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Soundtrack Review

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Mr. Holmes
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Carter Burwell
Label: Lakeshore Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 28 August 2015

Carter Burwell's score for Mr. Holmes is released through Lakeshore Records. The movie is a new twist on the world’s most famous detective. 1947, an aging Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love – before it's too late.

Carter Burwell turns in an impressive collection of classical-based tracks for Mr. Holmes. The score contains 16 tracks (38 min, 40 sec) and this is one of those soundtracks that works best when listened to in its entirety. This is mainly down to the fact that while it's an enjoyable score there's very little in the way of memorable themes; the score slowly builds as it progresses.

The music, on the whole, sounds exactly as you'll be expecting from a Holmes based production. However, it is a little more contemporary than the usual Victorian London themes you may be expecting. This is probably due to the fact that the movie is set in the 1940s.

It's an album that you will play for a while, and then put away for months or even years and then dig out in the future and still get something out of. Those looking for a theme based score will be disappointed, but those wanting a relaxing, collection of classical sounding tracks will enjoy this.


Darren Rea

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