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Swing Vote (2008) - songs/score album
Review Rating:   Very Good (score only)
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Hollywood Records

Catalog #:
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July 29, 2008

Tracks / Album Length:

14 tracks / (53:46)



score: John Debney


Special Notes:

Downloadable album in MP3 format via iTunes and
Comments :    

Although a song and score CD (probably the least favourite concoction for film music fans), Hollywood Records have opted to release the album as an MP3 download, allowing one to choose the score cuts instead of buying the whole album with all the songs.

John Debney's score for Swing Vote is reduced to four cues, but they're situated between decent songs by Marshall Tucker, Moby, Willie Nelson, and David Gilmour. Debney's “Welcome to Texico” (1:23) introduces the film's main theme on piano, and it's a pleasant, soothing take on contemporary Americana , with swelling strings and light injections of acoustic guitar and solo violin. “Molly Votes” (2:07) reiterates the theme with woodwinds, but there's some lovely passages, including a subdued cyclical pattern on xylophone, and a giddy closing with strings and acoustic guitar.

The theme is repeated again in “Learning Montage” (2:35), and Debney delves into a bit of John Williams folklore with lovely strings, French horns, and woodwinds building towards an emotionally energetic conclusion. The longest score cue is the album's last track, “The Speech” (3:59), and it's the most satisfying because it offers a longer emotional build and less overt thematic restatement.

Debney's theme basically functions as an anchor within the album, but in terms of offering a satisfying snapshot of the score, it's far too weak, and one has to wonder why the album's 53 mins. couldn't have been beefed up with more cues. Even the brevity of William Ross' Tin Cup (released as a promo CD) still worked for the most part as an album, so until a full soundtrack album is released, the four cues form a tight thematic suite, demonstrating Debney's versatility in evoking soothing Americana.


© 2008 Mark R. Hasan

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