Composer Nathan Whitehead continues to take THE PURGE in ELECTION YEAR – Interview

THE PURGE ELECTION YEAR soundtrack | ©2016 Back Lot Music

The past few years have been a field day for dark, rhythm-driven suspense scores. But when many of these pulsating killing fields have a tendency to merge into one big murder dome, how does one keep the mayhem playing with a sense of fresh musical blood? Just ask Nathan Whitehead, a composer who’s consistently been playing his brutally cool way of surviving one Purge after the other with his action-horror identity intact. In creating what’s easily the most interesting Blumhouse franchise (or at least until they turn WHIPLASH into one), director-writer James DeMonaco took the idea of Classic Trek’s “Red Hour” […]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 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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THE MARTIAN: Harry Gregson-Williams sciences the score out of new Ridley Scott film – Interview

THE MARTIAN soundtrack | ©2015 Columbia Records

From the poignantly realized rural Texas of Conan creator Robert E. Howard that comprised THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD to the epic fantasy realms of  THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and the unforgiving western territory of SERPAHIM FALLS, English composer Harry Gregson-Williams has taken listeners into unique, and powerfully encompassing musical landscapes with a sense of invention. But perhaps no vast subject of of his is sung with the feeling of one man’s resourceful personality like THE MARTIAN, a film that marks Williams’ most surprisingly intimate teaming with stylist supreme Ridley Scott after his work on KINGDOM OF HEAVEN and contributions to […]Read On »

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THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.composer Daniel Pemberton goes R.E.T.R.O. – Interview

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E soundtrack | ©2015 Watertower Records

With its mod rhythms, shagadelic exotica, bold brass, bongo-driven percussion and sheer, string joy in death-defying adventure against world-conquering wannabes (while of course not musically messing up the hero’s Carnaby Street tailoring), the era-specific sound of spy jazz has been making a making a comeback at the cinema, played for delirious height of kitsch by Geoff Zanelli and Mark Ronson in MORTDECAI, THE KINGSMAN‘s head-blasting drive by Henry Jackman and Matthew Margeson, or used for pure chase adrenalin by Joe Kraemer in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION. But while those two movies are latter-day exercises in battling villainous Eurotrash, THE MAN […]Read On »

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CD Reviews: GRABBERS and ROBOT OVERLORDS soundtracks

GRABBERS soundtrack | ©2015 Movie Score Media

Since throwing an executive team-building trip into a bunch of merc serial killers in SEVERANCE, Christian Henson has proven to be one of the more notably rising British composers with his particular talent for the genre, exploring an eerily time-trapping Bermuda TRIANGLE, then adding to the Sean Bean body count in the lethally atmospheric BLACK DEATH before playing one of history’s monsters for Saddam Hussein’s THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE. Movie Score Media has been a big proponent of this gifted and prolific composer, recently with MALICE IN WONDERLAND, THE SECRET OF MOONACRE, STORAGE 24 and his music for a new TV […]Read On »

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CD Review: SOAPDISH (1,000 edition) soundtrack

SOAPDISH soundtrack | ©2015 Quartet Records

Having cut his very early musical chops traveling with a neighborhood Cuban band, it was destiny itself that Alan Silvestri would get to mix that island’s boisterous rhythms with a very American brand of hilariously bombastic orchestral drama for this all-star 1991 send-up. But then again, Silvestri did start his major scoring career with the adventurous Latin beat of ROMANCING THE STONE before playing the deliciously melodramatic cat fight of DEATH BECOMES HER, all of which made him a perfect over-actor to accompany SOAPDISH with this winning plethora of snappy mambo energy and exuberant orchestrations for a cult comedy score […]Read On »

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CD Review: CHUCK soundtrack

CHUCK soundtrack | ©2015 Varese Sarabande Records

With geeks inheriting the television earth, it was only natural that a computer nerd named CHUCK would get his own cult NBC show, where he proved himself to be a more-than capable super-spy over the course of 91 episodes and five seasons. That’s quite a lot of time to make a musical impression with his ceaseless, CIA-embedded skills. But darn if composer Tim Jones’ brain didn’t stop cooking as he came up with one clever stylistic touch after the other, the best of which have now been collected to create a very strong musical impression on this titular CD. Of […]Read On »

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CD Review: A FAR OFF PLACE soundtrack

A FAR OFF PLACE soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

Way before she trekked the Pacific trail, Reese Witherspoon braved 2,000 miles of the Kalahari desert in this surprisingly perilous 1993 adventure film from the family-friendly likes of Disney, who were certainly showing surprising bite at the time with the such movies as WHITE FANG. Having released that double score (along with a bunch of worthy soundtracks from other unlikely Disney pictures), Intrada dips again into the well they first dug for PLACE at the time of its release, now coming up with 75 minutes to fully show off James Horner’s relatively unsung, strikingly epic score. Even though he ventured […]Read On »

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CD Review: FALLING IN LOVE soundtrack

FALLING IN LOVE soundtrack | ©2015 Kritzerland Records

Movie jazz has always seemed to find a home in Manhattan, and few composers awash in the spirit of an unsleeping city of a thousand stories have embodied those rhythms with the distinctive, thematic flair of Dave Grusin. Given a trademark NYC sound most often comprised of mellow electric percussion, reflective piano and wistful strings, Grusin has heard the city as both a place of danger (THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR), gilded society (BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES) and eccentric criminal intent (THE POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE). But more often than not, it’s the vibes of beautiful, soft romance in scores […]Read On »

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