CD Review: SOLARIS soundtrack

SOLARIS soundtrack | ©2011 La La Land Records

Ever since composer Cliff Martinez broke the sound barrier of “indie” scoring with the similarly eccentric Steven Soderbergh on SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE, their collaborations on such films as KING OF THE HILL, KAFKA, TRAFFIC and the upcoming CONTAGION have resulted in near-hallucinatory atmospheres of melody, rhythms so fragile that they seemed in danger of breaking with a listen. That’s why there’s no better example of their hypnotic partnership than the crystalline vibe of Soderbergh’s 2002 remake of SOLARIS, a score wherein Martinez also brought in the larger sound of a 90-piece Hollywood orchestra, while using it in similarly offbeat […]Read On »


CD Review: CLUE Original Soundtrack

Clue Soundtrack | © 2011 La La Land Records

For all of the toy-to-movie adaptations ever made by Hollywood, 1985’s CLUE still stands as the only one done from a board game (sorry doubters, but JUMANJI was made up for that film). Director Jonathan Lynne’s staging of CLUE’s lethal antics as an all-star bedroom farce further propelled the picture to cult status. Now a phenomenon that’s grown to ROCKY HORROR stage show heights gets another wonderful knife in the attic with the release of John Morris’ wonderfully antic underscore, a Baroque-style dark and stormy night of screwball music. As the prime musical suspect behind such Mel Brooks satires as […]Read On »



PUPPETMASTER COLLECTION soundtrack | ©2011 Perseverance Records

Wrapping up a year of stupendous box sets that were dedicated to the highfallutin’ likes of Alex North’s SPARTACUS, Dennis McCarthy’s ST- TNG and all that is Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, there’s something gleefully wrong about getting a five-disc set dedicated to the scores that have accompanied the films of Andre Toulon’s unstoppable marionette avengers- the figures who will likely be the most iconic creations of exploitation king Charles Band. Yet Blade, Pinhead, Leech Woman and their unstrung ilk have inspired worthy thrills from such composers as Richard Band, Jeff Walton, John Massari, Peter Bernstein and Robert Alpert, whose […]Read On »


CD Review: THE YOUNG RIDERS soundtrack (1200 edition)

THE YOUNG RIDERS soundtrack | © 2011 La La Land Records

Whether it’s ROAR or THE CAPE, television has unabashedly turned every big screen hit from BRAVEHEART to BATMAN into show’s whose themes were just discernable enough to avoid legal outrage. Such was the case of this YOUNG GUNS-esque adventure that ran from 1989 to 1992. The concept here was to turn teen outlaws into equally hot Pony Express riders, whose saddles would be filled by the likes of Stephen Baldwin and Josh Brolin. Another growing talent would be John Debney, who was sowing his musical oats on such movie spin-off shows as FAME and POLICE ACADEMY before taking on RIDERS […]Read On »


CD Review: FIRST BLOOD soundtrack

FIRST BLOOD soundtrack | © 2011 Intrada Records

This might not be the first time that Jerry Goldsmith’s inimitable action score has been released, but it likely won’t get better than Intrada’s “ultimate” edition, whose two CD’s feature FIRST BLOOD’s original cues and composer-sequenced soundtrack album. While Goldsmith would grow with Rambo’s transformation into a muscle-packed fighting machine, perhaps none of the composers’ three scores for the series packed the vulnerability, and even dare say tenderness, of a character that started off as a killable human being. It doesn’t take long for this mournful trumpet and guitar compassion to give way to Goldsmith’s way with the gracefully pounding […]Read On »


CD Review: Occult Detective Club – CRIMES

Occult Detective Club - CRIMES

While it might seem easy, crafting a solid power punk album requires a couple of important ingredients that are often forgotten – namely attitude, angst, crunching guitars and short songs. This formula is strictly adhered to by Occult Detective Club on CRIMES, which delivers a tight 12 song disc that clocks a little under 30 minutes. Guitars jangle forcefully on the lead-off track “In Another Life” and segue into one cool track after another with “Our Bitter End” being the strongest, while “Calling the Detectives” provides playful wordplay and toe-tapping fun – “she’s calling the detectives/you’re gonna need an alibi.” […]Read On »


CD Review: SANCTUM soundtrack

Sanctum soundtrack | ©2011 Varese Sarabande

When I hear a score that’s as unabashedly huge as SANCTUM, I’m reminded of the recent, end-of-an-era passing of John Barry- a composer unafraid to swim in waves of lush melody, always writing music that would be heard loud and beautifully clear over even the most effects-filled soundtrack. While I’m not saying that David Hirschfelder is in that composer’s league, his symphonically bursting score for SANCTUM packs that kind of melodic ballsiness, even if there’s zero romance to be found in this delightfully cornball, testosterone-filled movie where a bunch of fellow Aussies spend as much time screaming at each other […]Read On »


Music Review: Over the Rhine – THE LONG SURRENDER

Over the Rhine - LONG SURRENDER | ©2011 Great Speckled Dog

Things have certainly mellowed for the husband wife duo of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist who write and perform as Over the Rhine. When they started off in the early ‘90s, they provided a perfect blend of alternative angst with Bergquist’s raspy vocals echoing a much smoother sounding Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde. While the band had its followers, they never did fully receive the credit they deserved, but have continued to produce solid efforts over the last 20 years. With THE LONG SURRENDER, the group finds themselves in a much more somber groove with  this smoky set of 13 […]Read On »


CD Review: AMALIA soundtrack

AMALA soundtrack | © 2011 Movie Score Media

In Portuguese, the musical form of “Fado” is translated as “fate.” And while soundtrack fans might not be familiar with its mournful tunes, or the acclaimed performer who evolved them for the 20th century, they’ll likely feel for Amalia Rodriguez’s artistically turbulent life upon listening to this lush orchestral score by her countryman Nuno Malo. With his passionate approach for AMALIA and JULGAMENTO (also released by Movie Score Media), Malo is rapidly bringing the technical polish of Portugal’s film scoring scene to the international ear. Perhaps it’s because Amalia herself broadened Fado with an orchestral that Malo concentrates more on […]Read On »


Music Review: David Lowery – THE PALACE GUARDS

David Lowery - THE PALACE GUARDS | ©2011 429 Records

Distributor: 429 Records Suggested Retail Price: $9.99 The indie music releases of 2011 has gotten off to an excellent start, with SoCal punkers Social Distortion releasing the great HARD TIMES AND NURSERY RHYMES and now Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven frontman David Lowery releasing a just as potent first solo album. Lowery makes it clear on his website, this is not an album following the break-up of either of his bands (which he tours with regularly). Instead, it’s simple a side project, which, not surprising, feels very much in synch with the work of both of his excellent groups. It’s […]Read On »

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