THE GAMBLER soundtrack | ©2013 Quartet Records

Jerry Fielding was a composer who set a new high bar for tough guy expressionism in film music, taking an uncompromising, and often primally dissonant approach for such seething orchestral blood rites as THE WILD BUNCH, THE OUTFIT and LAWMAN. Now the new releases of THE GAMBLER and BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE offer a rich contrast in Fielding intensity, subduing his voice for a modern classicist, and then pouring on the danger for the Master of Disaster. If Gustav Mahler had become a film composer, it’s arguable that his often brooding, string-heavy style might have sounded something like Jerry Fielding’s …Read On »


CD Review: DESPICABLE ME 2 and THE SMURFS 2 soundtracks

DESPICABLE ME 2 soundtrack | ©2013 Universal Records

Perhaps there’s just a natural, festive spirit of his country’s carnival celebrations that’s in the musical genes of Brazilian composer Heitor Pereira. Rapidly making a name for himself in family-friendly scoring, Pereira’s work for the likes of CURIOUS GEORGE, BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA and THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD comes across as being just plain “nice” in the most fun, melodic description of that word as possible – especially when dealing with a cartoon supervillain on the mend, or munchkins with playfully bad attitudes for two sequel scores that actually improve on Pereira’s original, bouncy work. Having shown sympathy for Mr. …Read On »


CD Review: COMPANY OF HEROES 2 soundtrack

COMPANY OF HEROES 2 soundtrack | ©2013 Sumthing Else Music Works

Imagine if RED DAWN‘s score was on the side of the Russkies, and you’ll get an idea of the powerful Mother Russia patriotism that fill’s Cris Velasco’s exceptional real time strategy game score campaign against the Nazi bastards on the Eastern front in COMPANY OF HEROES 2. You’d be hard pressed to think that Stalin himself didn’t commission this score from the prolific videogame composer whose excelled in the battles of GOD OF WAR 3, DARKSIDERS and WARHAMMER. Velasco’s march-or-die orders inspire a dynamite symphonic performance that salutes the valor of the snow-swept homeland, unleashing powerhouse broadsides of heroic, militaristic …Read On »



HAMMERSMITH IS OUT soundtrack | ©2013 Quartet Records

Quartet Records continues their mission of putting out swinging comedy scores from the 60s and 70s from Burt Bacharach’s CASINO ROYALE to John Addison’s THE AMOROUS ADVENTURES OF MOLL FLANDERS. These entries don’t get more deliciously hep than when they’re playing the devil, or the devil as a woman. 1972s HAMMERSMITH IS OUT is a full-on Faustian lark as Richard Burton’s satanic asylum inmate gains egress via Beau Bridges’ country bumpkin orderly – a pairing of ancient evil and American hayseed that allows Dominic Frontiere to go for a swinging combo of Baroque stylings with country twang. Having played the …Read On »


CD Review: FANDANGO soundtrack

FANDANGO soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

Though it barely got a release, 1985s 1971 road trip movie would go down as one of the latter decade’s most-loved cult movies, inspiring the admiration of “groovers” the world over. And while much of Alan Silvestri’s exceptional score would get left on the way to Mexico in favor of exceptionally used Pat Metheny tunes, FANDANGO stands as a landmark in the composer’s career as his first major venture into orchestral scoring. Thankfully Intrada knows where Silvesti’s symphonic champagne bottle is buried with this effervescent release. Joining Kevin Costner’s draft-dodging road trip after the electronic percussion heavy scores of CHiPS …Read On »


CD Review: THE IDOLMAKER soundtrack

THE IDOLMAKER soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Taylor Hackford’s 1980 feature debut THE IDOLMAKER was an auspicious start for this musically inclined filmmaker and producer, whose love for old fashioned r & b rock shone through WHITE NIGHTS, LA BAMBA, RAY and CHUCK BERRY HAIL! HAIL! ROCK ‘N ROLL. Based on the starmaking life of Bob Marcucci that saw the discovery of Frankie Avalon and Fabian, THE IDOLMAKER attempted the difficult task of creating “new” versions of classic jukebox tunes that would be just as rocking to then-contemporary youth tastes. It says something about how well Hackford succeeded in that we’re now seeing Varese do a rare …Read On »


CD Review: INTO THE WEST soundtrack

INTO THE WEST soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

Taking the idea of a family’s American expansion with all the Cinemascope passion afforded to HOW THE WEST WAS WON (but shrinking the screen just a bit for TNT), executive producer Steven Spielberg’s 2005 Emmy-lauded miniseries INTO THE WEST took home a music award for composer Geoff Zanelli. Yet in a slap to the creative face that would make an Indian shed a tear, the only album to get a release was one of those “inspired by” song jobs. Now, justice has finally come to the frontier with La La Land’s two-CD release of Zanelli’s beautifully evocative score. What makes …Read On »


CD Review: THEN CAME BRONSON soundtrack

THEN CAME BRONSON soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

NBC’s 1969 one-season series THEN CAME BRONSON had Michael Parks as a freewheelin’ journalist who goes on the road down Route 66, and a whole lot of other byways, as mostly driven by the liltingly romantic music of George Dunning – whose soft, string musings comprise the first CD of this unexpected, but very welcome Intrada release. No dirty, rock and rolling Easy Riders here for the primetime sensibility, just a nice guy cyclist finding kindred spirits on the road. One can certainly see album producer Lukas Kendall’s affinity for Dunning’s sweetly gentle approach, as his scoring here could easily …Read On »


CD Review: THE WOLVERINE soundtrack

THE WOLVERINE soundtrack | ©2013 Sony Music

For a composer with muttonchops when it comes to horror scoring, Marco Beltrami has shown his talent for playing supernatural superheroes with the likes of The Crow and Hellboy. Taking multiple stabs at his second Marvel character after his berserker score for BLADE II, Beltrami actually ends up giving powerful restraint to his take on Weapon X for THE WOLVERINE. Dealing with a mutant whose powers of self-healing and longevity were God-given before his protruding finger-razors were souped-up with adamantium, Beltrami is more musically interested in playing a bub battling with his own inner demons, a man who’d far rather …Read On »


CD review: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY soundtrack

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY soundtrack | ©2013 Walt Disney Records

As the composer who first put Pixar on the CG toon map with TOY STORY, Randy Newman has had a gleefully antic time with the company’s armadas of cute playthings and bugs. Perhaps it was because the creatures of MONSTERS, INC. were far more furry friend than fiend that Newman’s Carl Stalling-esque approach stood out for its mischievousness and warmth- his over-the-top toon sound perfect at playing a one-eyed goblin and giant blue beast as big softies. Now Randy Newman gets to return a decade later with Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan in this winningly pleasant prequel that takes …Read On »

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