Film scores

Soundtrack review: Lamb (Daniel Belardinelli – 2016)

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“Lamb” is an American drama, film written and directed by Ross Partridge. The film was adapted by the novel of the same name, by Bonnie Nadzam. When a man meets a young girl in a parking lot he attempts to help her avoid a bleak destiny by initiating her into the beauty of the outside world. The journey shakes them in ways neither expects. The score was written by Daniel Belardinelli, a new name for me.

The start of the score makes me think of how 2015 was the year of minimalism in film music. The trend seems to continue with this score as well. The music is quiet and actually very lonely. There’s just a piano and the strumming of some far away strings and I instantly connect with the score because of that. The chimes in the “Titles” are very nice as well and bring a note of mystery and melancholia to the music. “Store” is where I really feel I belong; it’s a superb dreamy synth piece which reminds me of the early 80s. Gorgeous cue and one of my favorites from this start of 2016.

When this shy score leaves its comfort zone made of piano and chimes and decides to take some steps we get a beautiful melodic cascade like the one that appears in the middle of “Secret trip”. Moments like these bring more meaning to the music and help me connect better with it. Not that I would have a hard time doing that since I am a sucker for a quiet piano score and the composer does a great job in creating a reflective texture I can relate to.

The piano insists and doesn’t let go and becomes more and more intense even if it stays quiet. From the elegant “The 14th fence post” to the deep “Visiting Foster” the variations of the piano make me feel and they all find a familiar place inside me. Other times the score gets purely atmospheric and I like being there. Seems that every cue is a hidden gem.

“Lamb” echoes inside me almost for its entire duration. The music is just beautiful and honest. I missed a piano score like this one. It might be sad and it might feel very lonely at times but the experience of listening to it was rich and meaningful to me. I definitely recommend this little gem. I am glad I didn’t miss it because it would have been a shame. It reminded me of Rob Simonsen’s style and why I fell in love with his music.

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 19 / 33

Album excellence: 57%

Highlights:

Titles

Store

Secret Trip

Visiting Foster

Linny’s Arrival

Linny Leaves

Return To The City

Count To Five

Lamb: Postlude

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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