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Soundtrack review: BoJack Horseman (Jesse Novak -2014)

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Soundtrack review: BoJack Horseman (Jesse Novak -2014)

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“BoJack Horseman” is an American adult animated black comedy series created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. The series stars Will Arnett as the title character. The supporting cast includes Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, and Aaron Paul. While BoJack Horseman may have a satirical take on current events, politics, and show business, the show is lauded for its realistic take on dealing with depression, trauma, addiction, and self-destructive behavior. Jesse Novak wrote the score.

The main titles theme was written by Patrick Carney and I am really enjoying it’s quirky and sarcastic flamboyance; it’s a trumpet heavy theme that somehow fits the idea of the show, as does the version of “A horse with no name” that comes next. The score is quite strange and difficult to make sense of as there are a lot of weird imaginary TV shows themes or jingles that I imagine make sense for people who watched “BoJack Horseman” but annoy me a little bit. I am not at all a fan of mixed soundtrack releases especially when I have no connection with the show. I am satisfied to get a full version of the main theme though.

Finally once the weirdness is out of the way I can get an idea of how Jesse Novak’s score is and I am discovering a composition that fits right into my comfort zone with the simple electronic vibes. I am also enjoying the more jazzy ambient pieces like “Hallway”; there is a 70s like grit to the music that gives it an edge that works very well. The score is still quirky but now in a dreamy, hallucinatory way that reminds me of movies where the characters spend a lot of their time in a drugged or drunk haze. The electronic music fits this image as well and when the quirks return with a reggae like vibe in “Chasing Kelsey” I have warmed up to this score. Sometimes things get too strange like in “Seahorse birth” but at least the composer keeps things interesting.

For people like me who haven’t watched “BoJack Horseman” this score is reminiscent of old arcade games with silly characters and space ships and weird things to collect and click. Jesse Novak wrote a very weird score that might not be everybody’s cup of tea. As a retro guy myself there were enough moments when I enjoyed the composition but at least half of this album is quite silly. I will take my dreamy electronic cues and leave the rest for you.

Cue rating: 78 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 8 / 21

Album excellence: 39%

Highlights:
Bojack’s Theme (Full Length) (Patrick Carney)
Seaport (Jesse Novak)
Kelsey Apology (Jesse Novak)
Flying (Jesse Novak)
Seahorse Reunion (Jesse Novak)

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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