Film scores

Soundtrack review: Brightest star (Matthew Puckett – 2015)

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“Brightest star” is a 2013 comedy/ drama about a guy who after the heartbreaking end of his first love, sets out to win back the girl of his dreams only to discover a greater journey awaits him. The score was released this year and was written by Matthew Puckett, a new name for me.

A new name doesn’t necessarily always mean a new sound. Fortunately the one that welcomes me to this score is one I hold very dear: the main theme is minimalistic and hopeful with just a little piano to punctuate the sweeter moments. As soon as I hear the second track “Goodbye Charlotte” the world of this score opens up to me even more; it’s a world where it’s always the beginning of summer and somehow no matter in which corner of it you mind find yourself you will see the afternoon sun’s reflection in the glimmering sea. This is the vision that the music induces to me and I feel very comfortable inside it.

The simple and jolly guitar theme of “First sight” seals the deal for me. Now that the mental setting of this score is so clear to me I can add more elements, more moments in this scene. Each short piece of music is like another scene developing on that imaginary beach. A kid playing with a ball in this innocent and joyful cue, a couple of lovers sharing a sweet moment in “Charlotte walks”; someone worrying that a small cloud he sees in the distance might ruin this perfect afternoon in “Love and betrayal” and the regret of someone knowing his or her vacation is ending on such a beautiful day in “Union square”.

“Brightest star” is one of those minimalistic and innocent scores that will conquer your hearts right away. I always welcome a lovely musical shot of leisure and vacation like this. No matter when or where I hear a score like this it never fails to put me in a good mood and make me think about and enjoy the simple things in life. Matthew Puckett’s music is bright and optimistic and the few shadows don’t seem menacing.

There is a special niche for scores like this and I like coming back to it from time to time. I’ve felt this way before when I heard Rob Simonsen’s “Wish I was here” or in last year’s “The fault in our stars”. This is a special sound and it’s one of my favorites because of its honesty and carefree vibe.

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 8 / 15

Album excellence: 52%

Highlights:

Brightest Star Theme

Charlotte Walks

Love And Betrayal

Union Square

After Party Montage

Up To Telescope

Open

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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