CD Review: THE ARK AND THE DELUGE soundtrack

THE ARK AND THE DELUGE soundtrack | ©2016 Music Box Records

Few film genres allow composers to write tone poems in the guise of scores like nature documentaries, their music getting to chronicle the grace, joy and life or death struggles of the planet in all of its infinite musical equivocations of the life force. Gabriel Yared set out to sea to in 1993 to sumptuously chronicle the glorious ballet between ocean and air. Hearing this glorious wash of melodic impressionism, you’re reminded that this Oscar-winning Lebanese composer just might be film scoring’s answer to France’s Claude Debussy, his DELUGE a cross between the flowing, romantic strings of “La Mer” as crossed […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD soundtrack

THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD soundtrack | ©2016 La La Land Records

Before he became the go-to TV superhero scorer for DC with the likes of ARROW, THE FLASH and SUPERGIRL, Blake Neely was spending much of his scoring time during the first decade of the new millennium in the company of sweet romantic dramas like FIRST DAUGHTER, THE WEDDING DATE and STARTER FOR 10. One of his most delightful scores before he put on his cape was playing the amazing, jazzy mentalist tricks of 2008’s THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD. Director Sean McGinly based John Malkovich’s rage-prone mental illusionist on his own stint with The Amazing Kreskin, putting himself in the personage of Colin Hanks’ personal […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE INVITATION soundtrack

THE INVITATION soundtrack | ©2016 Lakeshore Records

A truly versatile composer when not superbly cranking out comedy scores like SPY, ZOOLANDER 2 and the forthcoming GHOSTBUSTERS reboot, Theodore Shapiro has shown an inventive affinity for typewriter-clicking drama with TRUMBO and creepily ethereal horror when ogling JENNIFER’S BODY. But it’s with THE INVITATION that Shapiro proves like never before just how unfunny he can be upon entering a suicide cult’s dinner party, as staged by JENNIFER director Karyn Kusma. Given a bloody desert as served by hosts straight out Heaven’s Gate, Shapiro’s weapon of choice is a single, overdubbed violin to further ratchet the tension. Where string playing of this sort is usually […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE WANNABE soundtrack

THE WANNABE soundtrack | ©2016 Movie Score Media Records

A seriously deluded low life couple make the big mistake of thinking they can rip off NYC’s connected Italian citizens, learning big time that crime of any sort doesn’t in this strange-but-true tale – one that previously made for 2014’s far superior ROB THE MOB. But that’s not to say the following year’s THE WANNABE doesn’t have some mook charms to it, namely Patricia Arquette’s beyond-committed performance and an eccentric score by Nathan Larson. A seriously unsung composer when it comes to scoring hard to love losers in such indies as in PALINDROMES, CHOKE and THE SKELETON TWINS, Larson takes an emotionally similar approach […]Read On »

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HIGH-RISE composer Clint Mansell builds beautiful insanity – Interview

HIGH-RISE soundtrack | ©2016 Silva Screen

  If being a composer can drive one crazy, then few have stared so consistently into the mouth of madness with such interesting, and creatively invigorating results as Clint Mansell. The braintrust of the U.K. group Pop Will Eat Itself made his scoring debut drilling a distinctively electronic hole into the head of PI’s crazed mathemetician in 1998. His musical mind-warping partnership with director Darren Aronofsky would mine new headtrips of creativity, from the string needles of the Kronos Quartet that filled the veins of REQUIEM FOR A DREAM‘s drug addicts to the cosmically symphonic transcendence of a truth-seeker in THE FOUNTAIN, the […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE CAIRO DECLARATION soundtrack

THE CAIRO DECLARATION soundtrack | ©2016 Movie Score Media

Nothing seems to inspire glorious feelings for The Motherland like a flag-waving symphonic score, its citizens’ devotion embodied in majestically swirling melody. But then, you don’t have to open your Little Red Book to appreciate the stirring patriotism that westerner Chad Cannon, along with Chinese composer into THE CAIRO DECLARATION, creating the most sumptuous music to accompany a historical event most listeners on this side of the Atlantic have never heard of. The 1943 meeting between FDR, Churchill and soon-to-be overthrown Chinese ruler Chiang Kai-shek decided the who’d get Japan’s occupied territories once Tojo went down in flames – with the […]Read On »

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LINK and POWDER soundtracks – CD Reviews

LINK soundtrack | ©2016 La La Land Records

here Jerry Goldsmith was lionized for any number of inventive, mainstream scores like BASIC INSTINCT, TOTAL RECALL and THE WIND AND THE LION, the composer had an equal knack for embodying idiosyncratic characters for movies well below the widely accepted radar like UNDER FIRE, THE SALAMANDER and THE TRAVELING EXECUTIONER. Goldsmith’s creativity flowed with noticeable enthusiasm for these soundtracks where he could show off his devilishly clever humor and emotional resonance, whether accompanying an orangutan manservant or a mystical albino. In his follow up to PSCYHO II for director Richard Franklin, Jerry Goldsmith was given the opportunity to play a not-so obviously lethal killer. Instead, […]Read On »

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THE JUNGLE BOOK soundtrack – CD Review

THE JUNGLE BOOK soundtrack | ©2016 Walt Disney Records

With his father Louis Debney playing his part in the birth of Disney animation, it was only natural that his musically talented son John would get his start at the studio on his way to turning its beloved 1967 toon into an astonishing example of live action flesh and CGI fur. You can certainly hear the love tonight in Debney’s epic valentine to his alma mater, as well as the inimitable tunes of its greatest songsmiths The Sherman Brothers by reading THE JUNGLE BOOK as it scales new heights for the composer. Debney has done an impressive job segueing from Mickey […]Read On »

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GREEN ROOM: Brooke and Will Blair on taking a soft scoring approach to punk ultra-violence – Interview

GREEN ROOM soundtrack

When it comes to wreaking musical mayhem, film scores from micro-budgeters to multiplex tentpoles have beaten the band with percussive savagery, raging strings and knife-stab samples. But where these soundtracks have tried be even more murderous than the slashing blades, gun shots and assorted blunt instruments they accompany, Brooke and Will Blair have shown that one can effectively conjure brutality by speaking softly and carrying a big ambient stick. The Blair’s talent for lethally hypnotic minimalism has been an especially potent weapon in the films of Jeremy Saulnier. Mutually beginning their careers with 2007’s humorously sadistic indie thriller MURDER PARTY, the […]Read On »

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THE WITCH: Mark Korven is in a musical thrall – Exclusive Interview

THE WITCH | ©2016 A24 Films

There are horror films and scores that do a good job of scaring you, and then there are others like THE EXORCIST, THE SHINING and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET that truly hit a nerve by making one feel that they’ve taken part in something unholy – or at least that’s if you believe The Satanic Temple’s big thumbs up that THE WITCH is a “transformative Satanic experience.” Whether one feels encouraged to strip naked in the woods and call upon the powers of darkness remains to be seen after a viewing of THE WITCH But one thing that that […]Read On »

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