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No Strings Attached by John Debney

No Strings Attached

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No Strings Attached (Soundtrack)  by John Debney
No Strings Attached (Poster and Memorabilia)

 

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No Strings Attached (Soundtrack) by John Debney

No Strings Attached
Composed by John Debney
Lakeshore Records (2011)

Rating: 6/10

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“For all it’s optimism and grace, the music heard in NO STRINGS ATTACHED does little other than serve as a reminder that the majority of modern romantic comedies are rarely more than what has preceded them. DEBNEY’S score does the job, but it is not one that most will wish to revisit on multiple occasions. ”

No Attachment
Review by Richard Buxton

JOHN DEBNEY is certainly no stranger to the romantic comedy, having previously scored numerous examples of the genre with relative success. Such experience comes at a cost however as DEBNEY’S score for NO STRINGS ATTACHED is a pleasant but altogether predictable and formulaic offering from the composer. This, perhaps, is not the fault of DEBNEY, but is due to the romantic comedy genre itself, which rarely proves to be a musically demanding one, and subsequently rarely lets the composer explore their musical talents to the full.
 
The story of NO STRINGS ATTACHED is little more than what can be expected of a typical Hollywood romance, and this shows clearly through the music. The themes heard on various instruments veer through all of the expected emotions of love, sorrow, and all the others in between, with ease, but never captivate the audience in a way that might perhaps keep them entranced after they leave the theatre.
 
The soundtrack begins with “Golf Date”, which sounds more like a commercial for the latest “nutritional” food to hit the market as it meanders through it’s minute-and-a-half duration.
 
What is perhaps most striking about the score is the apparent lack of a distinct romantic theme for the opening tracks. Instead, DEBNEY has initially opted for reoccurring styles rather than themes. These styles range from the optimistic driving of the guitar heard in “Making Love”, “Toast to Hospital” and “You Wanna Do This?”, to the delicate strings and piano complexion of “Emma Walks Adam to Car” and “Getting Married”. These stylistic choices are nothing less than sufficient and are the staples of the romantic comedy genre, but still come as a slight disappointment when they are the produce of a composer with the such skills.
 
The first substantial glimpse of the main theme of NO STRINGS ATTACHED appears just after the halfway mark of the soundtrack in “I’d Choose Adam/First Date”. The syrupy romance gushes out in the plucks of the guitar before it is echoed through strings, guitar and piano moments later. The theme emerges once more in the very next track, “Three Months Later”, in a similarly soft and admittedly heart-warming nature. What follows the strongest tracks in the score is a curious synth-led rock track that wouldn’t be out of place in a SCOTT PILGRIM movie. Normal service is quickly resumed however, as “Hailing a Cab” sees the return of the now established theme, its frequency apparently making up for its near non-appearance in the first half of the score. The main theme can be heard one last time in the final track “Emma Surprises Adam/I Love You”.
 
NO STRINGS ATTACHED’s opening tone returns in “Emma to Wedding” as the choppy guitar plays wingman to the strings in an upbeat piece that precedes the somber “Heartbroken”.
 
For all it’s optimism and grace, the music heard in NO STRINGS ATTACHED does little other than serve as a reminder that the majority of modern romantic comedies are rarely more than what has preceded them. DEBNEY’S score does the job, but it is not one that most will wish to revisit on multiple occasions.

 

Rating: 6/10

 


Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Golf Date 1:28  ***
2 Emma Walks Adam to Car 1:16  ***
3 Making Love 1:58  ****
4 Toast to Hospital 0:54  ***
5 You Wanna Do This? 1:17  ****
6 Park Date 1:17  **
7 Emma Loses It 0:25  ***
8 Confrontation/ Drive Home 0:56  ***
9 Getting Married 0:59  ***
10 Adam with Girls 0:37  ***
11 Don't Listen to Me 0:56  ***
12 I'd choose Adam/ First Date 3:53  ****
13 Three Months Later 1:05  ***
14 Hailing the Cab 0:39  **
15 I Think I'm Falling 1:30  **
16 Drive to the Biltmore 0:28  **
17 Emma to Wedding 0:42  ***
18 Heartbroken 1:10  **
19 Vanessa at Hospital 0:47  ***
20 Sneaking Freckles into Hospital 1:05  ***
21 Emma Surprises Adam/ I Love You 3:30  ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 27 minutes  

 

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