The Good Doctor

Composed By: Brian Byrne

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In The Good Doctor, Orlando Bloom is Dr. Martin Blake.  Ambitious and young, Dr. Blake longs for the respect of his superiors and colleagues, but finds himself falling short of his goal.  When 18-year-old Diane Nixon is admitted for a kidney infection, Dr. Blake finds his niche, treating the infection and becoming a hero to Diane and her family.  Unfortunately, arrogance and an addiction to this newly found hero status causes Dr. Blake to engage in unethical practices in an effort to maintain that status. 

                The musical score of The Good Doctor was created by Irish composer Brian Byrne.  Educated at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and London's Royal College of Music, Byrne moved to Los Angeles, California to expand his horizons as a film and television composer.  Since then, he has composed the musical scores of The Island, A Line in the Sand, Love's Everlasting Courage and more, while still finding time to conduct and arrange scores for In America and Disco Pigs and record his own classical album, Tales from the Walled City.

                The music of The Good Doctor features a mixture of genres.  There are the classical moments featuring dramatic orchestral score.  There are contemporary moments featuring electric guitars, perhaps reflecting Dr. Blake's darker moments.  And then there are the jazz tracks which seem to coincide with some sort of party or drinking scene (Wine Bar, Wine Bar with Harbison, etc.). 

                As I listened to this album, I found it hard to figure out what exactly was going on in this film.  That's not to say that I didn't find the music enjoyable, but it really was hard to picture what events each tracks' music were supposed to represent.  I mean, the jazz seemed to be somewhat upperclass party venue music, so you had an idea that a party or bar scene might be what this music was created for.  The contemporary music had an ominous undertone, thanks to the electric guitars, so you had some idea that something bad was happening.  Classical music could have represented the rest of the story, but in listening to the tracks without the liner notes, one would never have any clue what the film was about.  There never seemed to be any cohesiveness in the music either.

                That being said, I still can say that The Good Doctor Soundtrack contains some of the most enjoyable classical and jazz pieces I have heard over the years.  Byrne has obvious skill in the classical and jazz music departments.  Having never seen the film, I can't be certain that the music enhances the drama of the movie, but I can say that the album is worth taking a listen to, especially for those jazz and classical music fans out there.  Would I buy The Good Doctor Soundtrack myself, probably not in its entirety, but I would recommend downloading quite a few of the tracks.


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