Original Music By: Paul Englishby
Duration: 79 min
Label: Silva Screen Records
The right balance between purpose written score tracks and relevant tracks from established acts makes this the sort of soundtrack CD you’ll enjoy listening in the car, on headphones or just as background music while writing reviews.
First of all, the compilation makes wonderful use of the original scores, composed by Paul Englishby, as the perfect breather between the thoughtful selection of serious Luther-esque songs and music in a way that is completely in keeping with the story arc and its main character. Paul Englishby is an accomplished composer with several excellent works to his credit, and his scores for Luther do not disappoint, especially in the eclectic mix of some outstanding acts and talent as you’ll agree with me shortly. Of the various Englishby tracks, I particularly like the fantastically longing “Carnage” and the mercurial “Unlucky Young Couple” which show just two sides of the rather complex mind of the eponymous detective, as well as the genius of Englishby.
As for the rest of what I’ll go so far as to describe as an inspired collection of tracks, the first thing to hit you, as you wander through collection, is the breadth of genres they bring to the CD. You’ll find anything from Jazz, Metal, Blues, Ambient, Rock, and Indie inspired music from some real giants in their respective categories.
Tracks such as the hypnotic series theme, “Paradise Circus” by Massive Attack, or the incongruously named “Gun” by sweet voiced Emiliana Torrini, deliver some great ambience, while the likes of Robert Plant’s “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” or Nina Simone’s “Dont Let Me Be Misunderstood” offer some seriously soul searching fare. Suede, The Heavy and Marilyn Manson bring the ruckus with proper rock tracks on “She”, “Big Bad Wolf” and “Sweet Dreams Are Made of These” respectively. The joints from Kasabian and Gil Scott-Heron are pure bliss to the ears, particularly if you like simple, sweet and grown up mellow music.
It is probably no incident that this soundtrack CD title starts with: “Idris Elba Presents…”, given the fact that Idris Elba is a DJ at heart, and it won’t be a stretch to imagine he would have had a lot to say about the selection of tracks on the CD.
Finally, as I’ve hinted previously, the magic is manifest in the way these otherwise disparate tracks and artistes are blended into an enjoyable, thought-provoking whole. It delivers a potpourri of music, with different delectable flavours, somewhat reminiscent of an excellent good paella or gumbo feast. In keeping with the series, this is not juvenile stuff, and there are no pop or hip-hop lightweights to be found here, it’s just amazingly good and well selected mature music.