Musical Score By: Dickon Hichliffe

Music by: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            It’s 1999, Los Angeles, a time when crime is on the rise, and those sworn to fight crime go above and beyond the call of duty…and even the law…to “do the people’s dirty work.”  Vietnam veteran Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) is a police officer in the Rampart precinct of Los Angeles, where each day, he blurs the lines between right and wrong fighting crime using his own special code of justice.  But when he gets caught on tape beating a suspect in the midst of a departmental corruption scandal, Officer Brown finds himself on a personal and emotional journey toward disaster as sins of his past and his refusal to change his ways threaten to destroy his career.

            The soundtrack of Rampart contains music by various artists like Billy Hough, Gonzalez & Zuniga, Molotov and more.  The musical score of Rampart was composed by Dickon Hichliffe, founder of the British band Tindersticks.  It was while Hichliffe was writing songs, singing and playing violin, guitar and keyboards with the Tindersticks that his band was approached by French director Claire Denis to write the musical scores for her two films, Nenette et Boni and Trouble Every Day.  Since then, Hichliffe has gone solo to create the musical scores for such acclaimed films as Last Chance Harvey, Red Riding – 1980, Winter’s Bone and The Texas Killing Fields.

            The Rampart Soundtrack starts off rather strangely with a somewhat comedic and semi-off-key version of Downtown.  I’ve always loved that song and think it’s a lot of fun.  I couldn’t help but sing along.  A number of the songs that follow are Spanish rap, hip-hop and traditional mariachi, perfectly capturing the culture of the neighborhood that Officer Brown is working in.  The song selection was unique and fun.  Afoot by Gang Gang Dance takes the music in a different more alternative direction.  The rest of the songs are sad and speak of loss, reflecting Brown’s downward spiral.  The tracks of musical score written by Dickon Hichliffe are quite enjoyable, featuring edgy electric guitar riffs meant to describe the personality of Dave Brown from the moment the viewer meets him in the beginning of the film to the end.

            I found the Rampart Soundtrack to be so unique and enjoyable that I listened to it quite a few times.  This soundtrack features music and songs that perfectly reflect the environment and emotional drama taking place in the film.  The big plus is that the Rampart Soundtrack works perfectly as a stand alone album.  If you never seen the film, you can still truly enjoy the music.  The Rampart Soundtrack is definitely an album worth taking a listen to.


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