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Soundtrack Review

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Rebel in the Rye
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Bear McCreary
Label: Sparks & Shadows
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 08 September 2017

Sparks & Shadows' release Bear McCreary's original score for Rebel in the Rye. Set amidst the colourful backdrop of mid-20th century New York City, Rebel in the Rye follows a young J. D. Salinger as he struggles to find his voice, pursues a love affair with famed socialite Oona O’Neill, and fights on the frontlines of World War II. It’s these experiences that will inform the creation of his masterpiece, The Catcher in the Rye, bringing him overnight fame (and notoriety) and leading him to withdraw from the public eye for the rest of his life...

Bear McCreary is one of the most versatile and prolific composers working today. While I've not embraced all of his work (Everly; the first season of Outlander - although his work for season 2 of the show was excellent) the majority of his scores are a joy to listen to, and it's always a pleasure to get to review his work.

His latest release, for the J.D. Salinger biopic, Rebel in the Rye, was obviously a labour of love for McCreary. The score opens with arguably this album's most impressive, beautiful theme, 'Innocence (Theme from Rebel in the Rye)', which is referenced from time to time throughout the soundtrack - which contains 19 tracks (51 min, 40 sec).

I don't wish to take anything away from McCreary, but large sections of this album reminded me of some of the incredible scores I grew up with in the '80s / '90s. Here and there there's a flavour of John Williams; a hint of Jerry Goldsmith; and a blast of James Horner.

Of particular interest is the use of the sound of a typewriter as an instrument, which can be heard, as part of the percussion instruments, on the tracks 'Early Writing' and 'Typewriter Drums'.


Darren Rea

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