Audio Mixers: Chris Lord-Alge; Patrick MacDougall.
Song-based soundtracks have become the norm in Hollywood these days. Producers and directors know that a dramatic or comedic montage featuring a familiar voice or song resonates deeper -- sometimes -- than a composer's more studied offering. In the case of Ladder 49, the firefighters of the Baltimore Ladder Company curse, drink, laugh and grieve amidst the adult-alternative strains of David Gray, Sam Phillips, and Robbie Robertson. Composer William Ross' emotive score may only get seven minutes at the record's end to sum up our heroes failures and achievements, but it's as effective an emotional tool as the Pogues "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" is a rousing and timely salve to wounds both new and old. Like the blue-collar society the film's characters do their best to emulate, Ladder 49's reflective yet ultimately safe soundtrack is the audio equivalent of a Sunday roast. ~ James Christopher Monger