Music

CD Review: D.A.R.Y.L: LIMITED EDITION soundtrack

D.A.R.Y.L: LIMITED EDITION. soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

At first, it might have seemed an odd choice to have the Oscar-winning composer of THE WAY WE WERE score a movie about a kid cyborg. But when you consider what a beautifully melodic sentimentalist that Marvin Hamlisch was, hiring him for this sweetly unique 1985 kid’s adventure made perfect sense. Young star Barret Oliver seemed to be doing next to every memorable genre movie from the period (FRANKENWEENIE, COCOON and THE NEVERENDING STORY among them), and brought much warmth to this robotic spin on E.T. as a super-smart twelve year-old who finds shelter from government baddies with a nice …Read On »

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CD Review: BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE and TARZAN soundtracks

BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

David Newman’s rocking, rambunctious voice for electronics and the orchestra provided the beat for two cult teen movies from the late 80s – one involving a bitchy clique of “Heathers,” and the other pairing the far more lovable, dunderheaded duo of Ted “Theodore” Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esquire. While the first picture got a snarky, country-flavored synth beat, the clever, time travelling conceit for BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE afforded Newman the opportunity to energetically combine a full-blast, history-spanning symphony with a rock-pop beat for the Wyld Stallyns’ first quest. It was indeed a truly ingenious stylistic combo as …Read On »

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CD Review: THE RIVER MURDERS soundtrack

THE RIVER MURDERS soundtrack | ©2014 Caldera Records

After their impressive initial releases of Guy Farley’s SECRET SHARER and Johan Soderqvist’s KING OF DEVIL’S ISLAND, Caldera Records continues to show excellent taste in finding subtle, yet powerful scores from composers of creative note – especially when it comes to their work for movies that might have flown under the radar. Now Pinar Toprak’s THE RIVER MURDERS sounds off with such tragic, heavenly resonance that you could easily have imagined this as the score for MYSTIC RIVER. But it’s a testament to her music’s melodic production value that you wouldn’t expect this score as belonging to a 2011 straight-to-DVD …Read On »

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CD Review: OVERLORD soundtrack

OVERLORD soundtrack | ©2014 Kritzerland Records

While reveling in such mainstream classics and well-known composers as Alfred Newman’s HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY and Dmitri Tiomkin’s IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Kritzerland has also shown a penchant for such artier composers as Toru Takemitsu (RISING SUN) and Dana Kaproff  (WHEN A STRANGER CALLS). But of all the unknown gems they’ve put out so far, perhaps none is better timed, or shines amore beautifully than Paul Glass’ OVERLORD, an alternately modernistic and classical score composed for Stuart Cooper’s truly revolutionary war movie about the D-Day invasion, an amazing film which has also now received a blu ray debut …Read On »

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CD Review: JOE soundtrack

JOE soundtrack | ©2014 Milan Records

It might be said that David Wingo’s winning, southern-fried soundtrack for MUD was akin to an artily existential take on Charles Bernstein’s South-ploitation score for WHITE LIGHTNING. But now Wingo ventures once again into the land of valiant, and villainous rednecks with nary a rustic instrumentation in earshot for JOE. Joined by director David Gordon Green’s frequent composer Jeff McIlwain (SNOW ANGELS, THE SITTER), this duo instead hear the dark brew of ambient trouble growing to a boil inside of Nicholas Cage’s ex-con turned reluctant hero. It’s a palpable, unsetting atmosphere of dread that could just as easily serve as …Read On »

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Composer Brian Tyler gets busy with scoring TEENAGE MUTANTS NINJA TURTLES, EXPENDABLES 3 and INTO THE STORM – Interview

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES soundtrack | ©2014 Atlantic Records

When it comes to musical testosterone, Brian Tyler’s work is the equivalent of a soundtrack Stairmaster playing at top speed. Whether he’s scoring Viking gods, international speed racers or not-so over-the-hill brothers in arms, Tyler’s dynamically percussive rhythms blast multiplex speakers with maximum impact, his mighty cues throttling from one explosive crescendo to the next. But while Tyler’s action-centric scores are all about energetic attitude, he rocks out in a way that shows his old-school understanding for the importance of themes, let alone melody. It’s exactly this dynamic way of incorporating an orchestra with cutting-edge chords that’s made Tyler into …Read On »

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CD Review: MILLION DOLLAR ARM soundtrack

MILLION DOLLAR ARM soundtrack | ©2014 Walt Disney Records

When A.R. Rahman first gained Oscar-winning attention in the western world for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, it was as if some musical pitch hitter had arrived from nowhere, able to capture the exotic rhythms of his heritage via a pop beat as fresh as any album-spinning club kid (despite the fact that this relatively youthful composer-producer had been updating ancient Indian beats for quite some time). It’s a situation that couldn’t have made Rahman a better composer to play the sweet culture clash of a bunch of cricket players from the continent being potentially thrust into major league baseball for this Disney …Read On »

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CD Review: MY NIKIFOR soundtrack

MY NIKIFOR soundtrack | ©2014 Movie Score Media

If you enjoyed the eccentric cimbalom approach of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL  then you’ll likely want to take a musical room in the addled, artistic mind of this Polish painter. For the stay proves a real, whimsical delight, as heard through composing concierge Bartek Gliniak. Having gotten recognition in his native Poland, this talented musical artist now gets some international soundtrack exposure with the release of his work for this award-winning 2004 film. Embodying a disabled, yet visionary painter who could barely communicate, Gliniak comes up with a memorable, waltzing theme that’s expresses itself through both wry humor and emotion …Read On »

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CD Review: SHIVER soundtrack

SHIVER soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

RE-ANIMATOR‘s Richard Band really got put on the horror map with his big thing for decapitated noggins, which tells you all you need to know about how he ended up in the company of SHIVER‘s headhunting serial killer. Gone is any of that aforementioned film’s Herrmann-esque comedy for this straight-up thriller, to which Band contributes a grimly exciting score. Where budgetary necessity has resulted in many such low-budget horror movies employing a sampled orchestra, Band has certainly turned that sound into a charm that signifies he’s in the eerie house. Twisted bell percussion blends with efficiently emulated strings to give …Read On »

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CD Review: THE SIGNAL soundtrack

THE SIGNAL soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

While I’m dying to hear (let alone see) what composer Nima Fakhrara did for Japan’s live action version of GATCHAMAN (aka BATTLE OF THE PLANETS), I can only imagine that it must have caught the attention of THE SIGNAL – with the result being an eerily pulsing sci-fi score with a strong electric undercurrent. In this paranoid tale, three college students get far worse than they bargained for while chasing down a hacker. As they’re propelled into a sterile, claustrophobic nightmare of mad science where things gone from bad to mind and body-bendingly worse, Fakhara’s score tunes strongly into the …Read On »

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