Although the name of DJ extraordinaire Paul Oakenfold does not appear on the cover of the soundtrack album for director Randall Miller's uneven caper picture Nobel Son as the credited score composer, it might as well. Oakenfold is responsible for most of the music as composer, performer, and producer, and, as might be expected, the result is nearly an hour's worth of electronic dance-rock. In most cases, composers are brought into the filmmaking process in post-production and write their music to accompany footage that has been shot and edited. But in this case, it would be easy to guess that Oakenfold never even saw the film, merely submitting a batch of his usual efforts and leaving the filmmakers to mix it in as they saw fit. A couple of cues ("Intro" and "Barkley's Desire") incorporate dialogue from the film, much of it spoken by Alan Rickman, who plays the part of the Nobel Prize-winning father in the story. Yet whether the music is performed by Oakenfold himself or farmed out to Bad Apples, Groove Armada, or the Chemical Brothers (there is also a 1958 performance by Blossom Dearie of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things" with the music stripped off and replaced by an electronic track by Brazilian Girls), the music maintains its steady dance tempo. In the film, the music serves as an intensifier for the action sequences; it's not like the movie is set in a disco in London or Ibiza. (Actually, Southern California is the locale most of the time.) So, this is one soundtrack album that does not consist of instrumental music that stretches out or ends abruptly to conform to the editing of the film that it serves. It is, in essence, an album of dance music that happens to be associated with a movie.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann