The Complete Soundtrack to HBO’s Perry Mason

The Complete Soundtrack to HBO’s Perry Mason
  • The moody, era-appropriate, jazzy music that plays throughout Perry Mason is all by composer Terence Blanchard.
  • Blanchard is best known as a long time Spike Lee collaborator, composing the music his movies ever since Jungle Fever back in 1991.
  • Here’s every song from HBO’s official Perry Mason soundtrack releases, all by Terence Blanchard

    HBO’s Perry Mason is a few things all at once. It’s a reboot of a property that has, at one time or another, been a series of books, a TV show, or a radio show. It’s a Robert Downey Jr. passion project (and one the Avengers star is still a part of as an executive producer). It’s the network’s latest in a series of non-True Detective shows that are nonetheless in the True Detective spirit (joining Sharp Objects and The Outsider). But more than anything else, it’s safe to say that Perry Mason is a sleek, stylish show. From the sharp direction and cinematography, to the incredibly accurate and gorgeous set (including a totally recreated Los Angeles), to the leading performances from Matthew Rhys, Tatiana Maslany, and Shea Whigham, it’s a show that’s set in the past, but feels overwhelmingly of the present.

    Perry Mason’s music isn’t sourced from actual music of the era, but rather is made up of original compositions from jazz artist and frequent Spike Lee collaborator Terence Blanchard. Blanchard has been Lee’s exclusive composer ever since 1991’s Jungle Fever, and contributed to his Do The Right Thing and School Daze soundtracks even before that. Here, Blanchard’s songs are the perfect fit for this new, 2020-rebooted version of Perry Mason: the songs sound just dark, hypnotic, and moody enough to fit with the show’s noir-ish sensibilities, but updated and sleek enough to know definitively that this music is being made today.

    Blanchard’s versatility as a composer is constantly on display. Sometimes, the songs are jazzy, melodic, and somber. Other times the music is big, sweeping, and majestic. When all is said and done, it’s one of the best TV original scores since Ramin Djawadi’s work on Game of Thrones and Westworld (or, at least, since Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross made their Watchmen masterpiece). The original soundtrack tracks are being released volume-by-volume, episode-by-episode, simultaneously with the weekly Perry Mason schedule. Below, you can find every song from the show so far:

    Episode 4

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    Episode 3

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    Episode 2

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    Episode 1

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    Evan is an associate editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE.

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