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Review: Drive Rescore‏

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DRV-12153.NEF

The One Where Cliff Martinez Is A Real Human Being And A Real hero For Staying Away

Any excuse to write about Gosling, right?

For anyone outside of the UK you may not know but Drive was shown last night, with a totally new soundtrack. New score. New songs over every scene.

Presumably part of a new series, the idea is to replace iconic soundtracks with new artists. You can watch it on iPlayer.

And that’s where it all unravels a bit for me. Simon Neill from the greatest band alive right now, (Biffy Clyro), is there.

So are Bastille. And 1975. (A guilty pleasure).

So they’re hardly new artists that need publicity. So it begs the question…. What’s the point?

An interesting quote from the lead singer of 1975 is him saying they recorded their song, (Medicine), for their “chosen scenes”. And that raises more questions than it’s worth. Did they not even know a dedicated scene they were covering? Or did they always know they had part of the credits?

I knew as soon as I heard Simon Neill get on the piano it should play over Gosling starting the car at the end, and driving off. I won’t spoil here if I was right. But it fitted the scene.

And then I thought — why even do a new song? Just play Mountains Acoustic. See how that fits. Or The Chain by Fleetwood Mac. My tongue is getting wedged in my cheek, but you get my point.

The other oddity is that from the “date” scene for a good thirty/forty minutes, there’s no songs anyway. Probably a bit of a myth for Drive, in truth. Which is why its fundamentally more important to so use the rescoring of Martinez, as it is the actual tunes.

People have been joking they should Rescore Pyscho. Or other such classics. To be fair, as facetious as they’re being, I can see more validity in that. What the BBC have done here is to Rescore a film that’s less than five years old.

And that’s a strange, but interesting, decision.

I fell in love with Drive when it first came out. I went to a preview and saw it before most, and it felt like it was made *for* me.

What’s interesting watching it back is how much the music was part of it.

I loved it instantly as it took me back to To Live And Die In LA. A classic that my Dad kept on the top shelf (not like that), and that I’d watch whenever he went out. An essential part of my education growing up. Everybody needs a bit of Wang Chung in their lives. Otherwise several Simpsons jokes would’ve just gone over my head.

College. Night Call. All instant classics and one of the many reasons I walked out of Taken 2, and possibly fell out of love with films, or at least writing for a while. When Taken 2 took two songs from the Drive soundtrack, nary a year later, Hollywood died on its ass.

This BBC experiment makes me feel similar. It’s a vapid exercise, really. Pointless.

But it’s Drive. So we all watched.

And you know what? 45 minutes in and I wasn’t as offended as I should’ve been. Almost everything that replaced Martinez worked for me. My biggest surprise, and disappointment, was how similar it all was. It was safe.

When The Driver is testing the car, and the heavy rock music plays for all of twenty seconds I suddenly woke from my slumber a bit. Now this is *different*, I thought. Except it wasn’t good different. It was a bad choice. My hand slowly clenched.

Martinez had created this John Carpenter-esque thudding that was all synth and beauty. Playing over scenes with sinister dialogue, you now realise how important it was/is. There’s scenes where Ron Perlman is setting up scenes for later that now lack all menace.

The scene in the hallway with Oscar finally out of prison? No menace. No foreboding. Because what’s gone before and what is coming after has all missed the point a bit.

The “How about this? I’ll kick your teeth in” scene lacks all sense of purpose now, too. When Gosling goes back to see Oscar bloodied and bruised, and there’s no music at all, it’s all a bit surreal.

It can’t be all bad, mind. To replace A Real Hero when Gosling is skimming stones, and me not want to throw the iPad through the the window is some feat.

When it doesn’t work, it’s quite spectacular though. For some that’s the whole experiment. For me, it’s when they cheapen things like in the getaway scene with drum and bass. Exactly what most Hollywood movies would choose to play over that scene, and exactly why it doesn’t work.

So, how do I feel about it? Well, I’d carry on watching them. But I’d have a few questions. How are they choosing the films? Nothing less than ten years, for me. How much does it cost? It should be cost neutral for me – and all of the soundtracks should be released a few weeks before free of charge. Let everyone get to know them a bit. I personally really liked some of the songs – and the song over the soundtrack was catchy enough to have me singing it during the credits, at first time of hearing.

I suppose ultimately an experiment is worth it to see the results. But some things just shouldn’t be fucked with.

And how lovely is To The Bone?

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