Dave Porter
Breaking Bad, Vol. 2


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Beebe USER (126 Reviews)
October 1st, 2013 | 34 replies


Release Date: 09/27/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Chaotic, feverish, impassioned.

Perhaps one of the greatest qualities about Dave Porter’s first volume of score music for Breaking Bad was its unique position of acting as a sort of compilation album of music from all five of the show’s seasons. In this way, the music on the album chronicled the show’s prolonged descent into the darkest depths of contemporary drama--as well as Dave Porter’s growth as a composer for the show along with it. As the highlighted cues through every season became increasingly darker until Porter’s signature unsettling tone was achieved, there was a kind of evolutionary exhibit in how assured and experienced Porter had become with capturing the precise essence of the show in his score music.

The second volume of Breaking Bad’s OST finds Porter at that very comfortable and seasoned peak in scoring the show. It’s majorly comprised of music from the fifth season, but it also collects past gems of season four that weren’t included on the first soundtrack album but were too notable to go overlooked this time around. However, regardless of the season of origin, all the music selected for Breaking Bad, Vol. 2 is as dark and ominous as it gets for television show OST’s in general. If Vol. 1 thrived off of its chronicled sound, then Vol. 2 relishes in the foreboding tonal consistency that Vol. 1 was too varied across the board to have.

Porter has gone completely full-fledged when it comes to ruthless tension in his music. The undercutting synths in “Radiator” make the track teeth-barring, and the transition from the quietly resonating and humming whirs to the buzzing percussion throbs in “Salud” is so seamless that it’s nothing short of haunting. Porter also shows that he’s garnered quite the knack for metamorphosing subdued and uneasy tracks into loud and noisy powerhouses that don’t reveal their claws through abrupt or startling means, but gradually dispense intensity before gripping listeners tensely. See “Hank’s Last Stand,” which opens with reasonably complacent ambient waves before at the draw of a gun, erupting into crunching beats as the rigid sound of malfunctioning machinery on seemingly endless repeat echoes through the atmosphere; making for the perfect anxiety-inducing stand-off music.

Though Porter shows how he’s made his bed shrouded in the shadows of subtlety, Vol. 2 lashes out in concentrated violence and energy more than enough to keep things lively and on-edge. Tracks such as “Gas Can Rage” display the same industrial-powered urgency and rage that the likes of “Aztek” provided on Vol. 1, and “Building a Bomb” is as busy as a beehive when it comes to frenetic and glitchy electronic noises snapping about with haste. “White House Visit” begins with pale and mysterious dark ambient tones before pooling together into a grim and volatile rising strain, only to then vanish as if into smoke. “We're a Family” is nauseatingly disturbing enough to beat out even “Crawl Space” when comparing the auditory equivalents of mental breakdowns into unrestrained insanity. Though, among the many permeating and impression-leaving tracks, the epic nine minute episodic suite “Dead Freight” is a grandiose spectrum that's as mentally wrenching as it is captivating to hear unfold, and allows Porter a large enough canvas to demonstrate his skills in cues and pacing with such finesse, and an ear for detail and timing, that it easily puts him in the same league of professionalism as some of the most renowned composers for big-budget films on the silver screen.

Breaking Bad, Vol. 2 is, to be quite frank, quintessential score music for darkly-themed drama television. Much like the first volume of music from Breaking Bad, it will mystify newcomers to the show, while triggering vivid memories of the scenes with the most lasting imprints for veteran watchers. But aside from more than holding up as immersive mood music that’s plenty interesting and evocative without visual aid, Vol. 2 clearly proves itself as another department of the raw passion that went into composing the thrilling race to the finish line that was the final season of a show that will leave behind quite the sizable legacy. And these are the sounds that rattle our cores and reverberate in our minds long after the credits roll.



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Breaking Bad

Comments:Add a Comment 
breakingthefragile
October 1st 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Now that Breaking Bad is over and my life is vacant of purpose, I can get back to reviewing! And what better way to tie in with the series finale? This also signifies the end of my soundtrack review run for now, I'll be back to reviewing standard-fare music albums after this. Tell me what you think of the review, cheers guys.

breakingthefragile
October 1st 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also, this is available for purchase on iTunes. For 10 bucks, it's a sweet deal and a purchase that's definitely worth it. Dave's a great guy who deserves the support for his work.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2013


1650 Comments


Should give this a download so I can drive around anxious all the time.

Great review, spirit pos

SnakeDelilah
October 1st 2013


8628 Comments


never forget

Digging: Casualties of Cool - Casualties of Cool

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2013


6480 Comments


Part of what made Breaking Bad so great was the music behind the show. I've always really enjoyed Breaking Bad's music but I've never checked out any of their soundtracks...I will have to change that. Loved the review.

Digging: The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters

bakkermaarten007
October 1st 2013


3644 Comments


This man's music in conjunction with the cinematic shots managed to be so disturbingly beautiful. Might give this a download.

bakkermaarten007
October 1st 2013


3644 Comments


And the review is very good and flows really well.

RobbaqPL
October 1st 2013


162 Comments


Baby blue...

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2013


10354 Comments


wow, we got word from Walter himself on this review

breakingthefragile
October 1st 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks all, glad you guys think I did a good job with this. I have a huge soft-spot for gritty electronic music, so I think that plays a role in why I'm just so damn fond of this show's score.

titlefightmeirl
October 1st 2013


659 Comments


Yeah I've always loved the soundtrack to the show, will definitely check out. nice review man.

newjunk2
October 1st 2013


232 Comments


I know it's not related to this soundtrack, but the choice of Badfinger's "Baby Blue" to accompany that final scene was one of the best music/film pairings I've ever seen. What a way to end such a phenomenal show.

Gyromania
October 1st 2013


15964 Comments


Perhaps one of the greatest qualities about Dave Porter’s first volume of score music for
Breaking Bad, was its unique position


omit the comma

Porter’s signature unsettling tone was achieved, there was a kind of evolutionary exhibit in
how settled and experienced


maybe pick a different word instead of 'settled'?

it also collects past gems of season four that weren’t included on the first soundtrack
album, but were too notable to go overlooked this time around.


omit comma



breakingthefragile
October 1st 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Will make those edits in a second, thank yeeeeeee

YoYoMancuso
October 1st 2013


11187 Comments


Is the music from the end of Crawl Space on here?

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
October 1st 2013


4507 Comments


Dave Porter looks like Mark Corrigan

breakingthefragile
October 1st 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@YoYoMancuso

No, that's on the first volume. It's called "Crawl Space."

YoYoMancuso
October 1st 2013


11187 Comments


I remember my stomach hitting the ground when that bass drum started playing.

thespaceforthis
October 2nd 2013


518 Comments


Is the variation on the main theme of the series, that you can hear in the 15th episode of the fifth season included in this?

breakingthefragile
October 2nd 2013


2962 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@thespaceforthis That track is included in the first soundtrack album. It's the first song on the first volume, and it's entitled "Breaking Bad - Main Title Theme (Extended)."



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