EVERY DAY – Jeanine Tesori


Original Review by Alan Rogers (First uploaded at maintitles.net)

Every Day centres around a couple who have to deal with the mundane chores of uneventful family life as well as the unforseen challenges that put pressure on the status quo. Most families will be familiar with the situation: everyday life being dominated by the routine, and people wishing something exciting would happen to break the monotony, then perhaps wishing that they could go back to the “boring life” when something happens that they may not like. The music for the film is composed by Jeanine Tesori, best known more for her theatre work (Twelfth Night, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Shrek The Musical) than her film compositions. Tesori has composed scores for films such as Nights In Rodanthe, Wrestling With Angels and has written songs for Disney DVD releases such as Mulan II, Lilo and Stitch II and The Little Mermaid III.

For me, Tesori has composed a surprising complex score (both in idea and in the variety of musical styles) considering the fragmented nature of the release (a 16-minute running time divided into 18 tracks) and the relatively small ensemble of instruments used(including piano, guitar (acoustic and electric bass), double bass, percussion). What the composer has achieved with this score is to mirror normal family life. There is the early optimism and enthusiasm of the frantic and exhausting scherzo of the “Opening Titles”, there is the attacking of early challenges by the family head-on being reflected in the slightly repulsively-titled cue “Smell of Pee” with music that is light and vibrant (echoing the “go get ’em” attitudes of families setting out on life), and there is the phase of family life where there are the endless passing days as life wears you down and being punctuated with occasional highlights (the subdued piano lines and strings of “Picnic At The Beach”). 

With all the talk of “endless days”, “mundane chores”, “life wearing you down”, you may be tempted to think that Every Day would be a boring score with nothing of merit. Far from it. It’s a gentle reflection on normal family life surviving the repetitive nature of life, meeting challenges with strength and ultimately triumphing (as heard in the full use of the ensemble in the final track, “Love and Death”). Lakeshore Records have waited until the film is released on DVD before releasing Tesori’s music. For such a slight score to be released at all is something of a surprise. As is the surprise (or cheek) of the record label asking a full download price for a score of such short length. This in itself will be a barrier to many people seeking out this score. It should be the music that dictates whether the release is a success or not. Tesori’s music is, on the surface, not much. But it does deserve praise as I feel that it’s a remarkably good mirror on the ups-and-downs of everyday family life.

Rating: ***

  1. Opening Titles (1:02)
  2. Smell of Pee (0:56)
  3. Kiss In The Car (0:38)
  4. Welcome To New York (0:52)
  5. He’s In New York (0:24)
  6. Jeannie In Bed (0:27)
  7. Wheelchair Dance (1:02)
  8. Wheelchair Dance Reprise (0:18)
  9. Getting The Pills (0:59)
  10. Going For The Pills (0:36)
  11. Ned and Ethan (1:40)
  12. Picnic At The Beach (0:47)
  13. You Meet Anyone? (0:48)
  14. Some Sharp Door (1:24)
  15. Your Hands Are Warm (1:31)
  16. I Missed My Life (0:27)
  17. My Son Is Gay (0:36)
  18. Love and Death (1:51)

Running Time: 16:26

Lakeshore Records (2011)

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