Soundtracks

CD Review: AFTER THE FALL soundtrack

AFTER THE FALL soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

Marc Streitenfeld has provided muted, morally ambiguous scores before to oil workers facing off against killer wolves in THE GREY and a professional hitman wanting his pay in KILLING THEM SOFTLY, scores filled with truly interesting “ambiences” and unexpected instrumentation. But perhaps none of Streitenfeld’s experimentally minded scores of this nature hits more weirdly, or more effectively at home than AFTER THE FALL, wherein Wes Bentley’s suburban dad truly goes off the criminal rails to avoid falling into poverty after his firing. Perhaps one way to describe Streitenfeld’s unique work at its most effective here is to imagine Carl Orff […]Read On »

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CD Review: FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD soundtrack

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD soundtrack | ©2015 Sony Classical Music

The beautiful, slow-moving string melodies of English composer Craig Armstrong have made him a favorite when it comes to the many shades of romance. And while he’s had his share of cheerful, kiss-filled endings with LOVE, ACTUALLY and FEVER PITCH, most often it’s his poignant talent for melody that has ripped romance asunder, most often in the company of Baz Luhrmann for MOULIN ROUGE! and THE GREAT GATSBY, Armstrong’s beautiful melancholy couldn’t be better suited than for this latest cinematic trip to Thomas Hardy’s countryside with FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD, the story of a woman torn asunder between an […]Read On »

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CD Review: BISEXUAL and TAROT (500 edition) soundtrack

TAROT soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

One of France’s most overlooked imports to Hollywood might be the late Michel Colombier, whose pop sensibilities particularly rocked the 80s with the funky synths of PURPLE RAIN, THE MONEY PIT‘s jazzy comedy and AGAINST ALL ODD‘s sensual Latin exotica – easily one of the era’s sexiest, and literally heavy breathing scores. But Colombier was just as lustful in the 70s even after stroking the ego of Hollywood’s biggest evil computer for COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT a carnal talent that Music Box reminds us of in the release of 1975s LES ONZE MILLE VERGES (aka THE 11,000 SEXES or the […]Read On »

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CD Review: STORMY WEATHER soundtrack

STORMY WEATHER soundtrack | ©2015 Kritzerland

After their terrific release of Patrick Williams’ Italian-flavored underscore for BREAKING AWAY that coincided with Twilight Time’s blu ray movie edition, Kritzerland once again works in conjunction with the label to put out a truly historical, two-CD of one of mainstream Hollywood’s few forays into black entertainment. But beyond the song made eternal by Lena Horne for this 1943 20th Century Fox production, STORMY WEATHER also stands as one of the great American songbook scores when it came to showing black culture’s big splash on the nation’s music songbook. Done in the all-star cavalcade style made popular from the advent […]Read On »

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CD Review: QUEENIE and TO KILL A PRIEST (1,000 edition)

QUEENIE soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

Georges Delerue wrote an astonish 18 scores alone from 1987-88. Two reality-based scores from that time now show his versatility, first making an emotionally empowering Indian passage to Hollywood, and then movingly martyring a leader doomed against totalitarian odds. Even given his French birthright, few composers had a naturally feminine quality to their work like Delerue, whose string, violin and flute empathy embodies an ersatz Merle Oberon (in the exotic form of Mia Sara) in his score for QUEENIE, one of those passion-filled TV miniseries of yore involving a woman climbing her way to the top through beauty and bedroom, […]Read On »

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CD Review: STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE (3,000 edition) soundtrack

STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE soundtrack | ©2015 La La Land Records

Since the days the U.S.S. Enterprise set space sail on vinyl, the franchise’s TV music universe has beamed from Varese Sarabande to GNP/Crescendo and Film Score Monthly, but perhaps not so exhaustively as in the good hands of La La Land Records, who beyond their releases of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SAPCE NINE and VOYAGER could lay claim to releasing just about every note of Classic Trek music in an astounding box set, which offered 15 CD’s suffused with the kind of distinctive themes and melody that would essentially be phasered out when the show was reborn in […]Read On »

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CD Review: WOLF HALL soundtrack

WOLF HALL soundtrack | ©2015 Silva Screen Records

It’s understandable that the BBC (let alone America) can’t get enough of the wildest member of England’s Royal Family and his entourage, who helped the lusty Henry VIII break from the Roman Catholic Church. The chief architect in his court who enabled is wife-laden plans was Thomas Cromwell, not exactly a babe magnet himself, but serpentine in his machinations that changed the fate of Britain. Given this interior, oft-villainized figure who spawned Hilary Mantle’s novels and this six-episode adaptation, it’s understood that a big, robust orchestral score might not be the way to go, or either the kind of contemporiazed […]Read On »

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THE ORDER: 1886 composer Jason Graves joins the steampunk video game – Interview

THE ORDER soundtrack | ©2015 Sony Classical Music

Since his 2005 video game scoring debuts with RISE OF THE KASAI and GAUNTLET: SEVEN SORROWS, Jason Graves has played faithful service to a genre that’s continually evolved in terms of its striking visuals and bold storytelling as the genre has done its damnedest to shirk the mantle of being kid’s stuff, no more so than in the quality of its music. Action has been a particular forte for Graves, who’s proved that one could indeed hear a terrifying orchestra shriek in the void with the DEAD SPACE franchise. He’s given the stuff of soaring fantasy to DUNGEON SEIGE III […]Read On »

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CD Review: INHERENT VICE soundtrack

INHERENT VICE soundtrack | ©2014 Nonesuch Records

For much of his filmmaking career, Paul Thomas Anderson had used composer Jon Brion to convey his provocative cinematic approach, from the insane percussive assault of PUNCH DRUNK LOVE to the frog-raining, imposing orchestral thunderstorms of MAGNOLIA. In relatively recent years, Thomas has moved onto Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood to accompany his swings between transfixing brilliance and unbearable pretention, often within the same films. If anything, Greenwood’s music has tended to be even more innovatively insane than Brion’s, ranging between abstract modernism and hypnotic melody to capture the addled minds of kingpins, whether it was an oil baron’s very bad attitude […]Read On »

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DESERT DANCER composer Benjamin Wallfisch finds movement in forbidden territory – Interview

DESERT DANCER soundtrack | ©2015 Varese Sarabande Records

More than ever, the regions of the Middle East and Asia are the tragic grounds for thousands of people trying to make better lives for themselves in the face of religious repression and grinding poverty. This is the musical link when it comes to Benjamin Wallfisch expressing the souls of Iran and India in his immensely moving, reality-based scores to DESERT DANCER and BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN. The first speaks for the struggle of Afshin Ghaffarian, a young man whose spirit refuses to stay still for the murderous, moral police that stand for his country’s Islamist government – a […]Read On »

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