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Soundtrack review: Same kind of different as me (John Paesano – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Same kind of different as me (John Paesano – 2017)

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“Same Kind of Different” as Me is a 2017 American drama film directed by Michael Carney and written by Ron Hall, Alexander Foard and Michael Carney. It is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent. The film stars Greg Kinnear, Renée Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou, Olivia Holt, Jon Voight, and Stephanie Leigh Schlund. International art dealer Ron Hall must befriend a dangerous homeless man in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife, a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the journey of their lives. John Paesano wrote the score.

Over the last few years John Paesano has consistently delivered enjoyable music both in drama and action; most recently I had a lot of fun with his “Defenders” score. It’s time for a drama score from him again and as the soft piano in “Opening” starts weaving a dark ambient mood I remember how much I enjoy drama Paesano; there is also a touch of that Thomas Newman meaningful lightness in the beginning of this score as “The journey” makes me check the tags of the music twice to make sure I am not actually listening to a Thomas Newman composition. A dash of Celtic violin as well and I am suddenly very into this musical story. “Revival season” reminds me of the great work this composer did for “When the game stands tall” with the most subtle of piano and string combination. I can’t shake the Thomas Newman feeling as I listen to this score but it’s a good thing as that sound is among the most pleasant and meaningful for me. The way the piano drips and rolls, the trembling strings in the background, the guitar inserts and the melodic motifs that light up every cue are ingredients for an emotional score. “Visions of Denver” is one of the most beautiful John Paesano themes.

“Same kind of different” is simply a delightful score; somehow the composer channeled his inner Thomas Newman to the core and came up with a score that can’t go wrong; this unique sound has worked for 30 years because it’s light while in the same time having a big emotional impact. The music is beautiful and is comforting to hear John Paesano expand his range like this and come up with a score that is just glimmering with emotion and tenderness; the flute, the strings, the sunny mood, the subtle touches of Americana make this an album that evokes large, golden plains on a carefree summer afternoon. I just close my eyes and let the music wash over me without burdening me. It’s ironic that the title of the album is “Same kind of different…” considering the Thomas Newman vibe in it but a clever and talented composer like Paesano can expand and deepen that sound and make it his as well. At the end of the score I am left with the sweetest feeling of melancholy and a wide smile on my face and why should I ask for more from a score? It’s just one more reason to keep prioritising John Paesano scores.

Cue rating: 90  / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 30 / 55

Album excellence: 54%

Highlights:
Opening
The Journey
Visions of Denver
New Friend
Clara
Big Mama
Denver’s Real World
Dinner for One
Shreveport
Night Sky
Dreams Come True
Same Kind of Different as Me

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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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