ALBUM REVIEW: Dan Deacon – Hustle

Written by on March 17, 2023

Having only ever really listened to Dan Deacon’s studio albums, and never really having listened to his soundtrack work outside of watching the movies they are featured in, his 2022 album Hustle, composed of songs featuring in the film of the same name, is an odd listen, but a brilliant one.

While these songs show the traditional Dan Deacon eccentricity, ingenuity and high quality, hearing the trademarks and signature rhythms mixed with a real orchestra is quite unique. For Hustle, Deacon has teamed up with the London Contemporary Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to add a new layer to his compositions. For the most part, Dan Deacons albums are composed on his own one-man band machine of computers and synthesizers. This creates a sound that, while highly artificial, is still deeply personal and recognizable. Deacon’s compositions are often frantic, repetitive, Phillip Glass-esque songs that are usually extremely fast paced and powerful. Hearing these types of songs performed by a full orchestra of strings and brass alongside the usual computerized drone is an interesting exercise. The two go well together, especially in the context of the film as it adds an extra layer of intensity to the sporty scenes. While this film was highly interesting, sports movies can often lose my interest during the actual scenes of gameplay. The soundtrack here allowed me to stay interested as the fast pace and wild rhythms kept me awake.


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