The A-Team

CD Review: The A-Team

When you make a film version of a popular ’80s TV action staple like THE A-TEAM, you don’t go into it looking for a probing character study. And I certainly wasn’t expecting a subtle score full of nuance and shading. But even with those caveats, Alan Silvestri‘s score for THE A-TEAM is a disappointment.

I will freely admit up front that this is not my type of score. But lovers of action music should be thrilled as the score is basically one long 72-minute action cue. The music pulsates and pounds for minutes on end, which no doubt is necessary to compete with the abundance of sound effects.

The score is not without themes though. Martial brass and percussion motifs taken from the themes are used throughout the score. When they develop into something more substantial, which is rare, it is a welcome respite from the constant movement in the music.

I could do without the contemporary electronics and drum riffs, but they’re to be expected in a score like this. Thankfully, the orchestra is mostly front and center throughout the score, especially in those few quiet moments like “Court Martial”.

The A-Team soundtrack
“Court Martial”
“Putting the Team Back Together”

The biggest achievement comes from the sound booth. Produced to a “T,” the score sounds great, even if it is more a feat of style over substance. And ultimately, you know there’s something amiss when the appearance of Mike Post and Peter Carpenter’s original TV theme at the end of the film feels like a breath of fresh air.

As to be expected with someone at Silvestri’s level, the actual notes of the score are perfectly fine, even if we’ve heard this style of music in numerous action scores over the years. Taken one at a time, there is much to admire in many of the cues. But with such non-stop action, they all end up sounding the same after awhile and the sound becomes overkill.

I miss the more emotional Silvestri of FORREST GUMP, CAST AWAY, and even A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Perhaps his work on the adaptation of Jonathan Franzen’s THE CORRECTIONS next year will allow him an opportunity to flex his compositional muscles a bit. All of my criticisms aside, I bet the score is perfectly appropriate to the film, which is ultimately what matters.

  1. Great Post Jim! I’m on the fence with this score, i have no desire to see the actual film, but Silvestri is always great. It seems rather hollow compared to his other action scores (The Mummy Returns, Van Helsing) but i have only checked out the cues you have here. Another great article!!

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