Paul Leonard-Morgan – Limitless *Review In English*

“Ironically, it also seems right to say that this score is like the NZT-48 pills.  When I take a few tracks for my ears, they make me feel refreshing and lively. But when I take all 25 tracks which are the whole 53 minutes, they can be distractingly tiresome.”

Soundtrack Label: Relativity Music Group

The science tells us that average humans can only use 20% of brain power but what will happen when there are pills which enable us to use our brain power fully? LIMITLESS is the film with that concept. It tells the story of Eddie Morra, a poor writer who cannot come up with any new idea for his writing and for the worse part; his girlfriend has dumped him. He lives day-by-day like a loser until the day he meets his old fellow who gives him a sample of a pill called NZT-48. Suddenly, after taking it, his brain is enabled to be limitless. He has become a better guy with a lot creative ideas; however, its side effect is not going to be nice after all.

Paul Leonard-Morgan is the composer who does the score and you probably have never heard of his name unless you live in UK or you are the fans of BBC TV series called SPOOKS. Then, you may know that he is fine with his works there. For me, this score brings his name to my mind for the first time. I have no idea why the director wants him for this American project and what is his particular area in film music but let’s see if he has any good thing to deal with LIMITLESS.

Paul Leonard-Morgan goes for both orchestra and electronic instruments, though I really feel that the latter one seems to occupy over 80% of this score. However, for the film which is set in the city with all the lights and colors, especially the fact that LIMITLESS has visually cool editing, the electronic music can be a suitable choice and I am not surprised by that.

Opening directly introduces the main theme of the entire score. The outstanding cue starts at the 0.30 second presented by an intense synthetic sound and a little bit of strings. The mix of sound may be harsh which make me feel a bit distracting but I won’t lie that those cue has a pretty cool and catchy tone. For the following tracks, Morgan executes the process of developing the sound into whatever he can create. For example, we have got the relaxing Eddie Knows What To Do which its vibrating sound is also heard later in Lindy and Eddie Reunite. Then, motifs of love drama though airy electric guitar piano, and strings in I Still Love You and Lindy Leaves Eddie. Next, the beating plus drumming in Lindy Chase as well as Apartment Carnage and Gennady Drop In. Finally, Happy Pills which is the full 4 minutes and 30 seconds of the theme for the decent closing.

Nevertheless, as an album presentation, this score with variations on one limited main theme and the synthetic process in seeking of new fresh sounds still cannot escape from some problems that always occur with the scores that heavily focus on the use of electronic instruments. In LIMITLESS case; firstly, the sound mixing is sometimes too harsh and which refers to the overuse of electronic instruments; the moan of electronic sound is rough, the percussions are hyperactive and the score just keeps pushing those every time it has a chance. With the 53 minutes of running time, they can be unbearable (I guess too much intensity from synthesized sound is not my taste but I also have heard better performances out there). Secondly, it is what I think that some short tracks should have been arranged in better forms for album presentation instead of these average one-to-two-minute tracks which are totally the copy-and-paste music from the film and they sound awkward on their own. They are simply more like the sound effect and they can be whether disturbing or just go through your ears without the notice of any standout cues (I would not have finished this review if I was not patience enough in doing so).

Overall, Paul Leonard-Morgan’s score for LIMITLESS doesn’t impress me with anything innovative for either electronic or orchestral composition. But it is still a solid stand-alone listening experience with a cool theme accompanied by both advantages and disadvantages like the mediocre electronic score of some composers I have already know. Ironically, it also seems right to say that this score is like the NZT-48 pills.  When I take a few tracks for my ears, they make me feel refreshing and lively. But when I take all 25 tracks which are the whole 53 minutes, they can be distractingly tiresome.

Track List

01. Opening (****)

02. Psyched (***)

03. Trading Up (****)

04. Eddie Knows What To Do (****)

05. Trippy (****)

06. I Still Love You (****)

07. Limitless (****)

08. Coming Up (****)

09. Lindy and Eddie Reunite (***)

10. Walk Home (***)

11. Down the Hatch (***)

12. Escaping Tancoat (***)

13. Hiring Eddie (****)

14. Van Loon (***)

15. Hiring Bodyguards (****)

16. Lindy Chase (****)

17. Lindy Leaves Eddie (****)

18. Thrashed Hotel (****)

19. Phone Tap (***)

20. Apartment Carnage (****)

21. Eddie is Sick (***)

22. You Want More? (****)

23. Eddie’s Back (****)

24. Gennady Drop In (****)

25. Happy Pills (*****)

Final Score 7.5

Buy It @iTunes @Amazon


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