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Soundtrack review: My cousin Rachel (Rael Jones – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: My cousin Rachel (Rael Jones – 2017)

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A dark and layered romance, My Cousin Rachel, adapted from Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic romance novel of the same name, tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious and beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. His feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling helplessly and obsessively in love with her. Starring Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz along with Sam Claflin (Hunger Games), Holliday Grainger (The Borgias) and Iain Glenn (Game of Thrones). The music was written by Rael Jones.

Well if the story that’s the base for this movie is a gothic romance my expectations for this score are set on that unmistakable dark mood. The rolling piano and lush strings that opens the score in “Who’s to blame” fit that sound as it’s just dripping darkness with every press of the piano keys. I like that the composer gives the piano a centre role as it’s my favourite instrument; the flute joins in to punctuate the joy in “Memory of a happy day”. I like the flute motifs as they are beautiful and warm and make the darkness of this score more seductive. “Headaches blind me” (a situation I am familiar with) develops into a beautiful orchestral storm. The mood of “My cousin Rachel” is British elegant as the composer uses warm and comfortable sounding instruments with broad motifs. Sometimes the music plays hide and seek like in “Happy day” and it puts me in a very good mood. The piano and the flute blend together quite nicely and make for a quiet and enjoyable texture.

“My cousin Rachel” has a constant sound from beginning to end with just a few subtle changes of tone; this makes enjoying the standalone listening experience a matter of mood. Rael Jones’ composition is dark, silky and elegant and it never gets loud or agitated; if you are in the mood for quietly lyrical score with a lot of beautiful piano and flute motifs and the occasional string emotion you will enjoy this one from start to finish and you will love discovering its subtle nuances. I know I did.

Cue rating: 86 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 19 / 50

Album excellence: 38%

Highlights:
Who’s To Blame
Headaches Blind Me
Happy Day
Tisane
First Kiss
Cliff Path
Laburnum
Follow That Horse
Gallop To The Coast
My Torment

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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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