Music

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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CD Review: MALEFICENT soundtrack

MALEFICENT soundtrack | ©2014 Walt Disney Records

Genre films have always held a rewarding spell for James Newton Howard, an astonishingly adept, and prolific composer who from his first supernatural score to 1990s “Flatliners” has taken to the thematic majesty of a chorally-powered, symphonic orchestra to both horrifically dark and soaringly heroic effect – both emotional ends of which meet like never before in his magnificent MALIFICENT. For one of the best villain apologist fantasies in many a moon, Howard becomes a sorcerer’s apprentice as he unleashes Disney’s most infamous she-devil in all of her unexpectedly moving might. While he’s accompanied lost civilizations (ATLANTIS), talking thunder lizards …Read On »

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CD Review: WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? soundtrack (limited edition)

WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

All the dining metaphors in the world can’t do justice to Henry Mancini’s delicious mystery-comedy score for Ted Kotcheff’s equally delectable 1978 film that took cinematic food porn to new, mouth-watering heights. A composer who knew how to blend suspense, romance and humor with an escapist touch, Mancini starts the ovens rolling with a rollicking, Baroque theme that captures the pomp of haute culture. Eschewing “Pink Panther”-esque jazz in favor of a classical, continental approach, Mancini ooh’s-and-aah’s over the highly edible creations with perky brass and lush strings, while providing an unexpected melancholy bite in his love theme for Jacqueline …Read On »

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CD Review: THE RESCUE soundtrack

THE RESCUE soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

Intrada follows up their release of Bruce Broughton’s classic score to YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES with music for a just slightly more jingoistic youth adventure that’s sure to go down as one of Kim Il Jong’s least favorite entertainments. But for Broughton fans, 1988s Touchstone movie THE RESCUE  is a flag-waving, anti North Korean blast of nutty musical fun from the composer, if only to hear Broughton unfurl symphonic action combos of all-American funk and evil Asian percussion. But then, blasting commies was the rage in a decade that saw Basil Poledouris take down the Russians on U.S. soil for RED …Read On »

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