Narcos : Soundtrack Review
Music Rating 5/5
Review by Lora Dimitrova
Composer : Pedro Bromfman
With the release of the second season earlier this month, a Narcos binge comes highly recommended in the Audio Dexterous headquarters. Proving that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, the series is a history lesson of tremendous entertainment value.
The story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar has been forged by a team, whose key figures are, in fact, Brazillian – director José Padilha, lead actor Wagner Moura and composer Pedro Bromfman. The title theme is already gaining cult status among Narcos viewers and could be a solid reason (along with some real-life footage of the infamous trafficking champion himself) not to fast-forward through the opening credits each time. Written and performed by Rodrigo Amarante, yet another Brazillian, Tuyo is an exemplary narcocorrido, or drug ballad, containing allusions to Escobar’s own life and character in its lyrics. (See original with translation below.)
The score is infused with Colombian sounds and rhythms, which you will not overdose on, but will find acting as the perfect seasoning to a tasty modern mix of drama-enhancing themes. South American instruments, like the charango, ronroco and Peruvian flutes, sometimes keep a low profile in the pieces and are doubling as sound design elements, used to create an organic ambience.
The contribution of music supervisor Liza Richardson, who recently won an award for her work on Narcos, is definitely worth mentioning when credit is given for authenticity. Vintage salsa and cumbia tracks are ingeniously placed to transport the viewer right to where they need to be historically and geographically.
By the end of season 2, as notorious as the main character is, you may catch yourself sympathising with him thanks to the brilliance of the narrative and the cast’s performances, undeniably helped by the score in the humanising of a legend through the reveal of Escobar's many faces. And it may be difficult not to succumb to the charm of a soundtrack that delivers the expected South American flavour, all the while remaining easily palatable to modern-day audiences from around the world. So be warned, you may enjoy this more than you would care to admit!
Written by Lora Dimitrova
Lora is an experienced singer-songwriter, who combines two of her greatest passions in composing music for games.