Dan Romer is a name that one will often see as an on-screen credit for various television shows and documentaries. But often it is because you have noticed the music within these productions that you are actually looking to see who the composer was. One such score I liked a lot was for the Netflix show THE INNOCENT MAN, I felt that the music aided greatly the production and it also seemed to have life on its own, in fact I found myself trying to listen to the music more than actually watching what was going on in the documentary. Romer fashioned an atmospheric and attractively compelling work, but its not all about the melodic or the grand musical gestures that grab your attention, the score is quite how shall I put it sinewy and taught but at the same time manages to hold ones attention. Listening to it away from the series is certainly an eye opener as the composer has created an innovative and interesting work, which is both complex and simple. The music is a mix of both conventional instrumentation and synthetic, with the composer utilising violin/cello solos to convey a sense of melancholy and solitude, but also utilising plucked strings to bring to fruition a more agitated and unsettling sound, with ominous sounding staccato materialises throughout to keep up a relentless sense of the sinister.
There are also contributions from banjo and deep percussive elements. As you can probably figure out from the title the documentary deals with the wrongful arrest and incarceration of individuals that were innocent. The film deals with four such cases which all occurred during the 1980.s. The score I think is probably one of the best I have heard in recent years for a documentary, and it underlines and supports throughout adding atmosphere and tension in all the right places. The composer fashions and weaves the at times sparse and subdued musical nuances to best support what is going on up on the screen and at the same time manages at times to create a melodic and haunting musical tapestry that is filled with so many emotions and colours. The second cue on the soundtrack release MEMORIES OF DEBBIE has a calming and almost dreamlike effect upon the listener, it is a fusion of electronics and a soothing cello solo which it self straight away sets the standard and the style, if I were to say it is a mix of Vangelis and romantic sounding Morricone I think you might just know what I am saying. But with the next cue DON’T LOOK FOR US OR ELSE, Romer employs a Barry-esque style as in maybe a slower tempo version of either the VENDETTA theme or even THE IPCRESS FILE, but after the initial opening the cue alters and becomes more electronic and percussive, the mood changing quickly, but then reverting back to how it began. Overall it is a taught and tension filled work, with shades of darkness and apprehension having the lion’s share of the proceedings, but I suppose it is a dark and quite harrowing subject matter that the series deals with, with Romer’s music reinforcing the dark scenarios and also underling the disturbing facts that are unfolding. There is just an aura about this score, it compels you to listen and entices you in further with each track, Certainly, one to look out for, recommended.