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Soundtrack review: This is us (Siddhartha Khosla – 2018)

Best of 2018 perfect scores TV

Soundtrack review: This is us (Siddhartha Khosla – 2018)

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“This Is Us” is an American television drama series created by Dan Fogelman that premiered on NBC on September 20, 2016. The series stars an ensemble cast featuring Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan, Ron Cephas Jones, Jon Huertas, Alexandra Breckenridge, Niles Fitch, Logan Shroyer, Hannah Zeile, Mackenzie Hancsicsak, Parker Bates, Lonnie Chavis, Eris Baker, and Faithe Herman. It is about the family lives and connections of several people who all share the same birthday and the ways in which they are similar and different. Siddhartha Khosla wrote the score.

I have heard a lot of great things about this show and I will watch it soon as I get a chance. Siddhartha Khosla wrote the score to “Runaways” which I just heard and it was a very nice soft electronic score. This is a different kind of story; it’s a family drama, that special kind of TV show that hits very close to home and needs exactly the warmth the opening cue “Jack’s Theme (Three Sentences)” brings. I don’t know the character but his guitar based theme is full of hope and optimism and the music is very pleasant and comfortable to listen to; it almost has that beginning of a self discovery road trip sound, I can almost smell the dust on the road. And if it’s a journey we are starting, it’s only natural that the composer doesn’t alter the atmosphere and doesn’t break this emotional connection his music already made with me. He doesn’t need more than a soft, acoustic guitar to convey emotions and bonds and the more I listen to this score the closer I feel to it.

It’s hard to explain just how well this sound fits with my idea of a family drama TV show; the thing is that no matter how much drama is in it, how much ups and down, the most important thing is that this invisible thread that connects the family or the couple is never broken; the music of Siddhartha Khosla represents that thread, calm, warm, quiet and beautiful that stays underneath everything and surfaces even in the hardest of times to show the ones involved that it’s still there and what they are fighting for. “This is us” is one of the most delightful minimalistic scores I have heard in a long time; it’s a calm afternoon sun that never sets, it’s a road trip taken at the perfect time and on the perfect road.

There’s not much else beside that acoustic guitar…some melancholic humming every now and then and that’s about it but that guitar does all the soothing I need; I have rarely heard such a peaceful and relaxing score, the way Rob Simonsen used to write some years ago. Listening to this will probably put you in a very calm and pleasant mood, the kind that simply tells you that everything is going to be alright. Do yourselves a favour and listen to this music whether you are driving on your way to a vacation or spending some time alone with your thoughts.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 60 / 60

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:
Opening Theme (This Is Us)
Jack’s Theme (Three Sentences)
Weight Watchers (Pilot)
Jack In AA (Déjà Vu)
Us (The Game Plan)
Dr. K (The Big Day)
Have You Seen Him (Kyle)
Barber (The Pool)
In The Aftermath (The Big Day)
Blip On The Radar (Moonshadow)
Sons (Jack Pearson’s Son)
Meet Your Father (Memphis)
The Baby Kicks (The Big Day)
Jack’s Theme, Pt. 2 (Three Sentences)
Kevin’s Necklace (Number One)
William’s Flashback (Number Three)
Rebecca & Jack (That’ll Be The Day)
Kevin Pearson Is Lost (Brothers)
The Mural (Clooney)
The Kids (Super Bowl Sunday)
It Is Still (Number One)
Between The Days (Still There)
Closing Theme (This Is Us)

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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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