I've been listening to this a lot this past week. It only just occurred to me today how reminiscent it is, at times, to the more melodic aspects of John Williams' score for NIXON. The "MLK Assassinated" track in DA 5 BLOODS, for instance, reminds me of "The Farewell Scene" from NIXON. Ultimately, they both recall the Americana of Aaron Copland.
Agree with the praise for this one. I haven’t heard a Coplandesque film score done this well by anyone other than John Williams since... well, I don’t know when. A long time ago.
I've only heard the opening track but while I think it does channel an Americana style, I don't think it's necessarily Copland. Blanchard has his own interesting chord progressions and harmonic resolutions that seem very specific to his own style (I'd also say influenced by jazz sensibilities) which I find enjoyable because they don't follow convention. He even seems to be playing with some non harmonic passing tones and bi tonality. Between this and BlacKkKlansman, I'm becoming a very big fan.
I’ve had this on heavy rotation these last few days and it’s terrific. I’ll mix it up and play BlacKkKlansman as well which makes a nice companion piece. This is quite an amazing work however. There are a few shades of Williams’ Nixon but I don’t mind. I much prefer this kind of writing over most of what passes for film music these days.
Interestingly, Blanchard cites Thomas Newman, James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer as his favorite working film composers. He did not include John Williams among his favorites, which is somewhat of a surprise.