Music

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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CD Review: THE SPIDER soundtrack

THE SPIDER soundtrack | ©2014 Kritzerland Records

As the soundtrack label that’s taken up the torch for golden age score releases, one can see the blazing “Nordic Noir” light that attracted Kritzerland to release a soundtrack that’s practically unknown to American ears – and one that should be placed their promptly. For in composer Soren Hyldgaard’s music for this 2000 Danish TV miniseries about Copenhagen clawing its way out of the physical, and moral wreckage of WW2, one thrillingly hears the era’s blazingly melodic Hollywood scoring of Miklos Rozsa and Bernard Herrmann (as well as latter day masters like Jerry Goldsmith and John Barry,) as taken to …Read On »

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CD Review: WON TON TON soundtrack

WON TON TON soundtrack | ©2014 Kritzerland Records

Neal Hefti was one of the swinging-est composers of the Mad Men era, a musician who put a happy-go-lucky bachelor pad groove into the wet bar of such comedies as SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL, HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE and BAREFOOT IN THE PARK. However, it’s his cool, superhero scoring via Vegas for TV’s BATMAN that remains Hefti’s best-known work among a criminally under-represented discography. Thankfully, Kritzerland comes to the rescue with this two-fer of great scores for box office bombs (whose chances certainly weren’t helped by their way-too long titles). While I can’t attest if 1976s WON TON …Read On »

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CD Review: THE ZERO THEOREM soundtrack

THE ZERO THEOREM soundtrack | ©2014 Milan Records

When you think back to Terry Gilliam’s latter good old days with THE FISHER KING, TWELVE MONKEYS and arguably FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, the directors’ movies worked so strikingly well by being simultaneously mind-blowing and nightmare-inducing acid trips, unleashing exaggerated performances and imagery that tended to turn the world into a dystopian wonderland. It’s a sad sign of how far Gilliam has fallen since THE BROTHERS GRIMM that BRAZIL and TWELVE MONKEYS have gotten upchucked as THE ZERO THEOREM which equals near insufferability – though not without Gilliam’s seemingly unbreakable visual talent on display. But the one element …Read On »

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CD Review: THE BOXTROLLS soundtrack

THE BOXTROLLS soundtrack | ©2014 +180 Records

With his impressively elegant use of a full, assured orchestra, the Italian-born, English-based composer Dario Marianelli hasn’t had to scavenge for major assignments, as such epically romantic historical scores like ATONEMENT, AGORA and ANNA KARENINA have proven, along with the mythic genre scores for THE BROTHERS GRIMM and V FOR VENDETTA have shown. But even that latter film’s shadowy, dystopian-busting superhero doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of a morally bankrupt (and cheese-obsessed to boot) town like THE BOXTROLLS, its delightful score marking Marianelli’s first venture into perhaps not-so tyke friendly territory.  Laika, the producer-animators of BOXTROLLS have always had …Read On »

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CD Review: FRANK and RUDDERLESS soundtracks

RUDDERLESS soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

For all of the rock stadium popularity that a studio polished song soundtrack might have, it’s often the raw tunes of a decidedly unsigned, outsider band that reaches into the heart, or madness-addled brain in a way no Grammy-friendly album can. At their best, these little tune-filled albums can even find appeal with score fans who normally regard songs CDs as heresy, an open-minded listen especially deserving from them for a big-headed bizarro and a garage band finding the power of healing in unthinkably written songs. FRANK is very loosely based on the strange career of England’s Frank Sidebottom, who had …Read On »

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