Scottish composer/producer Craig Armstrong may not have been the most obvious choice to provide the original score for Universal's biopic of Ray Charles, but his work with Baz Luhrmann on Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet showed a flair for melding contemporary and classical themes with sometimes dizzying results. Unfortunately, when your subject is one of the world's most revered musical figures, it's unlikely anyone will pay attention to any music other than his, and Armstrong's attempts to fuse gospel, electronic, and orchestra, while quietly ambitious, just don't manage to evoke Charles' mischievous grace. At its best, Armstrong's atmospheric score provides a dramatic bridge between Ray and his songs, allowing the viewer/listener a peek into the legend's life that feels genuinely personal. However, much of that atmosphere feels contrived and overly familiar, resulting in a piece that as a whole could be juxtaposed over a particularly affecting X-Files episode with similar results.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
|Ray, film score|