Home > Reviews > PRIDE AND GLORY – Mark Isham


October 24, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A dark, gritty thriller directed by Gavin O’Connor, Pride and Glory stars Edward Norton as Ray Tierney, a New York cop from a long line of New York cops who discovers a police corruption scandal involving his own brother-in-law that threatens to tear his family apart. The film, which also stars Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich and Jennifer Ehle, is scored by Mark Isham, who previously worked with O’Connor on Miracle in 2004.

As one might expect, much of Pride and Glory is rather subdued, with dark, moody orchestral textures augmented by shifting, brooding synth drones dominating the score. One thing I have never been too enamored of is Isham’s action/thriller writing – scores like Blade or Don’t Say a Word or The Net or Running Scared – and Pride and Glory is much of the same. Once in a while Isham will interject a bit of life and energy through an increased percussion element, or an increase in volume – such as in “Santiago” or “Execution” or the conclusive “El Train/Waterline” – but for the most part the score just rumbles along in the basement, adding a level of sinister darkness to the movie, but remaining rather dull when separated from it.

“Fran and Abby” provides one of the few moments of emotion with a subdued romantic piece for strings and fluttering acoustic guitars, the vaguely Irish-tinted “Family” hints at the sense of pride and brotherhood Tierney’s investigation will ultimately tear apart, and the conclusion of “Suicide” introduces some dramatic sounding brass chords which stand out from the rest of the album, but these are disappointingly brief moments which fail to enliven an otherwise rather unexciting album.

The rest of the time, Isham just allows his score to sit there listlessly, with various electronic pulses and dark string chords, but very little of anything that it tangible or musically recognizable to lift it out of the majority of the rest of the scores written for this kind of film. Disappointing.

Rating: **

Track Listing:

  • Burning Car (4:26)
  • Hospital (1:07)
  • Escape (1:44)
  • Fran and Abby (1:45)
  • Family (1:16)
  • Funeral (2:22)
  • Santiago (4:04)
  • Execution (6:09)
  • Abby (1:05)
  • Protest (2:25)
  • Suicide (2:37)
  • Jimmy Rats (4:19)
  • Confession (3:12)
  • Fran (1:43)
  • Riot (5:56)
  • El Train/Waterline (8:51)

Running Time: 53 minutes 01 seconds

Varèse Sarabande VSD-6931 (2008)

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