CD Review: SECRET SHARER soundtrack

SECRET SHARER soundtrack | ©2014 2M1 Records

A Polish sea captain finds himself way underwater in desire, and danger when he takes on an adrift woman in the South China Sea for this modernization of Joseph Conrad’s short 1910 story. But perhaps the classiest passenger on board this otherwise rusting ship is English composer Guy Farley (MODIGLIANI), who gives beautiful, moody elegance to this unlikely, and potentially lethal romance between burned-out hero and his potentially lethal catch. A musician definitely worthy of discovery on this end of the pond, Farley has impressed in both thrillers (THE FLOCK) and romance (CASHBACK). Now SECRET SHARER showcases both styles with …Read On »

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CD Review: POMPEII soundtrack

POMPEII soundtrack | ©2014 Milan Records

Paul W.S. Anderson is popcorn personified when it comes to such muscular entertainments as EVENT HORIZON, SOLDIER, RESIDENT EVIL and DEATH RACE getting powerful scores by the likes of Michael Kamen, Joel McNeely and Paul Haslinger that have ranged from heroic strings to terrifying electronica and twisted metal. But while his latest work might have turned to ash at the box office, POMPEII stands for me as Anderson’s most ambitious, and purely enjoyable old-school film, a blazing mash up of GLADIATOR and WHEN TIME RAN OUT that sought to achieve an epic dramatic quality amidst its historical disaster film arena. …Read On »

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CD Review: COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY soundtrack

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY soundtrack | ©2014 Cosmos Studios Music

Few composers have conjectured about weird science with Alan Silvestri’s sense of cosmic wonder, whether it’s been seeking alien life inhabiting our inner space in THE ABYSS, time travelling BACK TO THE FUTURE or talking with an intergalactic craft voiced by Pee-Wee Herman for FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR. So it’s only natural that Silvestri now gets to board a spaceship of the imagination first piloted on TV 24 years ago by Carl Sagan, whose film adaptation of CONTACT ranks as one of the composer’s most awe-inspiring scores. It’s that music’s touching quality of intergalactic hope that now infuses COSMOS’ pretty …Read On »

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CD Review: DISTANT THUNDER soundtrack

DISTANT THUNDER soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

Old-school Maurice Jarre admirers might have blanched when the composer mostly left behind the orchestra that he’d made his Hollywood name on with the likes of DR. ZHIVAGO to engage in electronic pursuits during the 80s and 90s. Yet his synth explorations yielded some of the composer’s most interesting, and innovative work with the likes of DREAMSCAPE, JULIA AND JULIA and THE MOSQUITO COAST, not to mention Oscar nominations for  WITNESS and GHOST. Now Intrada goes deep into the Vietnam-haunted Canadian woods to discover a near-unknown, computer-fashioned Jarre score with 1988s DISTANT THUNDER, an equally unsung film that brought together …Read On »

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CD Review: MUPPETS MOST WANTED soundtrack

MUPPETS MOST WANTED soundtrack | ©2014 Walt Disney Records

The best kid’s stuff has always has a wisenheimer appeal to adults, bringing on cuteness that the tykes can enjoy, while working on a completely different satirical level that their parents get a chuckle out of. Such is the lovable balance of sweetness and sarcasm that’s made the Muppets endure through innumerable sequels, a hip factor that goes off the scale when you’ve got Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie re-invigorating a bunch of puppets. MUPPETS MOST WANTED is a singular, happy celebration of self-effacing sarcasm, with songs that are perhaps even more toe-tappingly hilarious and catchy than McKenzie’s first …Read On »

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CD Review: BONNIE & CLYDE soundtrack

BONNIE & CLYDE soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

Having helped to blast away the ratings for The History Channel’s HATFIELDS & McCOYS with an energetic, rural score (co-composed with Tony Morales) for a post Civil War blood feud, John Debney gets to jump ahead a few decades for more upscale backwoods violence, courtesy of BONNIE & CLYDE. But where them other fightin’ families definitely were lacking in the glamour department, Debney’s musical canvas is increased exponentially by having two jazz age killer kids at his disposal – criminals who wanted to be stars of their own body-splattered “reality” show that made them antisocial media darlings. Debney spectacularly weds …Read On »

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CD Review: SHARKY’S MACHINE soundtrack

SHARKY'S MACHINE soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

It’s rare when a soundtrack specialty label gives love to what are essentially an all-song albums, a genre that ruled during the 1980s with such releases as BAND OF THE HAND, TUFF TURF and CRUISING. Let’s hope these are but some of the titles that Varese Sarabande might put on their radar, as they’ve recently put out such welcome, song-filled releases out under it like THE IDOLMAKER, ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN and HONKYTONK MAN. But with no offense to those latter two movies’ that featured a star-director known for his love of jazz, perhaps no film used that music …Read On »

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CD Review: QUAI d’ORSAY and LE BOSSU soundtracks

QUAI d'ORSAY soundtrack | ©2013 Quartet Records

A French composer who should have conquered Hollywood in the 80s with the likes of QUEST FOR FIRE, GHOST STORY and THE MUSIC BOX, but somehow ended up back in his native country, Philippe Sarde has most definitely stayed busy – and with no small amount of creative cleverness in his new score for QUAI d’ORSAY. Director Bertrand Tavernier has given his well-costumed period features a stylistic shot in the arm by adapting this cult comic strip, which gives AMELIE-like absurdity to the adventures of a hapless political speech writer. Yet Tavernier and Sarde don’t so much doff their costume …Read On »

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CD Review: HOURS soundtrack

HOURS soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Having made his breakthrough score with the innovative Britain prison bust-out of THE ESCAPIST, Englishman Benjamin Wallfisch makes a notable return to confined spaces with his desperate musical HOURS. What makes his score particularly intriguing, and effective, is that said penitentiary is actually a post-Katrina hospital in New Orleans, where Paul Walker’s bereft husband find himself virtually chained to the respirator keeping his newborn son alive. Music is also vital in keeping company for virtual one-character dramas of this sort, and Wallfisch does a powerful job of ticking down one man’s emotionally draining journey, all while keeping soundtrack interest very …Read On »

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CD Review: MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM soundtrack

MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM soundtrack | ©2013 Decca Records

After his terrific work on EMPEROR, composer Alex Heffes continues on a historical roll, now turning his focus from a colonized post WW2 Japan to the Afrikaaner police state that was only overturned in fairly recent history by Nelson Mandela, with no small amount of support from his wife Winnie. Heffes hears his LONG WALK TO FREEDOM with a mighty, upraised musical fist, his score tone indebted to both the longtime symphonic approach of historical epics, as well as the pulsing samples of contemporary thrillers. The impassioned, orchestral march and tender emotion of this oppressed power couple are given a …Read On »

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