Musical Score Composed By: Craig Richey
Distributed By: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the dark comedy, Wonderful World, Matthew Broderick is Ben Singer, failed children's folk singer, recently unemployed proofreader and a father sharing custody with a daughter who would rather be doing anything than listen to her fatherís negative ramblings. Ben feels like heís been let down in everything and only finds comfort in smoking marijuana and playing chess with his intelligent Senegalese roommate Ibou (Michael Kenneth Williams). But when Ibou becomes ill and his situation is made worse by an insensitive municipal worker, Ben takes up the fight, suing the city for depraved indifference. Benís life begins to turn around with the appearance of Ibouís sexy sister, Khadi (Sanaa Lathan).
The musical score of Wonderful World was created by composer Craig Richey. A North Carolina native, Richey received musical training as a classic pianist at the North Carolina School of the Arts and the St. Louis Conservatory of Music before attending and graduating from the Juilliard School of Music. From there, Craig Richey moved into singing, songwriting, producing and composing music for film. Richeyís songs have appeared in such films as Lovely & Amazing, Friends With Money, The King of Kong, Greenlit and Answers to Nothing.
The musical score of Wonderful World begins rather darkly, in tune with the pessimism of the character. Things get brighter and more lighthearted as we view Benís interaction with Ibou and Khadi. As his world begins to change, the music begins to change as well. The culture of the Senegalese receives a nod in the form of traditional African instruments like the kalimba (otherwise known as a thumb piano), the kora (a twenty-one string harp) and a bamboo sax.
Although Iím a sucker for an exotic accent to an orchestral score, I found the musical score of Wonderful World to be lacking somewhat. Sure, the score adequately describes the mood of the character as the movie progresses and that may work well in conjunction in the background as the events of the movie take place. But as a standalone album, the score simply doesnít grab the listener and mesmerize them, making them want more. Itís just simplyÖthere. I predict a long, dusty life on the music store shelf and perhaps a bargain bin in this soundtrackís future.