Film music is a great art, By this I mean that composers and even song writers and performers have it seemed dip their toes into the rippling waters of film music and scoring movies, I remember when I first saw that Marvin Gaye had scored TROUBLEMAN I was sceptical to say the least, but “Oh Ye of little faith” as they say, because the end result was quite stunning as in being polished and precise for the movie and also was great in the entertainment department too, it was a score that was supportive of the movie and also was a collection of themes and songs that one could sit and listen too without having to have the images. Of course, the soundtrack went onto gain a cult status.
The same can be said of EUPHORIA which has a score that is penned by the artist LABRINTH. I know that hardened film music fans will probably look at this and be horrified, but wait a minute, this is a TV score so as a reviewer of film and TV music I felt bound to listen. To be honest and fair I know very little about LABRINTH, apart from his songs that have hit the chart and also of his many collaborations, which I have played when doing DJ work in the clubs. PASS OUT and EARTHQUAKE with Tinie Tempah, BENEATH YOUR BEAUTIFUL featuring Emelie Sande and his projects working with artists such as Diplo and Sia. The score for EUPHORIA is a refreshing experience that is a delight to listen to, well structured and appealing melodically as well as entertaining via its many instrumental cues and handful of vocals that are on the soundtrack. LABRINTH, is always very melodic and lyrical in his compositions even if they were at times up-beat and dance orientated. I could always hear little nuances and quirks within them that I would sometimes think well I really like that or how did he do that? Which I suppose is why he is so successful and popular; with each new song or production he re-invents himself and with EUPHORIA he has certainly showed another side of his ample talents.
EUPHORIA the HBO series, follows a group of high school students as they discover love and various friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma and the ever-present social media. The cast of Euphoria includes actor and singer Zendaya, Maude Apatow (Girls), Angus Cloud, Eric Dane, Alexa Demie, Jacob Elordi, Barbie Ferreira, Nika King, Storm Reid, Hunter Schafer, Algee Smith and Sydney Sweeney (Sharp Objects).
It is an American adaptation of an Israeli TV show of the same name, with every episode being penned by writer Sam Levinson, all episodes are written by Sam Levinson who is also executive producer on the series. The series is produced in partnership with A24 (Lady Bird, Random Acts of Flyness, 2 Dope Queens, Pod Save America) and includes executive producers Drake, Future the Prince, Ravi Nandan, Kevin Turen, Hadas Mozes Lichtenstein, Tmira Yardeni, Mirit Toovi, Yoram Mokadi and Gary Lennon. Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin, who created the Israeli series, are also executive producers.
EUPHORIA, the score is a fusion of instrumental and vocal but the instrumental cues are inventive and contain many colours and textures, there is a wonderfully melodious and also a wide variations of styles within this score, and yes it is a score not just a collection of songs that have been tacked onto the film for affect. This is in my opinion an accomplished work filled with vibrant and energetic pieces, I particularly like the way in which the composer utilises voices and upbeat backgrounds that create infectious themes that will I know haunt the listener long after the recording has ceased to play. Tracks such as FORMULA, FOREVER, NATE GROWING UP and others make an impression on first listen and are affecting and robustly thematic with upbeat backing that enhances and bolstered the central composition. There are also several less upfront tracks, which are poignant and intimate, the composer utilising guitar and piano and solo voice, as in NEW GIRL, HOME FROM RE-HAB and WE ALL KNEW. EUPHORIA is a score that is fashioned out of many elements, these include acoustic, vocal and electronic, there is a quality to this score that I am sure you even as a film score purist or a hard-line symphonic lover will hear. It is in my opinion certainly worth exploring.
Check out the cues I have already mentioned and also tracks such as, FOLLOWING TYLER, KAT’S DENIAL SIDESHOW, DEMANDING EXCELLENCE, MADDY’S STORY and THE LAKE these contain innovative use of instruments or samples which the composer presents to us in a fresh and vibrant way, some being driving and also uplifting, but above all accomplished and also showing signs of brilliance in the way that certain sounds are utilised and combined to create and achieve original sounds and style. The vocals WHEN I RIP and STILL DON’T KNOW MY NAME are also a standout tracks and I feel will maybe get airplay on their own as single releases? What I love about this soundtrack is its diversity, for example listen to song WHEN I RIP and you will think you are in a club setting and then in the next instant we are treated to the down beat and totally emotionally absorbing ARRIVING AT THE FORMAL, which has to it a charm and a subtle but powerful core that is enhanced via neo-classical strings and delicate touches of piano that at times are childlike and poignant. Also listen to McKay and CASSIE which has to it a vintage soul vibe akin to the sound of James Brown, then the next cue is GANGSTER which is fully electronic and contains a harsh and menacing sound that is a combination of organ percussion and a rap, which reminded me of a number of tracks that were popular in the charts a while back. Yes, I recommend that you take a listen ASAP, because this is a score that demands that you do.