Music By Nathan Johnson
Relativity Music Group Digital Release
Available on iTunes http://bit.ly/H8BK9W
20 Tracks/Disc Time: 18:40
"Don Jon" is the latest film and directorial debut of red hot actor Joseph Gordon-Leavitt which stars Gordon-Leavitt as Jon Martello, New Jersey native who objectifies everything in his life from his apartment, car, family, church and most definitely, women. His best pals even call him "Don Jon" because of his ability to pull "10s" every weekend without fail. However, even the finest flings don't compare to the transcendent bliss he achieves alone in front of the computer watching pornography that he craves dearly and daily. One day growing very dissatisfied with his current state, he embarks on a journey to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love through relationships with two very different women in the older Esther (Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, "Boogie Nights") and the alluring Barbara (Scarlett Johansson, "The Avengers"). Soon "Don Jon" will have to make a serious decision on how his life will go as his perspective on life begins to transcend with the help of his father Jon, Sr. (Tony Danza, "Taxi"). The film has gotten solid reviews and will soon be available on Blu-Ray and DVD.
With Gordon-Leavitt making his directorial debut on the film, it seemed rather fitting that he would want to recreate and channel his last major success in the action, sci-fi thriller "Looper" in which Gordon-Leavitt played the younger version of himself opposite star Bruce Willis as the older version of Gordon-Leavitt. The taut thriller was one of last years surprising and successful films which also featured an original and unique score by Nathan Johnson, whom Gordon-Leavitt chose to write the music for his film. The score will remind some of Thomas Newman's eclectic work that features keyboards, electronic looping, solo instrumentation and the occasional string work. This score somewhat mimic's Newman's work to the point that you'd wonder if he had scored it. It's a valiant attempt by Johnson to keep in the mold of the great composer and also retain his original style at the same time.
The score is predominately electronic with few of techno styled beats and a few moments of tender material which are very few and far between in the score's brief 18 minute running time. "Theme From Don Jon" opens the album with a dreamlike lullaby effect that is very charming and neat before shifting to a electronic remixing which takes away a little bit from the fun opening moments. There is a wonderful acoustic guitar version of the theme that perfectly closes the album and that version is alot better than the second half of the opening track. Johnson approaches Don Jon's moments of triumphant and weakness in a more electronic vain taking off pretty much on what he introduced in the opening track in "Don Jon's Addiction", "A Few Of My (Favorite) Things", "Random Vs. Proper", "My Ride", "Downsides", and "A Record Breaking Day". Remember those tender moments and material, that definitely dominates the later half of this album and makes the album worthwhile for this reason alone. The standouts of these moments in which Johnson perfectly captures Don Jon's paradigm shift include "The First Kiss", "Barbara Vs. Porn", "The First Night", "The Dinner Date", "Jersey Waltz", "Porn On The Go" and "Lost Together."
These tracks to me are the best this album has to offer mainly because they have a depth to them that the processed remixed tracks don't. I like portions of it but it really grates on you after a while and think that Johnson's approach might have been a little more subtle and more effective had he gone the way he'd finished the score. This brief digital download album goes by really quickly but it really does go along way and I really can't recommend it because its' an uneven score split into two halves in that in sense doesn't know what kind score it should be. "Looper" had a little bit of this problem, but that was more effective for that film unlike this one. I'll give alot of credit to Johnson for doing something original and that's always a good thing.