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Soundtrack review: Cold in July (Jeff Grace – 2014)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Cold in July (Jeff Grace – 2014)



“Cold in July” is a very well received crime drama film, set in the 1980s. I will surely put it on my watch list after reading the reviews.
I was curious about Jeff Grace’s score, I am expecting a gripping composition.

What I didn’t expect was to be pulled right away in a world that sounds like The Terminator. I look around and I am back in the 1980s, in the land of the hopeless and moody synth, where everything sounded bleak and metallic. Jeff Grace took the 80s setting of the movie and completed it with a score to match. Now I want to see the movie even more. This is pure 80s heaven: a score dominated by the synth, with heavy brass and deep undertones. I loved it that there can still be scores like this one in the age when thriller scores are either epic or generic. This one is unique for today’s landscape, and there was no way I wasn’t going to enjoy it to the fullest.

The cues flow one into the next for a very cohesive and enjoyable listening experience. I don’t even care about separate cues, because this is a treasure to be enjoyed in its entirety. It is a magnificent score for me, and if you love that unmistakable 1980’s dark synth sound, you will grab this one and hold it tightly to your chest. It will feed your nostalgia for those grey and thrilling ambient compositions where the mood is broken every now and then by a ray of light represented by a clear and hopeful piano motif. The main theme, which recurs through the score, has that hope in it.

“Cold in July” will end up with very high marks in the nostalgia and replay value categories. I enjoyed every second of it and I will do so again whenever I want to travel back in time.

Cue rating: 92/100

Total minutes of excellence: 46/46

Album excellence: 100%



Whole Lot Like You

Crank Call and Break-In

Official Protection


He’s In the House

Following Ray

Dane’s Decision

Seeing Freddy

Dane’s Cabin

Recon and Grave Digging

The Mansion

Father and Son

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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