By Charlie Brigden
You might look at the album cover or poster for THE RIGHT KIND OF WRONG and think it looks pretty generic and that it probably isn’t worth your time. You might be right about the film – which is about a divorcee who falls in love with a bride-to-be and tries to “win her heart” – and while I haven’t seen it, it doesn’t look particularly appealing. However, Rachel Portman’s charming score is certainly worth a gamble.
In fact, the poster may be doing the film and the score a disservice, as it’s certainly not the kind of thing I really expected. I mean, it has some of the elements you’d expect from a romantic comedy score, like the very delicate piano and some quirky material, but what really hooked me was the great melodies throughout. Portman’s talent really does shine through in the way she scores in a familiar genre style, but makes it a wonderful listen that can and will put a smile on your face.
It’s almost a genius concept: take a long-used style and add melody to it, and voila – you have an actual good score. Madness! The music is quite infectious even when it’s going through the usual motions, with ‘Leo Leaves The Wedding’ having a charming guitar and piano combo and the idiosyncratic build-up to ‘Flying’, and the guitar gets more of a workout in an emotional vein with ‘What You Did Was Easy’. But it gets really special when the brass comes out for ‘Shit Kicking, Eviction Notice’ (even if the electronic overlay doesn’t really work), and the waltzes, which are brief but easily the best part of the score. Special mention to the finale, ‘Colette Comes Back’, which has a wonderful waltz climax with a big Hollywood ending.
One of the best things I can say about THE RIGHT KIND OF WRONG is that it doesn’t feel long at all. I’ve listened to a few rom-com scores lately that have had good material, but have felt too long as an album, but this one is just right. Add to that the fact that it’s full of charming melodies and you have a lovely listen that has the right kind of substance but won’t overstay its welcome.
THE RIGHT KIND OF WRONG is out now from Varese Sarabande