34 Tracks/Disc Time: 51:04
Films about pro football have been made and made well that have taken place both on the field and off that include the likes of "The Longest Yard", "Any Given Sunday", "North Dallas Forty", "The Program", "The Replacements", "Remember The Titans" and "Necessary Roughness" that come to mind. The upcoming Ivan Reitman directed film, "Draft Day" takes a look at the behind the scenes look at the front office of a pro-football team which in this case is the Cleveland Browns and the long weekend of the NFL Draft, that takes place during two arduous days and eight rounds of selections of the country's best or worthy players to be drafted and play for an NFL team. The film stars Oscar Winner Kevin Costner as Cleveland Brown General Manager Sonny Weaver, Jr. ho has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick in the nation. With this important choice, he must decide what he's willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.
After working with Director Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters", "Stripes") on the comedy "No Strings Attached", Composer John Debney has found a bit of a musical kindred spirit with the director who's worked with great composers such as the late Elmer Bernstein, James Newton Howard and John Powell. While his score for "No Strings Attached" wasn't exactly memorable, "Draft Day" is definitely a breath of fresh air. This is a very solid score that channels his best work for "Little Giants", "The Replacements" and "Remember The Titans" which were also football themed films that were great successes. While this score doesn't quite rank up to the level of those scores, (especially "Little Giants"), "Draft Day" is a score that is entertaining and filled with a good consistant theme that keeps the drama flowing from start to finish and that is why is it a strong score.
From the opening track "Draft Day", Debney gives a full rhythmic power through a fabulous main theme that isn't too dissimilar to that of his work on "The Replacements" and I honestly think this theme is much stronger and memorable as that one is, if not better. Powerful horns, rhythmic strings and a cool pulsing beat driving home the melodic material. The theme returns throughout the score in various guises in tracks such as "Well, That's That", "How Important Is Winning?", "Yes Or No", "The Team I Wanted", "Brown On The Clock", "Pre-Draft Parties", "War Room" and "Browns Kick Off" that feature the theme in a varying degrees of orchestration and instrumentation from dramatic material to lighthearted hip music. While Debney ups the ante dramatically with "We're Going To Have A Baby", "Things I Love About You", "Sonny Calls Bo", "The Team I Wanted", "Game Tape" and "Ali Finds Note" that are really stand out tracks that feature nice melodic material featuring keyboards, strings, guitar and electronics as sweetners to drive home the solid material.
Lakeshore's album is a very solid release that really captures the highs and lows of the draft as well as Costner's character to perfection. Debney's score is full varying moods that work for what it is supposed to do and that's why and surprisingly, this score worked for me. This has to be one of his best scores in a long long time and one that is fun and entertaining. Scores like this one is what makes me want to review them and John Debney definitely got it right. A breezy Thumbs up!