CD Review: STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE (3,000 edition) soundtrack

STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE soundtrack | ©2015 La La Land Records

Since the days the U.S.S. Enterprise set space sail on vinyl, the franchise’s TV music universe has beamed from Varese Sarabande to GNP/Crescendo and Film Score Monthly, but perhaps not so exhaustively as in the good hands of La La Land Records, who beyond their releases of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, DEEP SAPCE NINE and VOYAGER could lay claim to releasing just about every note of Classic Trek music in an astounding box set, which offered 15 CD’s suffused with the kind of distinctive themes and melody that would essentially be phasered out when the show was reborn in …Read On »

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CD Review: WOLF HALL soundtrack

WOLF HALL soundtrack | ©2015 Silva Screen Records

It’s understandable that the BBC (let alone America) can’t get enough of the wildest member of England’s Royal Family and his entourage, who helped the lusty Henry VIII break from the Roman Catholic Church. The chief architect in his court who enabled is wife-laden plans was Thomas Cromwell, not exactly a babe magnet himself, but serpentine in his machinations that changed the fate of Britain. Given this interior, oft-villainized figure who spawned Hilary Mantle’s novels and this six-episode adaptation, it’s understood that a big, robust orchestral score might not be the way to go, or either the kind of contemporiazed …Read On »

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THE ORDER: 1886 composer Jason Graves joins the steampunk video game – Interview

THE ORDER soundtrack | ©2015 Sony Classical Music

Since his 2005 video game scoring debuts with RISE OF THE KASAI and GAUNTLET: SEVEN SORROWS, Jason Graves has played faithful service to a genre that’s continually evolved in terms of its striking visuals and bold storytelling as the genre has done its damnedest to shirk the mantle of being kid’s stuff, no more so than in the quality of its music. Action has been a particular forte for Graves, who’s proved that one could indeed hear a terrifying orchestra shriek in the void with the DEAD SPACE franchise. He’s given the stuff of soaring fantasy to DUNGEON SEIGE III …Read On »

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CD Review: ON THE WATERFRONT soundtrack

ON THE WATERFRONT soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

There are composers like Philip Glass (CANDYMAN) who start out in the concert hall, and go onto blaze impressive new careers in Hollywood. Then there are those like Andre Previn (ELMER GANTRY), who prolifically begin in tinsel town, only to leave it completely behind. And then there are such maestros as John Corigliano (ALTERED STATES), who briefly tread in Hollywood while making sure not to quit their day jobs, leaving behind a precious few soundtracks that show the dazzling movie career that could have been. On that note, perhaps no conductor could have been a Hollywood contender like Leonard Bernstein, …Read On »

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CD Review: ELMER BERNSTEIN: THE WILD SIDE soundtrack

ELMER BERNSTEIN: THE WILD SIDE soundtrack | ©2015 Varese Sarabande Records

No composer embodied the pure movie swing of jazz during the art form’s mainlining into much of film scoring during the 50s and 60s like Elmer Bernstein. From the hot sax heroin rush that flooded into Frankie Machine’s veins in THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM to the lustful brass catfight of WALK ON THE WILD SIDE or the salacious gossip beat that stank of  THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, Bernstein tapped into the energetic transgressiveness of music that promised a rawness that the Hayes Code-enforced movies could only hint at. So it’s only natural that Varese head Robert Townson …Read On »

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CD Review: 1864 and ALLIES soundtracks

ALLIES soundtrack | ©2015 Movie Score Media

Movie Score Media’s quality releases continue to be not only a major source for discovering new composers whose attendant projects barely hit U.S. shores, but also a great way to hear relatively obscure foreign soundtracks done by sometimes eminent American musicians – in both notable cases here performed in the key of war. Early on in Marco Beltrami’s career, the composer wrote one of his most interesting psycho-killer scores for a deranged female cellist, albeit in the guise of a period costume drama for Norwegian director Ole Bornedal’s 2002 thriller I AM DINA. Now Beltrami reteams with him for a …Read On »

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CD Review: ANGRY VIDEO GAME NERD: THE MOVIE soundtrack

ANGRY VIDEO GAME NERD: THE MOVIE soundtrack | ©2014 Sparks & Shadows

Film scores are going through an 8-bit revolution with the likes of Nigel Gordich’s SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD and Henry Jackman’s WRECK-IT RALPH. But arguably non of these retro scores have the insane fanboy enthusiasm that Bear McCreary beings to a two-hour feature version of a game geek blog done good. Done with the same, blasting out of your parents’ basement energy of his epic metal-orchestral score for the RPG’er’s versus real monster score to KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM, McCreary plays this unlikely hero’s odyssey of uncovering the equally deadly E.T. game from an Arizona landfill with the same level …Read On »

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CD Review: BATES MOTEL and PENNY DREADFUL soundtracks

PENNY DREADFUL soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

Two cable hits have been busy re-inventing everyone’s favorite Mama’s boy and band of Edwardian monster hunters. But leave it to Chris Bacon and Abel Korzeniowski to make these often horrific exploits go down with orchestral elegance. For Bacon, it’s realizing that melodic empathy is the room key to loving Norman Bates as much as his mom, tenderness that suffuses his often beautiful, lush score to BATES MOTEL. Yet the spirit of Bernard Herrmann certainly inhabits this abode, not in stormily gothic (or stabbing) violins, but in BATES‘ long, drifting string lines and sympathetic piano. While there’s effectively uptempo percussion, …Read On »

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CD Review: THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO and THUNDERBIRD 6 soundtrack

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO and THUNDERBIRD 6 soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s marionette-centric genre shows like JOE 90 and SUPERCAR might have seemed like charmingly ingenious kids’ stuff in other people’s wire-holding hands. Yet it was the couples’ joyful, uncondescending commitment to their literally wooden characters, and ingeniously designed models that made them truly come to flesh and blood life, especially by filling them with the robustly symphonic scores of Barry Gray. Their imaginations truly took off to become the toast of England, and the TV-watching world with their series THE THUNDERBIRDS, which had the Tracy family and their International Rescue roster of rocketships coming to the near-future’s …Read On »

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The Year in Review: The Best Scores of 2014 – The Runner Ups and Composers To Watch

THE BEST SCORES OF 2014 – The Runner Up’s and Composers To Watch BIG BAD WOLVES  (Frank Ilfman / Movie Score Media) Stop me if you’ve heard the same cinematic tune about a perceived miscreant tied into a chair for all manner of mental, and physical torture to be performed upon him. Thankfully, the Israeli breakout film BIG BAD WOLVES whistles the genre song with smashing black-humored suspense, as captured with a thunderous score by Frank Ilfman, who twists a thrillingly mean symphonic knife as he relentlessly veers between frantic action and sly, Herrmann-esque strings as a set-up for ironic, …Read On »

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