Who would have guessed that Clinton Shorter’s original score for the buddy cop action film 2 Guns
would turn out to be one of the year’s most pleasantly surprising soundtrack albums in terms of style? Being as violent a film as 2 Guns
is, one would expect a soundtrack equally as eruptive and bullish to match the chaos, but Shorter has made the unexpected decision of providing the film with an accompanying album full of bluesy desert rock. Though the songs are brief, within the first three tracks Shorter toggles dusty blues rock, some grimy jazz, distortedly fuzzy funk, and strings it all together through a collectively humid atmosphere that beats down upon these compositions and gives them an effective sizzle.
Shorter doesn’t spend his time trying to convince you of his music’s power through brute force; he instead opts for music that maintains a collected cool, but remains vigorous and blistering all the same in its own way. Some tracks are fronted by nimble acoustic strumming over a continuously-pushing pace that carries these simmering western rock cuts like muggy gusts of wind. However, the 2 Guns: Original Soundtrack
’s main concern above all else is keeping that very contained cool throughout; making it the uncommon soundtrack that focuses more on complementing the attitude and personality of the film’s central characters -- as well as the setting the movie takes place in -- as opposed to acting as cue music for sequences of rampant action.
At a concise 17 tracks that are an average two minutes in length, this score album acts less like a compilation of incidental music, and (interestingly enough) more like a funky desert rock jam session. Though, while these tracks merely incorporate the most traditional sounds of bluesy hard rock music in a very succinct and limited fashion, the album’s lack of remarkably distinct sounds or ideas is partly compensated for by Shorter’s success in making smoldering (though momentary) guitar music tropes that tap into the core appeal in the characters of 2 Guns
, rather than stopping short at the frenzied surface. But earning points for giving credit where it's due aside, the 2 Guns: Original Soundtrack
also deserves recognition based on how it definitely has a better chance than most soundtracks of attracting a crowd as distant as desert rock fans to film score music.