazz organ.  From an early age, Luppi developed an obsession for Italian film scores.  His fate was set and it wasn't long before he emigrated to the United States, becoming a session musician on soundtracks.  Luppi eventually moved into arranging and then scoring independent films like The Woman Chaser, Red Silk and Showboy.  He also contributed music for Sex & the City and Under the Tuscan Sun

                Magic City's Opening Theme immediately puts the listener in the right frame of mind for the show.  You are teleported back in time to the old style, flashy hotel lounges of the late 1950s.  Things seems simple and fun.  The next track, Underwater Forest - Part I, begins in a dreamy quality. The cover of the album features a girl swimming underwater in a tank showcased behind a bar at the hotel lounge.  You can actually picture the hypnotic, carefree and erotic scene of this woman swimming for the customers' pleasure.  Piano is the predominant instrument in this track, but the strings add a somewhat ominous sound to the scene, as if all only appears beautiful on the surface.

                The rest of the soundtrack becomes darker and more complex in timing with Ike Evans' life.  The more entangled he becomes with the mob, the more complicated Ike's life becomes and this is perfectly reflected in the rest of the score.  The water theme found in Underwater Forest can be found in later tracks on the album, adding a dreamlike complexity to it all, as if Ike feels trapped in a dream steadily becoming a nightmare. 

                I've never watched Magic City, so I can't definitively say that the musical score by Daniele Luppi enhances the visuals of the show or defines the emotions of the characters.  What I can say is that Magic City - The Score makes a definite statement as to the state of mind of Ike Evans as he sets off on his journey and finds himself drowning in despair over the situation he finds himself in with the mob.  This is a soundtrack definitely worth taking a listen to if only for the story the music tells.


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