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Soundtrack review: Ocean’s 8 (Daniel Pemberton – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Ocean’s 8 (Daniel Pemberton – 2018)



“Ocean’s 8” is an upcoming American heist comedy film directed by Gary Ross and written by Ross and Olivia Milch. The film is a spin-off of Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s trilogy and stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, and Helena Bonham Carter. The plot follows a group of women, led by the estranged sister of Danny Ocean, who plan on robbing the Met Gala in New York City. Inspired by her brother Danny Ocean, estranged sister Debbie Ocean attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala. Daniel Pemberton wrote the score and there’s no better guy to do it, considering his versatility and recent inspiration.

When it’s a heist movie, and especially one in this franchise I know what to expect from the score; when it’s Daniel Pemberton though, I don’t know what to expect except that it will be exciting. The opening “NYC Larceny” is a piece that firmly puts this score in the “Ocean’s” franchise with the soft, playful swing vibe that you are familiar with even if you only saw trailers instead of full movies. This kind of music is always fun I mean I can’t help but smile as I hear the percussion and the amusing string motifs, this takes me back to both heist movies and silly comedies of old. Then the big brass section comes along and am I listening to a sequel to “The pink panther”? It sounds retro but it’s hard for a heist movie score not to sound like that.

The entire score has that refreshing yet retro style that spells heist jazz from beginning to end. If you are a fan of the genre, you will love this album. As much as he usually enjoys experimenting, even Daniel Pemberton decided that a franchise like this easily recognizable and has a precise identity so he played it safe. Me, I rarely enjoy heist scores because I find the sound too superficial and lacking emotional impact. It is fun to hear but I forget anything except the general mood soon as it’s over. So if you are into repetitive electric guitar, soft percussion, bongos and a vibe that will constantly make you sway your head, you are in for a fun listening experience.

Cue rating: 67 / 100

NYC Larceny
Game on!

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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