SOUTHPAW by James Horner. My First Thoughts


This is one of 3 remaining soundtracks which will be released after Horner’s tragic death. The solemn and comtemplative feel of it makes it difficult to give a subjective view so I stress that this is not a review, merely my first reaction.

This a very different James Horner with dark shades and haunted by a questioning and sad piano. You recognise the measured tones immediately, this is a score where the space between each note matters.  Careful use [meaning not over the top] of drums send a distinct message of fear.

The cue A Long Road Back is led by the piano and as it develops, it is quite beautiful for a movie depicting such a savage sport. Horner uses electronic sounds, again with precision. They are at their strongest in Hope vs Escobar which runs for 8 minutes and 26 seconds. Again a measured use of these sounds are what makes it work.

There are many cliches which can fit into an action film and I am glad to say that Horner has not gone down that road. I will visit this score again once I have seen the movie. From this, my first listen, I would say it’s a raw meditation of sorts, reflecting both the inner and physical torture the film depicts.

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