The Guys [Original Score]

by: Original Soundtrack

The Guys -- a film based on the true story of a journalist who helps a New York City fire chief overcome the grief of losing firemen in the World Trade Center attacks by co-writing their eulogies -- features an appropriately somber score driven by a spare piano theme and augmented by strings, woodwinds, and Mary Fahl's quietly haunting voice. Since the film arrived so recently after the events of 9/11/2001, it wouldn't be surprising if its music tended toward tear-jerking and overt sentimentality, but fortunately the score opts for restraint even at its most emotional moments, such as the renditions of "The Dawning of the Day" that bookend the album (the first is sung by Mary Fahl, the second is performed by the FDNY Emerald Society Pipes & Drums). Indeed, it's tempting to say that the score is too restrained; the piano theme that winds through "My Beautiful, Gleaming...," "Bill," and "Are You OK?" can sound monotonous outside of the film's context. However, the score is intended as an understated counterpoint to the film's heavy emotions, and ultimately it makes the music that much more moving. The sparseness of pieces like "Jimmy," "Barney," and "Where Were You That Morning?" not only provides a dignified backdrop for the film's events, it captures the weary, devastated mood that permeated New York City after the attacks. Admittedly, The Guys' stark, funereal tone and pace makes it less likely to be played as everyday background music, but that doesn't take away from how beautifully the score fulfills its purpose.

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