CD Review: DA VINCI’s DEMONS soundtrack

DA VINCI'S DEMONS soundtrack | ©2013 Sparks & Shadows

It’s no easy task having to score the smartest creator who’s ever walked on our planet. But given an endlessly prolific bounty of inventive TV soundtracks for the genre likes of BATTLESTAR  GALACTICA, THE WALKING DEAD and DEFIANCE,  the energy of Bear McCreary is a match well met for Leonardo Da Vinci. And we’re certainly not talking about an old guy with a beard here, but a robustly sexual scientific adventurer making a Wild West West impression on Renaissance-era Italy, courtesy of David Goyer’s imaginative historical reboot. Obviously, playing it straight with 14th century instruments isn’t going to do the …Read On »

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CD Review: THOR: THE DARK WORLD soundtrack

THOR: THE DARK WORLD soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

Back in the comic book day, The House of Ideas teamed The Thing with a guest superhero star of the month for Marvel-Two-in-One. That series’ consistent match-up of four-color brawn has now been musically equaled in the space of one year by Brian Tyler, who follows up his entry into Marvel’s cinematic universe for IRON MAN 3 with even more powerfully potent results in THOR: THE DARK WORLD. But while it might not necessarily be an even match comparing a playboy in a souped-up suit of armor with an alien-Norse demigod, the evil elf-sponsored end of the universe versus an …Read On »

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CD Review: PET SEMATARY soundtrack (2,000 Limited Edition)

PET SEMETARY soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

There are certain horror films and soundtracks that transgress barriers by blending art and shock, a la PSCYHO and THE EXORCIST. Then there are some that just plain old scare the shit out of us with the yuck factor of seeing a sweet near-toddler rip the throat out of Fred Gwynne to the accompaniment of children’s lullabye voices. Such is the unnerving, brilliantly distasteful power of Mary Lambert’s PET SEMATARY and the dawning of a composer who’d re-write the book on experimental scoring in Hollywood for Stephen King’s most unnervingly sadistic film adaptation, with a screenplay by King himself no …Read On »

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CD Review: LUTHER: SONGS AND SCORE FROM SERIES 1, 2 & 3 soundtrack

LUTHER: SONGS AND SCORE FROM SERIES 1, 2 & 3 soundtrack | ©2013 Silva Screen Records

Silva Screen seemingly has a lock when it comes to the BBC with it TV collections of Time Lords and all of God’s documentary creatures. But when it comes to take-no-prisoners charisma, Detective Chief Inspector John LUTHER has been the charm, not only in the gripping hands of Idris Elba, but its soundtrack that mixes eclectic tune choices with powerful underscore suspense, both suspects at last rounded up here for a terrifically assembled compilation of the songs and score that helped Luther track down serial killers and robbers across three seasons. So far, the biggest exposure that American audiences have …Read On »

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CD Review: ED WOOD and JIMMY P. soundtracks

ED WOOD and JIMMY P. soundtracks | ©2013 Howe Records

When it comes to Howard Shore this holiday season, it’s going to be all about THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG. But if you’re on a quest to hear the composer’s more esoteric, but equally rewarding work, than you’ll find his Howe Records label offering a treasure trove of Shore’s past, and present scores, including COSMOPOLIS‘ trance limo ride to hell, the charming, Oscar-nominated imagination in HUGO‘s Parisian train station and the ticking clock of the worst AFTER HOURS in an NYC shlep’s life. Now Shore’s versatility sounds off with two new Howe releases, one dealing with a psychologically wounded Native American …Read On »

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CD Review: THE BOOK THIEF soundtrack

THE BOOK THIEF soundtrack | ©2013 Sony Classical

An excellent, “entry” level Holocaust film for mature young viewers, THE BOOK THIEF comes across as a movie you’d think that Steven Spielberg had directed, right down to a beautifully sumptuous, but no less achingly raw score by John Williams. While the filmmaking honors here can actually go to DOWNTOWN ABBEY‘s Brian Percival, Williams’ score is certainly worthy of his accomplishments for said other director, who’s often dealt with the horrors of WW2 in SCHINDLER’S LIST and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. But if there are any Spielberg movies that THE BOOK THIEF has a kinship with, then it’s the hugely underrated …Read On »

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CD Review: PHILOMENA soundtrack

PHILOMENA soundtrack | ©2013 Decca Records

Where Alexandre Desplat’s Oscar attention-getter last year was the heavy duty ZERO DARK THIRTY, the most definitely lighter PHILOMENA is likely to get similar notice for its often whimsical, if bittersweet quality. For the track-down here is of the sold son of an Irishwoman forced long ago to give up her kin by decidedly sinful nuns. Philomena’s American road trip with an English journalist has a fun sense of child-like discovery with bells and charmingly driving rhythmic momentum – of course with a notable theme that’s always behind always behind the melodic wheel, as brilliantly taking root in a carousel …Read On »

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TV Review: SUPERNATURAL – Season 9 – “Road Trip”

Mark A. Sheppard guest stars as Crowley on SUPERNATURAL "Road Trip" | © 2014 Jack Rowand/The CW

Stars: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard, Curtis Armstrong, Alaina Huffman, Tahmoh Penikett Writer: Andrew Dabb, series created by Eric Kripke Director: Robert Singer Network: The CW, Tuesdays @ 9 PM Original Airdate: January 14, 2014 “Road Trip” is the best kind of humorous SUPERNATURAL episode. It’s not constructed as a joke-fest, but rather has a setup that allows the laughs to come organically out of the characters – even though Dean (Jensen Ackles) hardly feels like laughing at the outset. Poor Dean. The angel Gadreel has hijacked Sam’s (Jared Padalecki) physical form and used it to …Read On »

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CD Review: PRANCER soundtrack

PRANCER soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

Holiday cheer is now abounding at Intrada Records with the recent releases of Alan Silvestri’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL and Bruce Broughton’s THE THANKSGIVING PROMISE. But perhaps their most unexpected early present to arrive is Maurice Jarre’s score for 1989s PRANCER. While this tale of a reindeer that may or may not be Santa’s favorite beast of burden might not have the cult cache of “A Christmas Story,” “Prancer” is certainly a chestnut for the cable generation. The star at the top of its feel-good Xmas tree is a truly beautiful score by Maurice Jarre. Then at the height of his …Read On »

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CD Review: FROZEN soundtrack

FROZEN soundtrack | ©2013 Walt Disney Records

An iced cornucopia of The Magic Kingdom’s greatest fairy tale hits that reprises the Hans Christian Anderson LITTLE MERMAID magic, FROZEN brims over with cute sidekicks, a dashing hero and the upped ante of two princesses – one with a power that Professor Xavier would admire. It all makes for exactly the kind of pre-teen soundtrack catnip that set the studio’s animated standard for a reason, and is once again delivered at the height of hiply imaginative panache. FROZEN‘s memorable numbers have been co-written by the WONDER PETS duo of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (who also happen to have …Read On »

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