Discussing soundtracks, especially scores can be, in some instances, sort of dull. It’s easy to confabulate when a pop or rock figure like Trent Reznor (“The Social Network”), Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead (“There Will Be Blood“) or Karen O & The Kids (“Where The Wild Things Are“), but aside from Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman, Clint Mansell, Jon Brion and maybe John Murphy known for his great collaborations with Danny Boyle, there are very few “superstar” composers that mainstream audiences appreciate or generally want to read about. For example, Alberto Iglesias (known for his work with Pedro Almodovar) is probably, aside from Alexander Desplat, one of the greatest living composers on the planet right now, but not that many spend time spilling ink over his work. In our minds, Abel Korzeniowski (“A Single Man“) is certainly a composer to watch, but can anyone hum one of his works?
In short, score work isn’t always easy to write about, admittedly isn’t that sexy a topic and therefore sometimes fall by the wayside (it’s easy to understand why this site has shied away from that topic*). This is the long way of saying, you know what score is really great, arguably Oscar-worthy and one of the finer scores of the year? Mychael Danna‘s subtle, moving and then rousing score to Bennett Miller‘s excellent baseball drama, “Moneyball.” A patient, soulful and slow-burning picture that’s reminiscent of a 1970s Robert Redford film, Dynna’s score can be described in similar terms. Known for often working with his brother and fellow composer Jeff Danna, Mychael is also regarded for his score work on “Capote,” “Little Miss Sunshine” — he co-wrote the now, rather well-known theme of the film with indie-rockers DeVotchKa — “(500) Days of Summer,” “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and Ang Lee‘s upcoming “Life Of Pi.”
Three pieces in particular are fabulous, the thematically tied “Coaching,” “It’s a Process” and “More,” a mini-suite that builds and builds in a wonderfully encouraging and anthemic manner. Like the film, the score is really inspirational, but within the picture, it’s often used as quiet emotional background texture; it’s an effective, moody work, but it’s not necessarily a really showy or noticeable score either. There are also two key songs in the film: Lenka‘s “The Show,” performed by Kerris Dorsey who plays Brad Pitt‘s daughter in the picture and an atmospheric post-rock instrumental track by This Will Destroy You called, “The Mighty Rio Grande,” that you’ll instantly recognize as its been used in the trailers and admittedly does a lot of the heavy emotional lifting in “Moneyball” and is arguably just as important as Danna’s score as well.
Anyhow, this is obviously a score we fully endorse and we hope come Oscar time it gets recognized. Available digitally from Madison Gate Records now, the 23-track soundtrack is worth your $7.99 on Amazon.
“Moneyball” Soundtrack Tracklisting
1. One Out Away- Mychael Danna
2. A Little Bit of Faith – Mychael Danna
3. Spring Training – Mychael Danna
4. Big League – Mychael Danna
5. Opening Day – Mychael Danna
6. Losing Streak – Mychael Danna
7. Can’t Miss Prospect – Mychael Danna
8. Time Tested Intangibles – Mychael Danna
9. Is Losing Fun? – Mychael Danna
10. Coaching – Mychael Danna
11. It’s a Process 0 Mychael Danna
12. More – Mychael Danna
13. The Streak – Mychael Danna
14. Turn Around – Mychael Danna
15. Old Ground – Mychael Danna
16. Hattie – Mychael Danna
17. Game 5 – Mychael Danna
18. Fenway – Mychael Danna
19. The Offer – Mychael Danna
20. Oakland – Mychael Danna
21. On Its Head – Mychael Danna
22. The Show – Kerris Dorsey
23. “The Mighty Rio Grande” — This Will Destroy You
Samples of the soundtrack below, plus a few embed below.
*the bigger reason is we just didn’t want to pigeonhole ourselves into one topic.