Composer Jerome Leroy may not be that familiar to you, but I am confident that at some point you have heard some of his compositions via his work on numerous projects as additional music composer or even as an arranger and orchestrator, he has worked on THE HUNGER GAMES, THE LIBERATOR, 50 TO 1, TOUCHBACK, IL VOLO:WE ARE LOVE and THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX to mention but a few. One of his latest projects as a composer in his own right is A BETTER PLACE (2014) which is the directorial debut of Dennis Ho. Leroy’s score is a fusion of both symphonic and synthetic, the composer mixing, intertwining and intermingling all of the elements of both the orchestra and synths etc and creating a score that is haunting, dramatic, upbeat, dark, unsettling and also delicately beautiful and touching. It is also a brooding and at times quite ominous and anxious sounding work which contains its fair share of harsh and jagged stabs and passages which although could be described as atonal still manage to posses some musicality and hints of melody In many ways the style and also the sound that the composer has achieved for this score reminded me very much of some of the early scores that were penned by James Newton Howard, THE MAN IN THE MOON for example, it has a certain intimacy and warmth to it, there is also a presence and polished aura that at times shines through that is reminiscent to the style of Thomas Newman, in particular his music for AMERICAN BEAUTY, again an intimacy gleams through and via a reoccurring piano performance hints to the listener that things maybe not as black as they look. There is at the works foundation a core theme, this or at least hints of it open the score but it is but a fleeting few notes that we hear at the beginning as it is not fully developed, however as the work progresses so does the theme begin to become more developed becoming more prevalent and opening out into what will be the central thematic material of the score. The composer makes excellent use of electronics within the soundtrack but never overdoes the synthetics or at least one does not really notice which is synthetic or orchestral because of the way in which they compliment and embellish each other throughout which is I think down to the way in which the score is written and also skilfully orchestrated. For me personally the highlight of the score is track number 10, THE FINAL BEATING, which seems to include most of the scores key thematic properties, there is drama here, but also melancholy and maybe an atmosphere of hope that is being purveyed by strings and plaintive woodwind, the quieter parts soon give way to a stirring passage that is underlined by percussion which gives depth and also power to the string section. A BETTER PLACE is a compelling work and a quality soundtrack which I am sure will be followed by much more of the same from this composer. Check this out you will not be disappointed.