Carlito's Way

Patrick Doyle

" Mob score has wonderful romantic voice as well "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

To my recollection, there was a time I didn't' know Patrick Doyle that well. And yet time continues to amaze you if you realize how good and well he is known today. For most of you, Patrick Doyle will have amazed you on one of Branagh's movies (be it Frankenstein or Henry V), and for others it probably was something else. However I highly doubt it many will mention Carlito's Way as their first, yet that doesn't mean this is a bad score.

Carlito's Way is an impressive drama directed by Brian de Palma, starring an incredible Al Pacino as Carlito Brigante. As a movie and score, Carlito's Way doesn't pack a lot of action. But that doesn't mean this album isn't thrilling to listen to. After all Doyle can do it easily enough with one single love theme, and what a theme it is. The opening "Carlito's Way" and the closing "Remember Me" are strong examples of Doyle's romantic and thematic voice. They carry passion and romance, but also tragedy and pain. There's also a lovely variation on the love theme in "Carlito and Gail" which is worth picking up.

And besides love there's tension. After all whatever Carlito tries to do, he is constantly drawn to the path he's chosen to ignore. And that tension involves everything he or his partners are accomplishing on screen. In "The Buoy" it spells out doom, leaving no room for a happy ending.

But we haven't mentioned the specific moment that changes an opinion upon a single score. There's a specific moment in the film and of course I'm talking about the train station scene. De Palma offers you a chase shot stylistically and tense, and Doyle gives you his musical answer to that tension. "Grand Central" is a 10 minute pleaser where the soft and the bombastic create tense chase music, giving you both Doyle styles into one.

And that makes that your 40 minutes are up. Sometimes it is so easy to listen to a score, especially if 3 amazing tracks deliver you half the album's length. And yet that's basically what Carlito's Way did and does. It may not be the album that assures your faith in a composer like Patrick Doyle if this is the first score you'll hear of him. But it is definitely an album that will reassure your faith in composer Patrick Doyle if you want more proof the man basically has what it takes.


1. Carlito's Way (5.17)
2. Carlito and Gail (4.06)
3. The Café (2.00)
4. You're Over, Man (2.10)
5. Where's my Cheesecake? (2.12)
6. The Buoy (4.04)
7. The Elevator (1.46)
8. There's an Angle Here (2.18)
9. Grand Central (10.07) Excellent track
10. Remember Me (4.52) Excellent track

Total Length: 38.59
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 25 votes - average 3.98/5)

Released by

Varèse Sarabande VSD-5463 (regular release 1993)

Conducted by

William Kraft

Orchestrations by

Lawrence Ashmore