Reach Me

Music Composed By: Tree Adams

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the dramedy Reach Me, the audience is treated to interwoven stories featuring a group of incredibly diverse individuals all united by one thing - an inspiring book by an author (Tom Berenger) who remains hidden from the public view, leading some to wonder what is behind his need for anonymity.

            The musical score of Reach Me was created by Tree Adams, a composer who finds music in just about any sound, whether it be a full orchestra playing, church bells tolling, a spoon mashing potatoes flat, or even air pushing through an object.  Finding an interest in music at a very young age, Tree Adams got into scoring for television and film over twenty years ago.  His foray into the television and film music industry has culminated in the musical scores for Californication, Perception, Run, Swelter, Sirens and more.

            When I first listened to the Reach Me Soundtrack, I was confused.  The music was all over the place.  There was a jazz component, featuring trumpets and percussion.  There was a Mexican-themed moment, featuring trumpets and guitars.  There were comedic stylings, featuring short string strokes.  There were hints of ominous danger created by dark guitar riffs and faster paced music.  There was simply no cohesion to it all and I wondered what the movie was about. 

            After I saw the trailer and read up on the film, I finally understood - this was a film featuring people from diverse lifestyles all converging on one central theme.  Thus, the various genres of music represented.  As Tree Adams explains, "We played with some different genres and had some fun with certain instruments for the different characters...The violent cop (Thomas Jane) gets a tremolo guitar in that kind of old western sheriff style.  We went into some dissonant free jazz for the journalist character (Kevin Connolly) as he goes through this whole transformation on the beach in the middle of the night to quit smoking.  The gangsters (Kelsey Grammar and Tom Sizemore) got the classic bad guy treatment with low ominous strings but we also created some unique fun textures here by merging bowed bowls and guitar feedback.  In some cases, for the gangsters, I blended the reversed WAV file of the very guitar motif that I had played for the cop."

            Now that I understood what the film was about, the mixing of genres made sense, but for others, the Reach Me Soundtrack might be a bit of a stretch when it comes to spending hard earned money.  Unless you have seen how the music works in the film (I watched the movie just the other day and now see how it all works), you have no idea just what you are listening to.  For that reason, unless you are a fan of the film, the composer or a fan of mixing genres, I wouldn't recommend this soundtrack to you.  With no cohesive style, you'd be thoroughly confused by the end, but for fans of the film like myself, Tree Adams is a genius.

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