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Soundtrack review: Gloria (Lorne Balfe – 2015)

Gloria

The year of Lorne Balfe continues with the next installment, his score for “Gloria”. I know it’s just August and I know that Michael Giacchino has had a marvelous year as well but 2015 will be remembered as the year of Lorne Balfe because his volume and quality of work has been just wonderful. I am a big fan and every new gem from him is another chance for me to get to know one of my favorite composers better and enjoy what I am sure will be great film music. “Gloria” is the story of pop diva Gloria Trevi, widely viewed as “Mexico’s Madonna”.

It is already Lorne’s third biopic score of the year, after Pantani and Manny, both heartfelt and rewarding compositions. From the first notes of “Gloria” I know that this is exactly what I will get here as well. The main theme of the character is warm and intimate, played mostly with a simple piano and wind chime sound. This cue is charming and it puts me in a great mood. I know the feeling won’t last because this is a drama but I am allowed to dream…

Lorne Balfe treats this story with care and attention. I can always tell when a composer writes on auto pilot or when he’s actually invested in the characters and the mood. “Fallen in love” charms me and makes me feel that sweet initial sting, the butterflies in the stomach, the warmth that takes me over from the inside and then that quiet certitude that I found the right person. Lorne expresses all this in four beautiful minutes.

This score is short and unpretentious. The sound is minimalistic and rewarding. The piano is draped in melancholy and there’s always a shadow in the music. This is the dark side of “Gloria”, that demon inside that made her push the boundaries and get involved in the scandal that almost ruined her life. Lorne Balfe doesn’t let his composition get too dramatic. He only lets us peak and draw our own conclusions.

“Gloria” comes full circle with the final cue “Moving forward” which echoes back to the opening theme for the illusion of a happy end. Lorne Balfe doesn’t need more than 12 minutes to create something that will last. Another biopic, a different soul, a different story and the same composer to give us a meaningful glimpse of that life…

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 12 / 12

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

Gloria

Fallen In Love

A Proposal

Moving Forward

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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