"Music by Carter Burwell, whose moodily effective compositions
are most familiar from the Coen brothers' films, does a nice job of swirling
mysteriously and discreetly jangling nerves." - Janet Maslin, New York Times,
April 3, 1998.
"If you’re prepared to ignore the plot’s absurdities,
the film is addictive, and Carter Burwell’s score works on you
like a massage." - Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, April 20, 1998.
"Burwell's Spanish Prisoner is a subdued, svelte,
and enigmatic effort that oozes charming menace. The chamber dance
band score has traditionally been more of a European aesthetic,
so it's wonderful to see it applied to an American thriller...
It's a score with a strongly cast musical identity--a kind of dirty
little tango--which adds to our perception of the film without
altering it. (Kudos also to writer/director David Mamet for having
courage enough to allow music to color his words.) Burwell's harmonic
palette is stocked with thick jazz chords, stretched eastern intervals
and modern chromaticism, all of which are applied to a cabaret
dance band-style ensemble (accordion, harp, vibes, tuba, bass,
percussion) to lend the film's con game a sense of choreographed
grace. Time and time again, Burwell has shown his talent for encapsulating
non-musical ideas in his work. In The Spanish Prisoner, he not
only neatly divines the film's gist, he gives it a unique sonic
world in which to dwell." - Doug Adams,
Film Score Monthly, 1998.