One of the newest additions to TNT’s lineup is Leverage, a crime show that premiered a little over a year ago (December 2008, to be exact) and has recently released a soundtrack.
For those of you who have never watched the series, it’s about a former insurance investigator, Nate Ford, who puts together a team of five thieves, computer experts, and con artists to right the wrongs that corporations and the government have inflicted on otherwise helpless citizens.
In the current post, financial-sector meltdown, complete with its post-bailout, bonus scandal, a show like this was bound to appeal to large numbers. And it did: 5.6 million tuned in for the premiere and an average of 3.2 million viewers watched the first nine episodes. The season two finale was watched by 2.8 millions viewers after an average of 3.3 million viewers watched the season’s episodes (Source).
The soundtrack to Leverage was released on January 10, 2010, and according to Billboard hadn’t, as of March 1st, charted yet. However, I think it’s only a matter of time. This soundtrack, a curious blend of different types of music that are combined into a coherent whole, might not be the most original sound you will be hearing, but makes for a great addition to any music collection not only for Leverage fans, but for anyone on the lookout for good ambiance music.
John Rogers, the album’s executive producer, wanted the soundtrack to be imbibed with the vibe of great 60s crime shows. He succeeded; amongst others, part of the Leverage soundtrack is very reminiscent of the theme for The Saint and the other, of the theme for The Time Tunnel (1966-1967), so much so that I found myself looking them up on YouTube (here and here).
Of course, that sound has been massively upgraded to fit that of the 21st century, not only in its quality nor in the use of the newest remixing and mastering techniques but also in the variety of sounds. The album starts off with the Leverage main title which is an extremely catchy jazzy tune, a sound typical in lounges everywhere in North America. We also have a taste of India in track 19’s “Mumbai International”; a very slight Arabic dash in Track 7’s “Zagreb” and a massively country vibe in track 9’s “Can’t go Home again”. We also have sounds typical to western classical music, such as in track 10’s “Magical Soil”.
On a side note, “What I do” (track 4) seems to come straight out of Ocean 11’s soundtrack – another soundtrack I love – which is quite à propos.
This isn’t the first soundtrack that composer Joseph LeDuca has worked on, and his training as a jazz guitarist who, in his own words, spent his formative years in Detroit playing alongside “the great musicians that graced the Motown hits” can be heard throughout the album.
There was one irritating think about this album: some parts are so low that you have to crank up the volume to hear them. While I understand and appreciate the value of a well placed decrescendo and subsequent fortissimo (or crescendo, depending on the desired effect), I do not want to have to crank up the volume up and down, neither do I always feel like listening to music that loudly.
This soundtrack is a great addition to any music collection, especially so if you are a Leverage fan. You might not be struck by the soundtrack’s originality, but it will definitely be a crowd pleaser at any event you might host.
First published here on Blogcritics.