Music

The Year in Review: The Best Scores of 2014

Marco Beltrami and the SNOWPIERCER soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

THE BEST SCORES OF 2014 AUTOMATA (Zacarias M. de la Riva / Movie Score Media) Scores like A.I. and I, ROBOT have portrayed automatons as having infinitely more soul than their human creators, a purity of electronic spirit that makes them closer to God than any flesh and blood creation. No score has religiously captured that spiritual ghost in the machine with the beautiful, beatific quality of Zacarias M. de la Riva, whose transcendent use of the chorus, and the anguished, spare strings of homo sapien despair merge for a moving requiem to the human race, while signaling the birth …Read On »

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CD Review: THE FRENCH REVOLUTION soundtrack

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

One can only imagine the honor for a French composer to score an epic based on the events that defined his country’s future, and for a small time the ideals of Liberté, Égalité and Fraternité. And it’s in that spirit one can understand the pure, gorgeous passion that Georges Delerue gave to THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. This massive, six-hour, two-part cinematic endeavor was done for the event’s 200th anniversary, starring the English-speaking likes of Jane Seymour, Peter Ustinov and Sam Neill, and ultimately turned into a TV miniseries that’s still unavailable on video in this country. Delerue had certainly done sweeping, …Read On »

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CD Review: GORKY PARK soundtrack

GORKY PARK soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

James Horner’s career was taking off in 1983, due to a dynamic signature sound that often meshed impactful percussion with richly thematic melodies that paid homage to such modern classical Russian masters as Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. So it was fitting that Horner’s music would journey to their Motherland with GORKY PARK, its unique story (by NIGHTWINGS‘ killer bat author Martin Cruz Smith) pitting a Soviet cop against a murderous American capitalist pig, with furry sables as the MacGuffin behind a skinned face triple slaying. One need not dig far to turn up Horner’s usual, impactful suspects with a score that …Read On »

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CD Review: LES PASSAGERS soundtrack (500 edition)

LES PASSAGERS soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

What Americans among us would have known that the first adaptation of popular thriller novelist Dean R. Koontz (written as SHATTERED under the pseudonym of K.R. Dwyer) was done for a French movie? But then, who’d have realized that its composer Claude Bolling wasn’t the first musician in the driver’s seat for a movie that ultimately appeared on our shores as THE INTRUDERS in 1977. But thanks to this intriguing Music Box Records release, both musical takes are out there to savor for as the road got paved for far better known Koontz movies as HIDEAWAY and WATCHERS. But there’s …Read On »

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CD Review NO GOD, NO MASTER soundtrack

NO GOD, NO MASTER soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

The anarchist movement in the early 1900s and the mass deportations its bomb-planting extremists inspired remain obscure, in spite of their lessons being more relevant today than ever in a society willing to do anything to stop terrorists in their midst. It’s a tragic, dramatic importance that infuses this historical drama, whose ambitious scope is given immense, tragic power by Nuno Malo’s score. With a sweeping, symphonic talent that actually made us musically believe in THE CELESTINE PROPHECY, the Portuguese composer take on affecting images of poverty-oppressed Italian immigrants struggling, some violently, for a new life in a land that’s …Read On »

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CD Review: HANNIBAL Seasons 1 and 2 soundtracks

HANNIBALS Seasons 1 and 2 soundtracks | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

To label the sonic nightmare that Brian Reitzell has cooked up for television’s most lethally elegant doctor-gourmand as “music” is way to simple a way of defining the wildly experimental stew of sound design and occasional shards of melody that infuse a show that by rights shouldn’t be anywhere near network television, especially scoring that could lead to seizures in more tender viewers foolish enough to tune in. But the psychological incisiveness with which Reitzell conveys the sound of insanity is like nothing else that’s ever been done within the psycho-killer genre, be it on the big or small screens. …Read On »

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CD Review: STAGE FRIGHT soundtrack

STAGE FRIGHT soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

Pulling off a musical satire, let alone one based around horror movies is fraught with a lot of unintentional peril, efforts that can go as unheard of as a bear relieving itself in the forest (does anyone remember Vincent D’Onofrio’s indie band slaughter DON’T GO IN THE WOODS?). But when it really works, as in the case of PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE and THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, the lyrics usually satirize the conventions of rock and roll as opposed to horror. While STAGE FRIGHT is punishably guilty of that sin, it’s scattershot satirizing of every other musical form from …Read On »

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CD Review: THE MAZE RUNNER soundtrack

THE MAZE RUNNER soundtrack | ©2014 Sony Classical

Starting off his career as an assistant to Jerry Goldsmith on STAR TREK NEMESIS and THE SUM OF ALL FEARS, John Paesano has certainly been busy with DC animation, DV action and friendly children’s stuff with such work as SUPERMAN BATMAN APOCALYPSE, S.W.A.T. FIREFIGHT and ANOTHER CINDERELLA STORY. But given the chance to crush kids on a major Hollywood playing field, Paesano blazingly takes off with THE MAZE RUNNER to land in a zone of body-crushing walls and prowling creatures – attacking the opportunity with terrific excitement and character-oriented melody to boot. Where the YA sci-fi genre has given a …Read On »

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CD Review: RECLAIM soundtrack

RECLAIM soundtrack | ©2014 Silva Screen Records

Israeli composer Inon Zur is a rock star when it comes to scoring dozens of videogames from LORD OF THE RINGS to EVERQUESTand SOULCALIBER, But success in one genre can often lead to a prison-like sentence from those who can’t see movie scoring talent from the sword-swing PS3 trees. Thankfully, Zur has gotten to break out with exceptional results in the far more realistic realm of child trafficking for RELCLAIM. John Cusack can certainly lay claim to that title as he keeps getting pulled back into the VOD arena as a bad guy, this time as the deceptively calm villain …Read On »

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CD Review: RELENTLESS JUSTICE soundtrack

RELENTLESS JUSTICE soundtrack | ©2014 Buysoundtrax Records

David A. Prior, the Z-movie commando who gave the world the hilariously brutal DEADLY PREY is back in the woods with a one-person army who happens to sport a killer figure and an Australian accent. While I don’t know if Victoria De Vries beats someone to death with their own dismembered arm, at the least she’s got Chuck Cirino as her musical wingman when it comes to racking up a body count. A composer who’s been to the ‘Nam of countless schlock movies, Cirino can be counted on to give his all to this sort of insanity, from the killer …Read On »

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