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The Losers by John Ottman

The Losers

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The Losers (Soundtrack)  by John Ottman
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The Losers (Soundtrack) by John Ottman

The Losers
Composed by John Ottman
Pale Blue Ltd. (2010)

Rating: 6/10

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“The tone of the film obviously doesn’t allow OTTMAN the room to explore his creative and potent ability to wield an orchestra, but the music for THE LOSERS is nevertheless a showcase of precision crafting and intricate soundscapes.”

“Lost and Found”
Review by Marius Masalar
 

As far as comic book movies go, you could do a lot worse than THE LOSERS. Sylvaine White’s take on the Vertigo property is violent and quick, but a solid cast, funny writing, and good performances keep this train from stopping at the mindless crap station for too long. And keeping the momentum up in a surprisingly stylish manner is JOHN OTTMAN, whose recent work on ASTRO BOY buoyed him back up closer to the level of public interest he once had for his work on X2.

The tone of the film obviously doesn’t allow OTTMAN the room to explore his creative and potent ability to wield an orchestra, but the music for THE LOSERS is nevertheless a showcase of precision crafting and intricate soundscapes. “Dead Men” (1) is a contemplative opening which, along with “Not Soldiers Anymore” (2), establishes the instrumental palette for the score: guitars, subtle synth work, rock organs, and layered percussive elements both live and processed. The latter track introduces something of a theme — a quick riff, really — that recurs to great effect several times throughout the score. It is simple and rousing, but decidedly contemporary in its nobility.

When the theme is not prominently in play, as in tracks like “Miami Heist” (3), “Max Factor” (4), and “Port Break-In” (6), the music feels a lot like a collection of library tracks. It’s a feeling that’s difficult to shake on album, despite the music’s authenticity to the action onscreen. “Interlude” (5) is a peaceful and quiet recapitulation of the main theme, with some very delicate Tibetan bowls chiming softly along with the synths and guitars.

“Mumbai Max” (7) is one of the most intriguing tracks on the album owing to the tasteful mixing of various cultural elements into the standard punk rock sound. Hearing an Indian sitar twanging along with African shakers and electric guitars is an aural treat. “The Shoot Out” (8) is one of the straight-up action tracks on display, and it’s got the excellent laidback, groovy, vibe that wouldn’t feel out of place in a James Bond film, albeit with a bit more bite than one would associate with the British badass. The raw synths and percussive stabs are high on the cool factor, and OTTMAN really lets loose with a lot of clever synth effects to punctuate and colour the sound. “Bad Business” (9) carries on with an exploration of the diverse percussion elements in the score, with horns and a waterphone crying out over all manner of drums. The string section even makes a more prominent appearance near the end to lead into the extremely mellow and ambient “Broken Trust” (10).

“Double Crossed” (11) broods its way to a satisfying action climax in a way that’s reminiscent of a more modern Western score. “Good Catch” (12) features some more creative sound design, but the cue is so sporadic that it’s difficult to enjoy until the brief parting nod at the main theme. “Angle of the Dangle” (13) and “Fake Out — Cool Reception” (14) build patiently to the climatic ending with lots of percussion and a rocking bass line, until “Aisha’s Beef” (15), a calmer track, breaks up the build in a way that’s not very positive. Thankfully, “The Losers” (16) makes for an excellent ending: the theme is back in full force and the whole range of moods is addressed.

Listening to THE LOSERS is undoubtedly fun, and it definitely has a consistent identity, but the identity seems so familiar that even JOHN OTTMAN’s creativity and experimental sound design can’t set it too far apart from the pack.

Rating: 6/10

 

 


Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Dead Men 3:31  ****
2 Not Soldiers Anymore 1:45  *****
3 Miami Heist 3:14  ***
4 Max Factor 1:49  **
5 Interlude 1:32  **
6 Port Break-In 2:07  ***
7 Mumbai Mix 3:37  ****
8 The Shoot Out 4:08  ****
9 Bad Business 1:39  ***
10 Broken Trust 2:20  *
11 Double Crossed 3:03  ***
12 Good Catch 2:46  *
13 Angle of the Dangle 2:12  ****
14 Fake Out - Cool Reception 2:17  ****
15 Aisha's Beef 1:51  ***
16 The Losers 3:13  ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 41 minutes  

 

 
   

 

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