Through the decade of the 1990's, director John Singleton was known best, of course, for 1991's Boyz N the Hood, and his 2001 companion film Baby Boy is a similarly structured urban drama involving the disadvantages and trials of African American black men in urban settings. The film is once again a challenging look at the central themes that Singleton often raises in his projects, and while critics praised his ability to maintain a realistic perspective within the genre, many black audiences were less than pleased about the stereotypical portrayals of gang-tempted blacks in predictable and disappointing situations. Many viewers agreed, however, that Singleton's film presented far more questions than answers. An interesting answer to one question was David Arnold, whose hiring to write the music for the project was considered a curious move by the fans of the composer only familiar with his small body of soundtrack work. The British composer was widely recognized as the composer of several very large-scale orchestral film scores of the 1990's in America, and the last genre that came to mind when most fans thought of Arnold was rhythm & blues. And yet, Arnold's fans should never have been surprised that he could pull it off, because his ability to adapt his talents to several different genres, whether pop, electronica, jazz, or orchestral, is well established.
Building on their work from the BBC detective show's two previous seasons, veteran composers David Arnold (James Bond) and Michael Price (Band of Brothers) offer up 23 more tracks of playful suspense on Sherlock: Music from Series Three. Employing a subtle blend of electro-infused themes, classically inclined mood pieces, and atmospheric piano backdrops, they've again found a way to complement the show's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in a modern, tech-savvy world with nods to both the character's and Britain's history. Working with a script that begins with Holmes' resurrection following Series Two's apparent suicide cliffhanger, there was plenty of tension and conspiratorial whimsy to inspire the new score, which introduces new thematic elements (Holmes' wedding gift composition "Waltz for John and Mary") while making well-placed references to the show's main running themes (the grandeur of "#SherlockLives" and the playfully techno "Stag Night"). Compelling on all fronts, the Sherlock series is a classy production and the musical score remains in good hands thanks to Arnold and Price.
While fans of the hugely popular BBC adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic detective novels had to wait 18 months to get their hands on the original score for the first series, the official soundtrack to the second arrived just weeks after its intriguing finale pulled in a massive eight million viewers. Composed yet again by Michael Price (Band of Brothers) and David Arnold (James Bond), its 19 instrumentals pursue a similar minimal and suitably suspenseful classical sound as its BAFTA/Emmy-nominated predecessor, from the haunting violin solo of "Irene's Theme" (the opening track dedicated to the ruthless dominatrix who appeared in A Scandal in Belgravia), to the unsettling percussion and eerie sound effects of "Pursued by a Hound" (from a pivotal scene in The Hounds of Baskerville), to the unbearably intense orchestral crescendo of "Prepared to Do Anything" (the climactic number from the watercooler final episode, The Reichenbach Fall).