Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Composed by: Alberto Iglesias

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Based on a 1974 spy novel by John le Carré, the movie Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy stars Gary Oldman as George Smiley, the former right-hand man to the head of British Intelligence.  After an embarrassing forced retirement, Smiley finds himself being brought out of retirement to help track down a mole in a senior role in intelligence, an agent of the Soviet Union.  Can Smiley root out this spy or has he become rusty in the years since he was at the top of the espionage game?

            The musical score of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was composed by acclaimed Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias. Classically trained in piano, guitar, composition and counterpoint, and also well-versed in electronic music studies, Alberto Iglesias has composed music for the concert hall, ballet and film and has been nominated for Academy Awards for the musical scores of The Constant Gardener, The Kite Runner and The Skin I Live In.

            In reading up on this film, I have noticed that there are several folks who categorize the music of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy as being jazz music.  I would tend to disagree.  While there are some jazz connotations in the album, I found the music to be a mix of orchestral styles with some emphasis on piano, trumpet, clarinet and flute.  The trumpet gave the character of George Smiley a somewhat detective noir air.  There is a tragic beauty to the piano and viola in this soundtrack and yet, other times, there is a sinisterly dark undertone, warning of the danger lurking around every corner for the main character of this film.

            While I did enjoy some of the piano compositions, I found that nothing on the Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Soundtrack really stood out for me.  There is nothing special on this soundtrack that would make me run out to buy it.  This is surprising to me, considering how powerful a musical score Igelsias just recently created for The Skin I Live In, but I suppose every composer has a bad day.  In my opinion, this is one for the bargain bins - The Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Soundtrack simply isn’t worth the current $14+ US price tag.


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