TV

Soundtrack review: The slap ( Jon Ehrlich and Jason Derlatka – 2015)

slap

“The slap” looks like an interesting TV series event. It has a stellar cast which includes Uma Thurman, Brian Cox or Zachary Quinto and each of the 8 episodes focus on telling the story from a different character’s perspective. An apparently unimportant event triggers a chain of events that will change the lives of all the characters. The score is written by composers Jon Ehrlich (who wrote music for “Parenthood” and “House MD” among countless other TV shows) and Jason Derlatka who is also well known in TV land.

Now when I see 30 cues and 37 minutes I usually frown because I am not a fan of fragmented scores. I will try to think of this as a collection of moments and emotions in order to cope with the situation. I am not a big jazz fan so the smooth main title doesn’t do much for me. I care a lot though for the strings that pierce cues like “Sorry daddy” or “Anouk’s theme”. The latter in particular tells me in one minute all I want to know. It is quiet and poignant and I seem to have a favorite character. But as good as a theme like this sound I still would have liked to have heard it developed more.

I am enjoying this score more than I thought I would at first. The cues may be very short but a lot of them have enough depth to compensate. The composers didn’t use a lot of instruments and it’s a good think because they would have unnecessarily crowded these short movements. The cello features prominently and I like it. The piano also does a great job of expressing emotions and moods. I just love “When Gary met Rosie” with its soulful disposition and the back and forth dance between strings and keys. I see a bar lounge in the dark, I see people communicating without talking and I could get lost in that atmosphere.

The music of “The slap” is interesting a rewarding. The composers set a special mood, mostly reflective and a little sad and they go with it. This score is the equivalent of a rainy autumn day that you spend inside not doing much, just gathering your thoughts and looking out the window. Nothing pressures you, nothing bothers you and it’s one of those rare times when you can just focus on your deeper thoughts and memories. I will wait for such a day and play this score, especially “The gathering storm” on repeat.

The jazzy and more alert cues sort of break that mood and I am bothered. Musically they are just as good but I long to get back in that reflective state. The composers humor me as themes for various other characters come and go in the same moody vein. Once again cello and piano are the common thread that links the characters and the story.

“The slap” is a musically rewarding score that made me wish I could have heard more. I am sure it does the TV show justice and that these moments fit even better in context.

Cue rating: 82 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 11 / 40

Album excellence: 28%

Highlights:

Anouk’s Theme

Manolis’ Heart

When Gary Met Rosie

Text From Connie

The Gathering Storm

Dimitrios

The Photograph

Ritchie On The Stand

 

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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