Rob the Mob
Musical Score By: Stephen Endelman
Songs By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the crime drama Rob the Mob, Michael Pitt is Tommy, a small time crook with a personal interest in the mob. As a child, he watched his father get beaten by local gangsters. He decides he wants payback. He and his girlfriend Rosie (Nina Arianda) begin a series of hold-ups at mafia owned locations around New York City, drawing the attention of the FBI, veteran mob reporter Jerry Cardozo (Ray Romano) and crime boss Big Al Fiorello (Andy Garcia). Fiorello decides to scare the couple, but he has severely underestimated Tommy and Rosie. During one of their heists, the two have come across a closely guarded mafia secret, a list that can either ensure the couple will be set for life or be swimming with the fishes.
The Rob the Mob Soundtrack features four songs by various artists and a musical score by British composer Stephen Endelman. At the age of seven, Endelman learned how to play the clarinet and, by twelve, he became a full time student at The Purcell School for Young Musicians. Studying composition at schools in London and Canada, Endelman had already composed two operas by the age of eighteen. In 1990, Endelman moved to America to pursue a career in film composition. Since then, he has created musical scores for movies and television, including Flirting with Disaster, Witness to the Mob, Now and Again, Knights of the South Bronx, Samurai Girl, Chasing Life and more.
The four songs featured on the Rob the Mob Soundtrack appear at the beginning and are quite enjoyable. Love and the Gun by Stephen Endelman and Raymond DeFelitta, featuring Tamela D'Amico, reminds me of the opening songs heard in the mob-based action films of my youth. Next up is the dance track Groove is in the Heart by Deee-Lite, a nod toward the early 1990s time period of the film. This is followed by City in the Sky by The Staple Singers, a 1970s funk/pop song that speaks to the crime and lack of compassion in the city and the need for an escape. The final song on the album is Somethin' You Got, an older love song by Wilson Pickett that speaks to the love story of Tommy and Rosie.
The musical score of Rob the Mob is mainly jazz with a twist. The percussion of the songs feature drumsticks striking things other than drums, creating a uniqueness to the music. According to Endelman, "I used a lot of homemade pads as textures for their darkness. I also went to a prison and recorded everything you could possibly imagine inside a prison cell. It was a disused prison and that became my percussion ensemble." I, for one, found this fascinating. I also enjoyed the piano solos found in tracks like Christmas Day - somber, but beautiful.
The Rob the Mob Soundtrack is an enjoyable mix of song and musical score that perfectly enhances the film and helps tell its story. It's also makes for a terrific stand alone jazz album with a funky flare. Makes a nice addition to my soundtrack collection.