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Soundtrack review: Talent for the game (David Newman – 1991)

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“Talent for the game” is a 1991 sports drama. I could stop right there because that’s all I need to know. I love sports and I love sports drama. I love the motivational factor, the stories and the heroes. I missed this movie somehow. The story is that of a baseball talent scout looking for one last great discovery. He finds a guy but the team owners pressure him into being a star and almost jeopardize his career. In the end the scout becomes the hero and we get a happy ending. David Newman’s score is part of the Intrada release for “Coneheads”.

The sports drama is a special kind of story that almost everyone knows what to expect from. These are the kind of stories I like to watch over and over again in different forms or for different sports. Most of these stories are alike and somewhat normal, day to day stories. They don’t need a different sound or a different kind of emotion in the music. I know how I want my sports dramas to sound and this is what I am getting in “Talent of the game”. The joyful and alert montages, the hopeful beginnings, the quieter moment when something changes the normal flow of life for the characters and the unimposing themes are all here and I am enjoying them.

I wouldn’t want to use the word “formulaic” for this score but I can’t find a better one. Like I said, why change something that works? This kind of score did very well for movies like “The natural” or “Field of dreams” and it works here as well. You will recognize the emotional moments in “How good is my son” and you might even relate to this cue from your own experiences. You can feel the pride and the surprise in the music.

As a standalone listening experience, once is enough for “Talent for the game”. I know it will be great in context but as a score it’s not something I would come back to. I will of course hear something similar in the next sports drama score that will come out. The music just wasn’t exciting or challenging enough to leave me with anything other than a pleasant sensation I’ve felt before.

Cue rating: 82 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 2 / 30

Album excellence: 7%

Highlights:

Am I ready?

About the author

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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