Cliff Martinez – The Lincoln Lawyer *Review In English*

“His fans will have no option but appreciate this the way they always do. But if you are not of them and have no demand for another mediocre ambient music, avoid it or go for another album with songs from various artists if you want to”

Soundtrack Label: Lakeshore Records

Adapted from the bestselling book of Michael Connelly, THE LINCOLN LAWYER is the thriller drama about Mickey Haller, a veteran attorney who will conduct a case for criminals as long as they pay him good money. His dirty attitude toward the career works well, even if it makes him live separately from his ex-wife who never agrees with him, until the day he is assigned to conduct a case for Louis Roulet, a playboy and a son of an influenced family who is accused of the brutal abuse of a prostitute, he finds out that this case is so questionable that it evokes his morality as well as it brings a threat to his life and people around him.

I know that some audiences might have thought “Does this movie really have the real score?” truthfully, the answer is “yes”. Cliff Martinez is the composer who is assigned to do the score which is still an ambient one with electronic percussions all around.

According to my previous soundtrack review for SOLARIS, I’m not the one who is much impressed by any Martinez’s scores which are acclaimed to fit the films and be mature listening experience, especially the latter one which I see no maturity in the composer at all. I mean that all his music could have been more utilized than just airy atmosphere and poor ticking-and-clicking sounds which totally make a too simplistic electronic score in my case. But who knows? His spell seems to be spotted by directors who are likely to make great movies. THE LINCOLN LAWYER is also one of them and despite the fact that it requires just minimal music, though the songs used in the film play better roles, I don’t think Martinez should have completed it with some easily forgettable stuffs. However, there are a few good things I can say about this score.

Firstly, I give him praise for pushing these 41-minute score to film score listeners for a gourmet, gold plated, hand rolled, and gluten-free listening experience or whatever he notes on a booklet (though I don’t really buy that idea) due to how the score heard in the film is hard to notice and can just be swallowed or gone by the songs. Secondly, it is still listenable and there are thematic materials although these listenable tracks are quite below my average for electronic score and there is a fact that Martinez is not good at making memorable thematic materials. How’s It Hangin’ Counselor is a very first track to give you a listen to the theme with solid dreamy surrounded sound and percussions for some climax reason. The theme can still be obviously heard in some tracks. I’m a Missionary Man is the one for that and it lightens the score a little bit. Then, while all the ticking-and-clicking sounds try to keep the score consistence and represent more serious tone with nothing outstanding about them, the guitar helps the score somehow. There are both the dark and the bright sides performed by it like the screech sound in the second half of How Does Reggie Tell It? and a chill-out performance in a tender We Did a Couple Things Right.

Directed Verdict is only track involving percussions I can enjoy due to a quite effective rising emotion it provides (coincidently, this kind of rhythm is also heard in his recent score of 2011; CONTAGION).

Finally, Cliff Martinez is still the same Cliff Martinez and this score reflects it through his habitual method. His fans will have no option but appreciate this the way they always do. But if you are not of them and have no demand for another mediocre ambient music, avoid it or go for the album with songs from various artists if you want to.


01. How’s It Hangin’ Counselor (****)

02. Looks a Little Short to Me (***)

03. How Does Reggie Tell It? (****)

04. We Did a Couple Things Right (****)

05. You’re Right, I Killed Her (**)

06. I Can Kick Your Ass (***)

07. You Lied Val (***)

08. Did I Get Frank Killed? (***)

09. I’m a Missionary Man (****)

10. About Those Thousand Razors (***)

11. Woodsman (***)

12. You’ve Got Someplace to Be (***)

13. I Got This (***)

14. Directed Verdict (****)

15. Whose Side Are You On (***)

16. Shoot Me Right Now (***)

17. Track Him (***)

18. 911, What’s Your Emergency (****)

19. Repeat Customers (***)

Final Score: 6

Buy It @Boomerang


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