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Source Code by Chris Bacon

Source Code

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Source Code (Soundtrack) by Chris Bacon
Source Code (Soundtrack) by Chris Bacon
Source Code (Poster and Memorabilia)

Source Code (Poster and Memorabilia)

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Source Code (Soundtrack) by Chris Bacon

Source Code
Composed by Chris Bacon
Lakeshore Records (2011)

Rating: 8/10

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“SOURCE CODE’S score certainly knows what it is, and doesn’t pretend otherwise. It fits the source material excellently, providing relentless excitement, interrupted by fleeting moments of flourishing orchestral beauty.”

Open Source
Review by Richard Buxton

One of the greatest joys of Science Fiction in film and literature is the potential for a spectacle unlike anything seen before coming with each attempt at the genre. It is the genre that has brought us such mind-bending thrillers as MINORTIY REPORT and INCEPTION and has produced classic scores like BLADE RUNNER, a groundbreaking score for a groundbreaking film. Sci-Fi is the fertile ground from which the most original and stimulating films are born. With a sufficient suspension of disbelief, Sci-Fi can provide the ultimate in cinematic entertainment. DUNCAN JONES’ SOURCE CODE is a film that requires such suspension, its original premise is one of outstanding potential and if MOON is anything to go by, it could be another excellent production from this up and coming young director.

As the director continues to feel his way through the industry, it seems fitting that another young and promising artist has been chosen to score the film. CHRIS BACON, most notable for his working alongside JAMES NEWTON HOWARD, and providing additional music for such films as KING KONG and I AM LEGEND, scores his first blockbuster release in SOURCE CODE, and compared to his previous solo scoring credits (ALPHA AND OMEGA, LOVE RANCH), his music is naturally somewhat of a departure.

Opening the score in frantic fashion is “Source Code Main Titles” (1), an opening suite that, in its scurrying strings and brass, resembles a concoction of JOHN WILLIAMS’ score for MINORTIY REPORT and MARCO BELTRAMI’S score for I AM ROBOT, comparisons that any composer would be proud of. The relentless movement of the piece makes for an invigorating and strong start to the score.

One of the stronger motifs heard constantly in the opening track further establishes itself in “Eight Minutes” (3), although in a more relaxed manner. This simple motif does a good job of driving the piece forward without becoming monotonous. Variations of the motif are heard across the entire score, initially in “You Don’t Know Me” (2), blending in well with the simultaneously creeping and dreamy strings.

BACON’S forté, however, is clearly in the aggressive and intense music, as heard in “Coffee Will Have to Wait” (5), a track of dual-identity, beginning with a slow, suspenseful build before erupting into a percussive and brash brass-lead action piece. BACON shows a strong affinity with powerful percussion lead rhythm, evocative of JOHN POWELL’S action scoring. BACON once again utilises a listener’s anticipation of a crescendo in “Piecing It Together” (7) by slowly building up to a false climax, ensuring the score never becomes too predictable.

Amongst all the action and suspense, the film occasionally allows BACON a chance to unleash the full force of the orchestra as the film’s main theme booms out in the closing moments of “Am I Dead” (8). The theme is a curious one, one with a complexion of heroism, release and a strong tinge of suspense, leaving the climax of the piece remaining on edge.

The score continues with an intriguing use of percussion, the sporadic rolls punctuating the pulsating strings in “Colter Follows Derek” (10) leading into the more thematic, “ A Real Validation” (11), a track dominated by a rising string motif, accentuated by the brass blasts at the end of each of the motif’s recurrences.

By the final third of the score it’s clear that CHRIS BACON has the action suspense genre pretty much nailed in SOURCE CODE. The majority of the music heard drives the film forward without ever developing so much that it overshadows the plot. Nonetheless, it is pleasing when a change of pace is heard. Such a change is signalled in “I’m Gonna Save Her” (12), which momentarily dances gracefully into a beautiful and romantic theme before sliding back into suspense mode. BACON reprises his venture into new territory with “Regret and Reconciliation” (14) before the highlight of the lighter side of the score, “Frozen Moment” (15), a piece that provides a piano reinterpretation of the theme heard in “I’m Gonna Save Her”, and rounds out this side of the score excellently.

The bombast returns for one last adventure in “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay” (16), a chaotic finale to a fine score.

SOURCE CODE’S score certainly knows what it is, and doesn’t pretend otherwise. It fits the source material excellently, providing relentless excitement, interrupted by fleeting moments of flourishing orchestral beauty. The only real disappointment is that in his music, it becomes clear that BACON is at ease composing lush romantic orchestral themes, and SOURCE CODE does not provide him with the material with which to express this talent. Otherwise SOURCE CODE is an excellent effort in the early years of a very promising composer.

Rating: 8/10


Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Source Code Main Titles 2:25  *****
2 You Don't Know me 3:03  ****
3 Eight Minutes 2:18  ****
4 Racial Profiling 2:11  ***
5 Coffee Will Have to Wait 2:13  ***
6 Source Code Explained 3:19  **
7 Piecing it Together 3:25  ***
8 Am I Dead? 2:38  ****
9 One Death is Enough 2:39  ***
10 Colter Follows Derek 5:26  ****
11 A Real Validation 1:38  ****
12 I'm Gonna Save Her 3;57  *****
13 No More Rubble Today 2:34  ***
14 Regret And Reconciliation 3:25  ****
15 Frozen Moment 4:23  *****
16 Everthing's Gonna Be Okay 2:51  *****
  Total Running Time (approx) 48 minutes  


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