Soundtracks

CD Review: AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY soundtrack

AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY soundtrack | ©2014 Sony Classical

The STEEL MAGNOLIAS formula gets an edge in Tracy Letts’ dysfunctional Oklahoma family fireworks. It’s an explosive all-star duel of acting drawls that gets served up with an unexpectedly subtle throw-down soundtrack, serving up a tasty mix of southern rock tunes and evocative scoring. On the first count, there’s a dreamy mix of guitar and strings to Bon Iver’s “Hinnom, TX,” while an unplugged Kings of Leon strums a longing “Last Mile Home.” John Fullbright delivers the blues-rock of “Gawd Above,” while JD & The Straight Shot’s gentle “Violet’s Song” evokes the defiant family ties that bind. Even Sherlock Holmes …Read On »

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CD Review: BONNIE & CLYDE soundtrack

BONNIE & CLYDE soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

Having helped to blast away the ratings for The History Channel’s HATFIELDS & McCOYS with an energetic, rural score (co-composed with Tony Morales) for a post Civil War blood feud, John Debney gets to jump ahead a few decades for more upscale backwoods violence, courtesy of BONNIE & CLYDE. But where them other fightin’ families definitely were lacking in the glamour department, Debney’s musical canvas is increased exponentially by having two jazz age killer kids at his disposal – criminals who wanted to be stars of their own body-splattered “reality” show that made them antisocial media darlings. Debney spectacularly weds …Read On »

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CD Review: CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS soundtrack

CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS soundtrack | ©2013 Activision

Gaining some major percussive action chops under Harry Gregson-Williams’ command with THE NUMBER 23, GONE BABY GONE and THE TOWN, David Buckley has emerged in his own, rhythmically exciting right by layering down alternately suspenseful and exciting groove scores as FROM PARIS WITH LOVE, GONE and PARKER. But it’s the video game arena that’s now given Buckley his most expansive, and explosive opportunity with CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS. With the guts and glory franchise taken to its apocalyptic, sci-fi extremes for a Latin American attack that essentially wipes out North America, Buckley brings on guts and glory Armageddon that benefits …Read On »

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CD Reviews: COLETTE and A SINGLE SHOT soundtracks

COLETTE soundtrack | ©2013 Movie Score Media

While he’s not busy re-animating ghouls, killing hags and battling demons in such ragingly entertaining genre scores as HANSEL AND GRETEL WITCH HUNTERS and THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS,  Icelandic composer Atli Orvarsson is doing his thing for the arthouse, and revealing even more impressive layers to his talent in the bargain. Indeed, COLETTE counts as one of his most evocative works for this Holocaust-themed score about impossible survival at Auschwitz. While sorrow is very much a part of the powerful emotions that flood COLETTE‘s love story between two inmates, the score, like the film’s characters, isn’t about to give in to …Read On »

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CD Review: I, FRANKENSTEIN soundtrack

I, FRANKENSTEIN soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

Don’t except anything remotely bucolic in the second Frankenstein’s monster score of note this month. But that being said, the aching violins that hint of his creation a few centuries ago do give pathos to the far more buff personage of Aaron Eckhart, not to mention his character’s isolated soul. And that comes in musically handy indeed when your mad doctor-made monster is swinging a sword at stone gargoyles, demons and archangels. Cut from the same flesh as the hip UNDERWORLD creature-mash series, “I, Frankenstein” revels in rhythmic propulsion to give this Shelley-meets-Satan’s minions spin its furious energy, taking the …Read On »

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CD Review: FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND soundtrack

FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND soundtrack | ©2013 Buysoundtrax

After directing over 50 movies that encompassed every exploitable subject from drag racing to drug trips and race baiting, Roger Corman retired from filmmaking with a classy bang in the horror genre that arguably brought him his greatest artistic rewards – especially when dealing with the work of such famed authors as Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. For FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND, Corman took on Mary Shelley’s seminal work, but ingeniously time-twisted it via Brian Aldiss’ novel to have a future inventor meet an 17th century blend of factual and fictional characters – let alone the era’s most notorious stitched-together monster. …Read On »

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CD Review: JOHN WAYNE AT FOX: THE WESTERNS soundtrack

JOHN WAYNE AT FOX: THE WESTERNS soundtrack | ©2013 Kritzerland Records

The Duke was an icon who meant manliness – and his musical accompaniment was no less rambunctiously muscular, especially when it came to the genre that he made into his own Monument Valley. But while his western scores left no doubt as to The Duke’s vitality, they each did their part to dig out even more unexpected charisma from this drawling hunk of granite, three terrifically entertaining chisels of which are presented on this Kritzerland collection. First up is a score by the composer who proved to be Wayne’s most unlikely saddle mate at strengthening his All-American image, an elfin …Read On »

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CD Review: SHARKY’S MACHINE soundtrack

SHARKY'S MACHINE soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

It’s rare when a soundtrack specialty label gives love to what are essentially an all-song albums, a genre that ruled during the 1980s with such releases as BAND OF THE HAND, TUFF TURF and CRUISING. Let’s hope these are but some of the titles that Varese Sarabande might put on their radar, as they’ve recently put out such welcome, song-filled releases out under it like THE IDOLMAKER, ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN and HONKYTONK MAN. But with no offense to those latter two movies’ that featured a star-director known for his love of jazz, perhaps no film used that music …Read On »

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CD Review: QUAI d’ORSAY and LE BOSSU soundtracks

QUAI d'ORSAY soundtrack | ©2013 Quartet Records

A French composer who should have conquered Hollywood in the 80s with the likes of QUEST FOR FIRE, GHOST STORY and THE MUSIC BOX, but somehow ended up back in his native country, Philippe Sarde has most definitely stayed busy – and with no small amount of creative cleverness in his new score for QUAI d’ORSAY. Director Bertrand Tavernier has given his well-costumed period features a stylistic shot in the arm by adapting this cult comic strip, which gives AMELIE-like absurdity to the adventures of a hapless political speech writer. Yet Tavernier and Sarde don’t so much doff their costume …Read On »

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CD Review: HOURS soundtrack

HOURS soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Having made his breakthrough score with the innovative Britain prison bust-out of THE ESCAPIST, Englishman Benjamin Wallfisch makes a notable return to confined spaces with his desperate musical HOURS. What makes his score particularly intriguing, and effective, is that said penitentiary is actually a post-Katrina hospital in New Orleans, where Paul Walker’s bereft husband find himself virtually chained to the respirator keeping his newborn son alive. Music is also vital in keeping company for virtual one-character dramas of this sort, and Wallfisch does a powerful job of ticking down one man’s emotionally draining journey, all while keeping soundtrack interest very …Read On »

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