The Specialist exists somewhere between John Barry's seminal music for the James Bond franchise and his sultry, jazz-inspired efforts on Body Heat; a taut, palpably atmospheric work much too sophisticated for the tawdry romantic thriller it accompanies, the score nevertheless remains a favorite among Barry enthusiasts, perhaps because it suggests what the composer might have wrought had he remained a part of the Bond series. Eschewing the richly textured strings that are the signature sound of Barry's late-period efforts, The Specialist hones his music to a fine point -- no other film composer employs brass so vividly or inventively, and the melodies ripple with suspense and sexuality. While absent the sheer excitement of Barry's most memorable scores, The Specialist still manages to recapture the spirit of his classic thriller music, reminding a generation of acolytes that nobody does it better.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny