Since composing the music for the ultimate cult classic film The Evil Dead in 1981 (and for the comedic remake/sequel Evil Dead II several years later), Detroit-born musician Joseph LoDuca has maintained a steady presence in the world of film and television musical composition with work on the Boogeyman film trilogy, “Xena” and “Young Hercules,” among others. His most recent work has included the mystery-laden The Librarian series of television movies, the horror films The Messengers and The Messengers 2, and the upcoming Starz show “Spartacus: Blood and Sand.”Among his many assignments, this Emmy-winning composer has also managed to create a memorable collection of music for the TNT crime caper series Leverage, which is being released by La-La Land Records roughly a week after the third season of Leverage begins airing.

Though the majority of the music from this Leverage compilation album is playfully jazzy, composer Joseph LoDuca makes it abundantly clear throughout that he is much more than a jazz musician. With carefully placed reminders, such as the bawdy Irish jaunt “Can’t Go Home Again” – a rocking banjo piece with forceful vocals – and the delicate emotion of “Nate Gives Himself Up,” a quiet piece that slowly builds to a triumphant and redemptive climax, LoDuca manages to slip in varying musical styles to keep listeners interested.  With just over an hour of music included on this album, the music embodies the playful yet dramatic atmosphere of the television series. From percussive tracks like “Tank Flight” to light Italian fare like “Father Daughter Dance” to easy Lalo Schifrin-esque jazz numbers like “The Team,” there’s always a new piece of music around the corner.

And LoDuca makes it clear that he’s here to provide a good time: “There is nothing long-winded or pretentious about the music on this album. It is all about grown up fun.” And despite a few emotional side-notes (from tracks like “Metamora” and the Andy Lange tune “Not Sure Yet”) the majority of the album, whether jazz or more traditional spy-thriller beats, is good, old-fashioned crime caper fun.

Zach’s Rating: B+
Perfect For: Enjoyably mixed background music
Stay Away if: You prefer albums that contain similar music throughout

To purchase the soundtrack from Leverage, visit Amazon

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