For a film that received reviews such as, Cinema Blend’s: “There is a lot to like in Rupert Wyatt’s film, but not nearly enough to make it an enjoyable movie-watching experience,” you’d think that maybe the soundtrack would be best sidestepped. However, although the aforementioned quote from Cinema Blend journalist Eric Eisenberg holds some value, the soundtrack is chockfull with plenty of memorable tracks even if its doesn’t exactly ignite synergy between music and film.
The selection of tracks, which were curated by Universal Records, has a mix of edgy contemporary music and an abundance of elegant songsmiths thrown in for good measure. Canadian psychedelic folk act Timbre Timbre; bring the majestic ‘Demon Host’ to the proceedings. While chart hogging synth pop band M83 have ‘Outro’ on the soundtrack accompanied by reggae outfit Easy Star All-Stars’ ‘Money’.
At the other end of the spectrum, for the casino movie purists, Universal have included mystical songwriter Rodriguez (‘Crucify Your Mind’), the soulful Dinah Washington (‘This Bitten Earth’), American acoustic artist Ray LaMontagne (‘Airwaves’) and Indiana composer Cole Porter (‘I Get A Kick Out Of You’).
It’s the latter selection of more classic tracks that breathe a bit of elegance into the film’s structure that we’ve accustomed to hearing in this film genre over the years. But it’s unfortunately something that we may not see for much longer, as the Gambler and some of the recent casino-based films have flopped when Box Office ratings have been released. Only taking a fraction of their forecasted targets, films in this genre are no longer thriving off the popularity of casino based games that were glamorized through film series like James Bond and the Oceans 11 films. As well as the widespread popularity of online gaming that saw it inception courtesy of the inventive InterCasino portal in the mid-90s, these factors helped the genre in its heady days.
Regardless of the genre struggling, this soundtrack can be defined as a purchase worthy of its standalone tracks. There’s no real flow to the album nor will it win any awards anytime soon. It accompanied the film well in parts but it’ll will never be remembered for helping to create a memorable scene in The Gambler, and for that reason it will have its critics.
For the full list of tracks, view them here.