F9: The Fast Saga – Brian Tyler

Watching The Fast and Furious movies is one of my guilty pleasures. When I heard that a tenth movie was going to come out, I had to binge the previous nine within two months. In case you are not familiar with The Fast and Furious movies, they can be described as action movies with a lot of fast and extremely expensive cars, driven by a diverse crew with all kinds of different traits, with Vin Diesel being the main protagonist. The first movie still tried to be somewhat serious, but while the series continued, the stories became more ludicrous and the action scenes more and more unrealistic, which is what I like about the movies: They are just dumb and fun entertainment.  

Different composers have written the music for these movies, which are BT, Tyler Bates, Lucas Vidal, and David Arnold, but the music for most of them has been composed by Brian Tyler and that includes the score for the latest movie in the franchise: F9. During my The Fast and Furious binge session, I did pay attention to the music as I always do, and I came to the conclusion that music does not play a big part in these movies. There is so much going on, with all these ludicrous stunts with fast cars that the music is just in the background to add to the atmosphere. There is one exception, though, and that is the magnificent theme for Fast 5 by Brian Tyler. This theme is a fast-paced orchestral piece with a rhythmic melody performed by the whole orchestra, together with some fantastic drums as only Tyler can pull off.

Secretly I was hoping for the return of the wonderful Fast 5 theme, which sadly did not happen, but I got another excellent main theme in its stead. If you look at the album cover, you do not see a bunch of boys with their fast toys, but a more grown-up and worried Vin Diesel on the hood of his car, and that is the vibe I am getting from the theme. The main theme is, instead of fast-paced and rhythmic, slower and a bit darker in sound, and it can be found in the first track “Fast 9,” in which the theme’s melody can be heard in all kinds of variations.

All the other music that can be heard on the album is mainly meant to support all the things, ludicrous or not, in the film, with frequent use of the main theme. You can hear synth sounds or other instruments, like piano or guitars, in the quiet moments, and when more emotion is needed, or during the action scenes, the orchestra joins in to add more depth to the music. Other highlights on the album for me are “Torreto,” a wonderful guitar version of the theme, “Enjoying The Moment,” another gorgeous guitar piece, and finally “Diamonds And Emeralds,” which is orchestral heist music, with a big focus on fast drum play and playful brass sounds.

I was already aware of Tyler being able to write excellent main themes for film, and he has done so again with F9’s theme. I was also surprised that the music for this movie was not all big orchestral sounds with a lot of percussion and synth, which can be expected for an action movie. I found the music rather on the light side, which I enjoyed. Except for the highlights I have mentioned in this review, I will probably not listen to the other tracks again. They fit very well in the movie, but on their own they do not provide that little bit extra that I would like to hear, which is a bit of a curse for many film music tracks.

F9 is apparently the first movie in a trilogy, as a conclusion to The Fast and Furious movies with the current group of actors. If Tyler stays on board for the other two, I am quite curious what kind of music he will come up with. Will he keep the thematic ideas from this movie; will he come up with totally different music with other themes? My interest has been piqued.

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The highlights are in bold.

  1. Fast 9 (2:48)
  2. Fallen (2:24)
  3. Visions of the Past (3:50)
  4. Upward Movement (2:44)
  5. Tracking Nobody (2:53)
  6. Enjoying the Moment (3:30)
  7. Reconciliation (2:23)
  8. Diamonds and Emeralds (2:42)
  9. Awakened (2:26)
  10. The Race (2:43)
  11. Innuendo of Character (2:07)
  12. Peligro Minas (5:36)
  13. Tracking a Ghost (4:00)
  14. Faith (1:47)
  15. Broken Allegiance (3:53)
  16. Brother (1:46)
  17. Transitions (2:41)
  18. Plans Within Plans Within Plans (4:12)
  19. The Next Chapter (5:18)
  20. Peace In the Chaos (1:52)
  21. Turning the Screws (3:12)
  22. Twinkie, Ding Dong, And Snowball (1:27)
  23. This Is My World (3:24)
  24. Car vs. Jet (1:00)
  25. Security Breach (3:53)
  26. Risk (1:15)
  27. I Got Next (1:54)
  28. Minions (0:56)
  29. Student Driver (2:43)
  30. Hope For the Future (2:49)
  31. Simple Words (2:33)
  32. Seeking Jakob (1:10)
  33. Double Crossed (2:28)
  34. Reunion (1:20)
  35. Numbers Don’t Lie (3:02)
  36. Belly Up (2:54)
  37. Promises (0:51)
  38. Math and Science (0:48)
  39. Connections (2:48)
  40. Punching Bag (1:10)
  41. Magneticism (3:02)
  42. Project Aries (2:22)
  43. Dom vs. Cipher (3:25)
  44. Toretto (2:14)

Total length: 1 hour and 54 minutes
Back Lot Music (2021)

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