Film scores

Soundtrack review: Stolen (Trevor Morris unreleased – 2011)

stolen

„Stolen” is a 2009 thriiler. Mad Men star Jon Hamm headlines this unusual low-budget mystery-thriller, as Detective Tom Adkins, a man haunted relentlessly by the disappearance of his ten-year-old son, Tommy, Jr. No leads immediately turn up in that case, but he does receive an early-morning phone call that draws him to the mangled and mutilated remains of a young boy slain 50 years prior. Despite a good cast the film hold a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. My interest in it lies with the score which is part of the unreleased archives of Trevor Morris, who is one of my favorite composers. I love it when a composer brings to light sketches like these, music that never got released because it hlpes us get to know him better. If you listen or stream this score remember you might help support Trevor’s charity of choice „Education through music”.

Even from the opening cue (there are no titles, just slate numbers) my point about maybe discovering a new side to a composer I like is made. My favorite Trevor Morris compositions are usually thunderous, epic or emotional but rarely quiet. And here I am suddenly in a musical place that feels abandoned and dangerous. There is a different kind of emotion in this score and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to make me connect with this melodic and almost ambient score. This is the kind of background film music that I love to separate from the movie and use to my own benefit.

Why this score remained unreleased is beyond my comprehension (although, looking at the film’s ratings…). “Stolen” is a lesson in meaningfulness to every generic thriller score. You don’t need to get loud to make a point. I am listening to this beautiful and poignant score and it reminds me of some of Graeme Revell’s more special compositions like “Blow” or “The insider”. This is the kind of score I would play on a rainy day when I want to remember something very precious to me. The melancholy in the music is just in that sweet spot at the edge between sweet and painful. The guitar tells me everything is fine while the piano strikes are my best friends.

The echoes of “Stolen” reach deep inside me. I didn’t expect to be so touched by the music and I can’t wait to dig deeper through Trevor Morris’ treasure chest. This score is a good place to start, so get discovering.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 21 / 54

Album excellence: 39%

Highlights:

 

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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