CD: Brother’s Keeper (2012)

October 18, 2012 | By

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Rating: Excellent

Label: Bill Brown Music/ Released: October, 2012

Tracks & Album Length: 20 tracks / (63:00)


Special Notes: Also available on iTunes.


Composer: Bill Brown




Long experienced in scoring the nuances of diverse video games, Bill Brown (Level 26: Dark Prophecy [M]) finally gets a full dramatic film, and the result is this carefully structured work that runs more than an hour long on CD.

Meticulously engineered and presented by MovieScore Media, Brown’s score is based around an almost classically written melodic theme, sparingly heard in full, perhaps because the entire score was designed to play throughout the film and / or blend seamlessly with sound design, ensuring there’s a constant undercurrent of sonic subtext in each scene.

Cues seem to exist within connective clouds of sonic ether – grinding bass tones, subtle string chords, or processed effects – and yet there’s little over repetition because Brown doesn’t reiterate many variations. Each cue is a small chapter in the story’s narrative, and the grim tone is on rare occasions broken up by acoustic guitar (“To the Pen”); whether solo, or accompanied by other bluegrass instruments, any sense of openness or sonic brightness is fleeting.

The score’s best components are the subtle piano phrases (their delicateness is highly reminiscent of Christopher Young’s work), the peculiar tenderness of the orchestra’s tone, and the lush string chords which project warmth and sadness. Perhaps the album’s stellar cue is the dramatically epic “There is a Plan,” one of several 4-6 minute cuts where Brown goes through a whole range of emotional statements.

While low-key in approach, Brown’s score is really affecting, and perhaps it’s to his benefit that his feature film choices have been so selective – the better to fully construct a long-form, almost organic score.



© 2012 Mark R. Hasan


External References:

IMDB Composer Filmography


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