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The Music of ‘Bullet Train’ Delivers Mayhem to Match Brad Pitt Thriller

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Jon Burlingame editorA musical hint comes at the very start of “Bullet Train,” out now, when a new version of the Bee Gees’ disco classic “Stayin’ Alive” is sung in Japanese – because an American assassin code-named Ladybug (Brad Pitt) is going to spend the next two hours attempting to do just that, battling half a dozen other killers on a high-speed train from Tokyo to Kyoto.An over-the-top movie like “Bullet Train” demanded an over-the-top score, composer Dominic Lewis (“The King’s Man”) decided, and he spent more than a year not only writing the entire score but also producing (and in several cases co-writing) the songs heard throughout David Leitch’s action thriller.Leitch’s previous movies (“Atomic Blonde,” “Deadpool 2”) have been littered with songs, Lewis knew (“he’s a needle-drop guy”), so his concept became: “Can I write something in the style of a needle-drop, that feels like a song but is doing the job of scoring, following the peaks and troughs of what’s going on?” While Lewis trained in classical music at London’s Royal Academy of Music, he also spent time in rock bands before launching a career in movie music. “I became a mad scientist,” he says, noting that the “Bullet Train” assignment began during COVID lockdown, so he is playing guitars, bass, keyboards and singing throughout the entire score.“It’s very raw and deliberately messy,” Lewis concedes. “It’s all vibe and no technique.

That’s a lot of what rock ‘n’ roll is about. It’s about attitude, and I really wanted to convey that.”There are strange wordless vocals throughout, and according to Lewis, “the main solo voice is an enka singer,” a form of traditional Japanese singing. “It’s so unique in its style, the vibrato is so emotional.” It’s the.

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