Musical Score By: James Horner

Distributed by: Sony Classical

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            In the dramatic film, Southpaw, Jake Gyllenhaal is Billy Hope, a retired World Light Heavyweight Champion boxer, living happily with his wife (Rachel McAdams) and daughter (Oona Laurence) in New York City until an incident with an up-and-coming boxer that leaves his wife dead and Billy devastated.  After getting his life back together, Billy decides it's time to get his career back in order, convincing the owner (Forest Whitaker) of the gym he is working at to train him for a fight that will not only help re-launch his career, but also offer up a little ringside therapy.

            The musical score of Southpaw has the distinction of being the very last created by renowned composer James Horner, who died in a plane crash on June 22, 2015.  Having created musical scores for film for over four decades, Horner began his scoring career with The Lady in Red and never looked back, creating musical scores for such well-known films as Titanic, An American Tail, Krull, Cocoon, Aliens, The Perfect Storm, A Beautiful Mind, Avatar and more.

            The Southpaw Soundtrack features a dramatic score that begins on a quieter, more content note.  These are piano driven tracks with some electronic sound thrown in.  The Funeral, Alone features a soft undertone of solemnity and perhaps shock.  Then we come to Suicidal Rampage which is a dramatic track featuring heavy pianos and strings and a score that rises in crescendo as the anger and anguish increases.  The fight scene, Hope vs Escobar, is very dramatic featuring heavy percussion and a mix of piano, strings and electronic sound.

            The last of James Horner's scores to be written, but the next to last to be released, the music of Southpaw perfectly represents the anguish of the main character's loss, his struggle to accept his new life and his courage and determination to overcome personal disaster and change his life for the better.  The Southpaw Soundtrack features a wonderfully dramatic and emotional score well worth the listen.


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