Slow West

Music Composed By: Jed Kurzel

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the western adventure, Slow West, Kodi Smit-McPhee is Jay Cavendish, a sixteen-year-old Scottish aristocrat on a journey through the Wild West.  As a boy, Jay grew up in the Scottish Highlands with Rose Ross (Caren Pistorius), a local farmer's daughter and eventually, the two fall in love.  But an unfortunate incident causes Rose and her father to flee to America.  With the help of paid protector Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender), Jay sets out on a journey, turning his back on his privileged life to find the woman he loves.

            The music of Slow West features songs by various artists, including Django Django, Passi Jo, Sam Manzanza and Tawanda Manyimo, Bryan Michael Mills, Werner and more.  The musical score was created by Australian musician, songwriter and composer Jed Kurzel.  Before beginning a career in film scoring, Jed Kurzel was best known as front man and songwriter for the duo The Mess Hall.  In 2011, he made his debut as a movie score composer with the film Snowtown.  Since then, he has composed the scores of such notable films as All This Mayhem, Babadook and Macbeth.

            The Slow West Soundtrack features dialogue and snippets of song performed by the stars of the film interspersed between songs and score.  The music of the movie is a nod towards the origin of Jay Cavendish and the locale he suddenly finds himself journeying through in search of his love.  Thus, we have a blend of music one would generally expect to hear in a film about the Wild West, but we also hear a Scottish influence in the music.  Notable songs include the African track Mbanza Congo by Passi Jo, Sam Manzanza and Tawanda Manyimo, Am Bata Uaine by Ali 'Beag' MacLeod and The Minstrel's Song by Bryan Michael Mills.  The musical score by Jed Kurzel is fairly sad, but enjoyable nonetheless.

            While I could have done without the snippets of dialogue and song by the main actors of the film, I found the Slow West Soundtrack to be quite a diverse and therefore interesting listen.  There are a great number of ethnic influences to the music which I found quite enjoyable.  I would recommend purchasing the various songs on the soundtrack via mp3, thereby skipping the unnecessary tracks.  The music is worth listening to, the rest is just wasted time.


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