After such impressive scores as the majestic haunting of THE AWAKENING and the entrancingly downbeat crime drama BLOOD, the prolific English composer Daniel Pemberton finally gets a major Hollywood score for fellow Brit Ridley Scott’s THE COUNSELOR. It’s a gig that lands Pemberton once again on the wrong side of the law, and south of the border as a suave legal eagle gets in way over his head in the Mexican drug business. But that doesn’t mean that Pemberton can’t have black-humored fun with the bloodshed at hand with a nice big helping of Spaghetti Western music. It’s an ironic, and subtly humorous tone for strumming guitar and wolf howl strings that are nevertheless filled with tension, and an above-it-all sense of criminal class.

Pemberton’s COUNSELOR is all about the calculated, slow boil of jumping into business with the devil, crossing a sunbaked, outlaw tone with the modern, melodic sheen of a conspiratorial suspense score, even going for a metal-grunge rhythm for decapitation in the score’s neatest bit of business. Impressively embodying his antihero, Pemberton’s “Counselor” is filled with style, venom, fateful guitar romance and the kind of strumming that tells us a big, lethal moral lesson is at hand.

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Article: CD Review of the THE COUNSELOR soundtrack

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