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Soundtrack review: Bosch (Jesse Voccia – 2017)

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Soundtrack review: Bosch (Jesse Voccia – 2017)

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Bosch is an American police procedural web television series produced by Amazon Studios and Fabrik Entertainment. It stars Titus Welliver as Los Angeles Police detective Harry Bosch. Harry Bosch is an irreverent homicide detective in Los Angeles. Like any good protagonist he has problems with authority, follows his gut and bends a few rules while achieving the best solved case rate in all of California. Whatever situations the writers put him into he will undoubtedly be entertaining as he pursues justice. The music was written by Jesse Voccia.

I like cop TV shows with grey main characters and I’ve been a big Titus Welliver fan since his “Lost” days. I’ve only watched the first season of “Bosch” but I plan on watching the rest as well. I am very pleasantly surprised by the ambient opening “End of watch”; it’s dramatic and hopeless and it makes an instant impact. There have been a lot of great and gritty cop shows over the years, dark emotional and oddly enough there have been little to no scores released for masterpieces like “Homicide”, “NYPD Blue” or “The shield”. Ok, this last one was special because it had no instrumental music but I am just hungry for the sound of a character based police show and every time I imagined the sound it was just like the one Jesse Voccia uses in here, at least in the opening cue; it’s the ambient, melancholic and misty sound that sets a very reflective mood as it describes mostly how what happens around him affects and makes the main character feel rather than what actually happens. This murky sound is also my favourite LA setting sound as it makes me think of the hills and the dusty back alleys of this city that’s been the scene for countless movies and TV shows. Actually the more I listen to this score the more it makes me think of Mark Mancina’s dark minimalistic composition for “Training day”. The subtle horn motifs that show up every now and then add to this general feeling and as I listen to the music I have that image of a car or a street being seen through the distorted vision cause by the sun and heat.

I also like the seductive jazzy pieces like “Mulholland drive” that subtly change the mood every now and then. This is that noir touch that works so well with a character and show like this and I can’t get enough of it. I love this velvety texture of the scores, the smooth and mysterious motifs. This general atmosphere works so well that when the few action pieces like “Suspect captured” or “Chasing Chilton” come up I frown a bit as they don’t seem to fit the score; I understand their place since it’s not a TV show about a cop walking and meditating but I prefer the other parts.

“Bosch” is a moody ambient score that makes for a very rewarding standalone listening experience; Jesse Voccia creates a noir atmosphere that is both seductive and addictive and I am happy that this score is as long as it is; it was just my kind of immersive listening experience that just invites me to reflect and pull myself together. I want to watch the show even more now.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 49 / 79

Album excellence: 62%

Highlights:
End of Watch
Cabin Fever
View from Above
Loose Ends
Los Angeles
Mulholland Drive
Tangled in Her Web
Searching in the Hotel Room
Victim Routine
The Crime Scene
Mystery Lady
Goodnight
Goodbye Sharky
Scoping the Crib
Keep Him for Me
Finding the Stash
Keisha Calls
Off the Books
Walls Closing In
Long Drive Home
Might Really Be Him
Aftermath
The woods (bonus track)
Under the freeway (bonus track)
The lair (bonus track)
Foot pursuit (bonus track)

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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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