Soundtrack review: Love, Simon (Rob Simonsen – 2018)
Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Riverdale, The Flash, Supergirl), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love and just the right type of project for Rob Simonsen, once of my favourite composers, to score.
I think it’s been three years since I first got addicted to Rob’s music, to his gentle and positive sound, to his relaxing yet poignant musings and with each score he made me even more anxious for the next one; he is one of the most solid composers around and yet he is able to surprise me right from the first cue “Simon and Blue” because I can’t remember him writing synth wave until now. I am just giddy as a child listening to a cue from my favourite genre written by one of the composers I admire the most; this is pure, light, positive, sunny retro wave and I pray that the entire score sounds like this. I have written thousands of words about how this musical genre, the 80s synth, is my musical comfort zone and my most precious place and even with only a cue I am happy. There is no greater feeling of joy for me than to bask in the sunlight of synth wave.
Of course a composer like Simonsen can make a long summer day feel complete with also a bit of shade, a bit of clouds when he plays his guitar a bit differently. It’s fascinating that until “Love, Simon” I hadn’t realised just how close Rob’s usual sound is to retro wave. As the score progresses, as cues come one after the other the line between nostalgia and the present gets blurred and still the music doesn’t seem to change tone. This score is a celebration of joy, a perfect feel good score if I ever heard one. There are cues where there are choirs humming and this only makes the music sound even better. You will recognise Simonsen’s trademark kindness in cues like “Car confessions”.
The nostalgia trip alone would have been enough to make em adore this score but “Love, Simon” is much more than that; a dreamy, whimsical score with which Rob Simonsen continues to bring positivity and joy through his music and I have a big wide smile on my face with every passing minute. I am just immersed in a cocoon of joy as the music takes me out of the problems of real life, of the real world, and works like the most efficient of pills, just for a little while. I guarantee you that this album will make your life feel a little better and no matter your state of mind, will bring an extra joy that’s always welcomed.
Cue rating: 100 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 38 / 38
Album excellence: 100%
01 – Simon and Blue
02 – The Spier House
03 – Love, Simon
04 – Car Confessions
05 – Change is Exhausting
06 – Vacation in the Middle of Nowhere
07 – New Message
08 – Creekwood High
09 – Gonna Get Some Air
10 – Coming Out Straight
11 – Abbey Deserves a Superhero
12 – You Get to Breathe Now
13 – Homecoming
14 – Doves
15 – Promise Me You Won’t Disappear
16 – Tell Me About Blue
17 – I Shouldn’t Have Missed It
18 – Something I Want to Tell You
19 – You Know Where to Find Me