TV

Soundtrack review: Daredevil (season 2) (John Paesano – 2016)

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The second season of the American web television series Daredevil, which is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, follows Matt Murdock / Daredevil, a blind lawyer-by-day who fights crime at night, crossing paths with the deadly Frank Castle / Punisher along with the return of an old girlfriend–Elektra Natchios. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films and other television series of the franchise. The season is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, with Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez serving as showrunners, and series creator Drew Goddard acting as consultant. Charlie Cox stars as Murdock, while Jon Bernthal and Élodie Yung are introduced as Castle and Natchios. I loved the darkness of the second season and especially how Punisher was played. John Paesano returned for the score.

I welcome the return of the main title which fits very well the shadow world in which our main character lives. The music drips just like the paint in the opening credits. I didn’t need the main theme to remind me I am in the musical world of Daredevil because the composer stayed true to the dark and gritty sound he created for the first season. The dark electronic mood fits with the pace and setting of the show.

“The Punisher” gets a theme as pulsating and determined as the character himself. This cue develops in waves just like his precision attacks, from the stealthy preparation to the loud execution. I like this piece because it matches the dark and blank look in Frank Castle’s eyes. Nothing stops him and nothing stops this cue from entering in my running playlists. The theme returns in “The diner” for one of the climaxes of the season.

“Daredevil season 2” is not a score for big moments; instead it’s an atmospheric composition meant to compliment the way the show develops. There are moments or warmth (like “Raindrops” or the wonderful “Dripping chills”) but darkness rules and never leaves this album. Daredevil acts almost alone trying to fight evil one element at a time so don’t expect epic cues or overly dramatic ones; I like how John Paesano puts the show above the music and weaves his art into the fabric of “Daredevil”.

“Dripping chills” is the cue I played the most times. It hit a familiar and comfortable spot inside me with it’s quiet ambient sound; the title describes exactly what this cue makes me feel. It reminds me of the emotional moments in Hans Zimmer’s “The Amazing Spider Man 2” and is currently my favorite John Paesano cue.

If you enjoyed the first score and are familiar with the show you will love this one. With both electric action and silky dark ambience it works very well. For me TV music is more fascinating than film music because I can watch it grow, develop, evolve and John Paesano is having fun on this playground.

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 26 / 51

Album excellence: 51%

Highlights:

Main Title

The Punisher

Raindrops

Dripping Chilis

The Diner

They Have Nothing Now

To Be a Hero

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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