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Soundtrack review: Daredevil (season 3) (John Paesano – 2018)

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Soundtrack review: Daredevil (season 3) (John Paesano – 2018)

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“Marvel’s Daredevil”, or simply Daredevil, is an American web television series created for Netflix by Drew Goddard, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the first in a series of shows that lead to The Defenders crossover miniseries. Charlie Cox stars as Matt Murdock / Daredevil, a blind lawyer-by-day who fights crime as a masked vigilante by night. Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D’Onofrio also star. In the third season, when Wilson Fisk is released from prison, Murdock must decide between hiding from the world or embracing his life as a hero vigilante. John Paesano wrote the score.

I liked the first two Daredevil scores so I am happy the third one gets a release as well. The main titles I could already hum from the first two seasons and they bring to mind the visually beautiful opening credits. I am a fan of always including the main titles in the various season releases. “Subway feels” already sounds like one of the best pieces from the entire show with the velvety cello motif and the melodic darkness it evokes. The tone changes with the tensely pulsating “The motorcade” and only 10 minutes into this score I’ve already been reminded of the strengths of the “Daredevil” music, both the emotional and the tense sides. The percussion here brings the tension close to “Sicario” levels. John Paesano also takes bits from the main title theme and powers them up inside other cues to help solidify the identity of his score. He also slows it down for the quieter, more emotional moments like the second half of “Checking mail”.

I can’t help but notice a nice self parody cue title, “Not another hallway”, since people have been making fun of the hallway fight fetish in all the Marvel TV shows. The cue is nothing to laugh about as it brings on the suspense and action for 5 relentless minutes. It is one of the darker, more horror like pieces of this score where once again the composer cleverly integrates the main theme in some hybrid form. The “Daredevil season 3” score is not about action though, as this character is always portrayed as conflicted and introverted. The music is mostly quiet and emotional, more dramatic than anything else as the composer goes beyond simple superhero music. There are tracks that I could see included in drama scores, like “All star pitcher”. Daredevil lives in permanent darkness so this score couldn’t be anything other than dark.

The third volume of music from “Daredevil” expands the sound of this TV show and if you enjoyed the first two you might like this one even better. John Paesano continues to deliver solid score after solid score regardless of the genre and medium and I count myself as a fan. With elements of tense thriller, drama and horror, all anchored by intelligent uses of the main titles motif, “Daredevil (season 3)” delivers also as a standalone listen. My favorite cue was “Perp walk” for the surprise fantasy sound.

Cue rating: 84 / 100

Highlights:
Main Title
Subway Feels
The Motorcade
Not Another Hallway
Trading Judgement
Perp Walk
The Funeral
Nelson Murdock and Page

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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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