Unfinished Song

Musical Score By: Laura Rossi

Songs By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Sony Music

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the dramedy Unfinished Song, Terence Stamp is Arthur Harris, an ill-tempered pensioner whose ill wife, Marion (Vanessa Redgrave), inspires him to join a rather unconventional local choir.  Made up primarily of elderly men and women, the choir is directed by Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton) who, like Marion, sees a spark in Arthur that he has been trying to hide - a bit of the adventurous spirit that endeared him to his wife in the first place.

                The Unfinished Song Soundtrack features songs by various artists and a musical score by British composer Laura Rossi.  Having composed extensively for film and television, Rossi is known for her extensive success with commissions from the British Film Institute and has composed scores for  Unfinished Song's director, Paul Andrew Williams (London to Brighton and The Cottage), prior to working on this film.  In addition to composing, Rossi is a guest lecturer at the London Film Academy, leading a number of master classes in film music.

                The musical score of Unfinished Song is mainly comedic, featuring lighthearted orchestral tracks.  My favorite of these is Not Speaking with it's classically funny adversarial undertones.  But the musical score of this album is completely overshadowed by the songs.  When they said that the local choir was unconventional, they weren't kidding.  These elderly pensioners are not singing Moon River or  Dream a Little Dream of Me.  They are singing some of the most controversial songs out there, like Gnarls Barkley's pop hit Crazy, Motorhead's rock track Ace of Spades, The B-52's Love Shack and most importantly, Salt-n-Pepa's Let's Talk About Sex (when that track played I nearly spit my coffee across the room!).  The album includes some love songs as well like Ain't Nobody, Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) and You Are the Sunshine of My Life.

                I had a great deal of fun singing along with the songs on this album and found the score to be quite enjoyable.  The best part of listening to the members of the OAP'z (Old Age Pensioners) was that all of the songs were well known to me - I had grown up with them.  Picturing the elderly singing these songs and perhaps performing dance numbers like some glee clubs gave me a chuckle, but then, I can laugh about this sort of thing.  Anyone who doesn't find the humor in that is probably too upset about the fact that they will eventually be this age and look and sound like this singing songs they grew up listening to.  Eventually it happens to all of us. 

                Most importantly, the Unfinished Song Soundtrack inspired me to want to see the trailer of the film.  I enjoyed the trailer so much that I can't wait to see the actual film!  That's the sign of a great soundtrack - not only is the music fun for the listener, but it inspires them to see the film.  Excellent job!


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