David Newman

Heathers [Original Soundtrack]

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Released in 1988, Michael Lehmann's dark comedy Heathers (arguably the funniest movie ever made about teen suicide) was very much a film of its time, a fun house reflection of life in the teenage nation in the mid-'80s, and David Newman's original score for the movie is certainly a product of its time. The music for Heathers maintains a cool, electronic sheen throughout, like a more dramatic and stripped-back version of the synth pop the Heathers would be listening to, and Newman scored the film almost entirely using electronic instruments. The breathy synthesizer patches and booming electronic drums Newman used for his score not only recall moments from the film, but the sound of any number of films and television shows of the '80s; if you want to recall the era of big hair, digital handclaps, and teen angst that had a body count, this is the album for you. However, the 2014 release of the Heathers soundtrack doesn't include Don Dixon's witty faux-pop tune "Teen Suicide (Don't Do It)," heard and much talked about in the film, and Syd Straw's marvelous cover of "Que Sera, Sera," played under the opening sequence, is also missing. And though Newman's score works beautifully in context, heard outside of the film, the minimalism of the music and arrangements aren't quite as appealing. However, fans of the movie who've been looking for the score should be pleased with this release, which collects Newman's musical cues in a sharpness and clarity that makes them all the more spooky and effective.

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