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Gone by David Buckley


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Gone (Soundtrack) by David Buckley
Gone (Soundtrack) by David Buckley
Gone (Poster and Memorabilia)










Gone (Soundtrack) by David Buckley

Composed by David Buckley
Lakeshore Records (2012)

Rating: 4/10

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“One solid cue does not a winning score make, and those promising two-and-a-half minutes at the end are not enough to make up for the uninspired and uninspiring remainder. ”

The Thrills are Gone
Review by Edmund Meinerts



Flying under the radar even by February’s standards is the thriller GONE, in which nobody believes Amanda Seyfried when she says she was kidnapped and nearly killed. Few people saw it and fewer still liked it – at the time of writing, it had barely made back a third of its $22 million budget. Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia, in his first Hollywood venture, sought the services of DAVID BUCKLEY to compose the film’s score. A protegé of the rather better-known HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS, BUCKLEY only has a handful of solo projects to his name. Chief among these is the enjoyable, mostly-orchestral, Oriental-tinged THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, but hopefuls expecting any of that quality in GONE are likely to walk away disappointed.

Instead, and unsurprisingly, BUCKLEY mostly channels his mentor’s thriller style for this assignment. If you’ve heard any of GREGSON-WILLIAMS’ scores for either Tony Scott (MAN ON FIRE, UNSTOPPABLE etc.) or Ben Affleck (GONE BABY GONE and THE TOWN, the latter co-composed by BUCKLEY), you can probably already guess what GONE sounds like: a mostly low-key affair with strings and piano for the character moments, and plenty of synthetic percussion and effects for the suspense and action sequences. It’s an effective style, but hardly original; nor does it make for particularly interesting listening when divorced from the visuals.

BUCKLEY introduces his primary motif from the get-go; its basic four-note phrase on echoing piano is the first thing you hear in the album’s opener, “Forest Park” (1). The motif is referenced fairly frequently throughout the score, but it is so slight that it doesn’t provide much of an emotional anchor, and neither does it lend itself to any sort of satisfying, extended performance. BUCKLEY never truly takes the theme in any meaningful direction, and it is notably absent from the score’s final cue. It’s simply there, and while it’s certainly preferable to no theme at all, one does wonder what its purpose is in the bigger picture.

There is a tendency among several of the album’s cues for the majority to consist of drab, minimal soundscapes, only to have the last minute or so pick up into a slightly more interesting portion that adds rhythmic string lines and percussion. This happens in “Forest Park” (1), “Empty House” (3) and “Confronting Jim” (8), and those with the capability to do so might want to use audio editing software of some kind to separate these brief highlights from the remainder. The monotonous five-minute synthetic thumping of “Darkness Falls” (6), on the other hand, doesn’t even have such a brief redeeming feature, and leaves one wishing for the far more engaging BRIAN TYLER score of the same name.

The action sequences, such as “Jill Runs for Her Life” (5) and “Alameda Car Pursuit” (7), are at least a bit more interesting if only for the raised level of volume and activity, but even they do little more than increase the speed of the electronic pace-setters. Musically, there still isn’t much going on. The only truly interesting cue in the entire score is the “End Titles” (12), which introduces an intoxicating female vocal exploring a unique melody over the familiar piano and drum kit. It’s truly a shame BUCKLEY didn’t manage to work this style into the rest of the score.

One solid cue does not a winning score make, and those promising two-and-a-half minutes at the end are not enough to make up for the uninspired and uninspiring remainder. BUCKLEY has crafted a score for GONE that sounds professional enough considering the limited budget he probably had to work with, it isn’t ever unlistenable or outright abrasive, and it no doubt works fine in its film. But there are only so many variations on this thriller style one can hear before it starts becoming tired, and it was arguably never the most compelling or memorable style to begin with. Check out the “End Titles” (12) on iTunes if you’re curious, but if you listen to the whole score, don’t be surprised if your memories of it are soon…gone.

Rating: 4/10


Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Forest Park 4:20  ***
2 Going Home 1:40  **
3 Empty House 4:20  **
4 Police Are Waiting 2:31  **
5 Jill Runs for Her Life 1:38  ***
6 Darkness Falls 4:52  *
7 Alameda Cat Pursuit 3:24  ***
8 Confronting Jim 5:11  **
9 Molly Is Safe 3:11  ***
10 Evidence 3:19  ***
11 Leaving the Forest 1:53  **
12 End Titles 2:35  ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 39 minutes  


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