Stand Up Guys

Composed By: Lyle Workman

With Bonus Tracks By Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In Stand Up Guys, Al Pacino is Val, a former criminal who has just been released from prison after serving twenty-eight years for refusing to give up his close criminal associates.  As soon as Val leaves prison, he is reunited with old friends Doc (Christopher Walken) and Hirsch (Alan Arkin).  The three reflect on old times and the bond that was once there is still going strong.  But the fun is short-lived when Val finds out that a hit has been placed on him.  Not to worry - the old gang has decided that Val's last days should contain some of his greatest adventures.

                The musical score of Stand Up Guys was created by North California native Lyle Workman.  A guitarist and composer, Workman found himself touring extensively throughout the 1990s and early 2000s with well-known performers like Frank Black, Tony Williams, Beck, Sting, Michael Buble, Alanis Morissette, Bryan Adams, Shakira, Sheryl Crow and more.  He began creating musical scores for TV and movies in 2001, debuting with a score for the television series Dinner for Five and going on to score for films like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Yes Man and more.

                For the musical score of Stand Up Guys, Director Fisher Stevens wanted a score that reflected the sort of music the main characters would listen to.  According to Workman, "Fisher wanted the music to feel like it was central to the main characters; music they would listen to, music that would score their lives, so to speak.  Blues, R&B, soul and early rock and roll fit that template. We talked about it being gritty and soulful, but also playful and lending a subtext of history."  Thus, the musical score of this film sounds like something out of the 70s.  Are you old enough to remember the musical scores of Shaft and Starsky and Hutch?  I'm talking about the 1970s versions.  Well, then, this album will be like a blast from the past for you. 

                There is a central theme that seems to reflect the mood and style of the main characters of the film.  They are sort of cool, old guys who never lost that flare.  There's a bit of danger about them...they could still probably pull off another bank heist and that's why, even though the music seems a little dated, it still is fun enough to make you feel alive.

                I loved that funk meets blues and rock feel of this album.  The synths mixed in with electric guitar riffs and well-played harmonica rips were a lot of fun.  I dare you to listen to the Stand Up Guys Score and not tap your feet or play air guitar along with the music.  This is one of those albums that would be perfect accompaniment to a road trip - not to crazy as to get you pulled over for excessive speed, but some pleasant road tunes to get you in a good mood for the journey. 

                I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started listening to the score of Stand Up Guys, but I have to say that the experience was a great deal of fun and I am happy to add this album to my collection. 


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