When it came to original compositions, director Oliver Stone tapped his South of the Border collaborator Adam Peters to score Savages, his adaptation of Don Winslow's 2010 best-selling crime novel. Best known for his orchestrations and cello playing on Echo & the Bunnymen's seminal 1984 album Ocean Rain (and elsewhere in film with Crazy, Stupid, Love., Rango, and I Love You, Phillip Morris), Peters combines electric cello and analog synths with dusty guitars and motorik beats to lend the film a cool, modern-meets-classic sonic backdrop. Elsewhere on the soundtrack, Stone's music supervisor Budd Carr (Platoon, Wall Street, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Doors) compiled an eclectic collection of songs to capture the film's story of Southern California marijuana growers whose idyllic lives are turned upside down when a Mexican cartel demands to form a business relationship with them. Some of the choices, like Peter Tosh's anthem to lighting up on "Legalize It" and Bob Dylan's tale of outlaw lovers on the run across the border with "Romance in Durango," are a bit on the nose, but find balance with more contemporary and less utilized selections such as Cut Copy's breezy, glam-like "Where I'm Going" and Bruce Lash's flamenco-tinged take on Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" to serve as musical snapshots of the film's opposing forces.
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AllMusic Review by Chrysta Cherrie
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