Music

Music/DVD Review: BLACK FRANCIS – THE GOLEM soundtrack

THE GOLEM soundtrack - Black Francis

When I first heard Black Francis (i.e. Frank Black, i.e. Charles Thompson) was concocting a soundtrack to the classic 1916 German silent film THE GOLEM, I thought it might be a more traditional kind of score. Instead, true to his music roots, he’s created a more rock and roll soundtrack for this endeavor featuring both instrumentals and actual songs (the songs are featured here on this new CD). This results in one of Francis’ strongest and most consistent albums in years. He originally performed his score live in San Francisco – and this is the studio version of that performance.

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Music Review: Kings of Leon – COME AROUND SUNDOWN

Kings of Leon - COME AROUND SUNDOWN | ©2010 RCA Records

In a recent interview with SPIN Magazine, Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill said: “I still think there’s a song in me that will go down as one of the greats. I haven’t written it yet, not even close.” I would disagree with that statement, since “Use Somebody” from their 2008 breakthrough album ONLY BY THE NIGHT fits that bill to a tee. It’s a perfect pop-rock ballad seething with angst riddled lyrics and a performance by Followill that will guarantee that song lives on pop radio for the next two decades.

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CD Review: THE NEXT THREE DAYS soundtrack

© 2010 Lions Gate Records | The Next Three Days Soundtrack

When Danny Elfman tackles action, it’s usually with the frenetic rock-orchestral energy of WANTED, or bringing down the dark cosmic thunder of HELLBOY 2. So it’s particularly cool when the composer gets to stretch with more realistic protagonists in the action arena, especially for the family-driven thrills of THE NEXT THREE DAYS, in which Russell Crowe (whom Elfman last scored for PROOF OF LIFE) tries to spring his character’s wife from an unjust murder rap. Elfman’s inimitably eccentric style has perhaps never sounded so effectively normal as it were, combining an emotional heartbeat with gripping suspense rhythms, as tender guitars, […]Read On »

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CD Review: HAUNTED SUMMER soundtrack (1200 edition)

© 2010 La La Land Records | Haunted Summer Soundtrack

Christopher Young would grace many a low budget horror score with his eerily graceful melodies, among them HELLRAISER, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2 and TRICK OR TREAT. Just before he’d go on to the more bloodily prestigious likes of COPYCAT and THE DARK HALF, Young took a last stab for the mini-majors with this beautiful swan song to the very beginnings of horror fiction with Cannon’s HAUNTED SUMMER. This was second (and far more lucid) cinematic rumination on the dalliances of Lord Byron, Percy and Mary Shelly and John Polidori- literary lions who would create vampires and science-stitched walking […]Read On »

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The X List: Five Great New Holiday Songs To Add To Your Playlist

THE KILLERS - "Boots" single

Every year, countless artists crank out Christmas related albums and singles. Most of them tread on songs from the past (either by re-invention or staying faithful). Yet, every year there are also numerous new songs that keep with the Christmas spirit in surprising ways – and some of them slip through the cracks. That’s why we here at ASSIGNMENT X decided to pick our five favorite new Christmas songs to add to your playlist – especially if you’re tired of the 800th rendition of “Silent Night” and fear someone is going to cover “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” again. […]Read On »

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CD Review: DOCTOR WHO: SERIES 4 – THE SPECIALS – original soundtrack

© 2010 Silva Screen Records | DR. WHO HOLIDAY SPECIAL SOUNDTRACK

Whether it’s Halloween or Xmas, TV has loved to celebrate the holidays with special episodes, but it’s doubtful any of them have sounded cooler than when the usually agnostic Time Lord (in the series 4 personages of David Tennant, David Morrissey and Martin Smith) has decided to make the Yuletide gay. It’s also a great occasion for the always creative DOCTOR WHO composer Murray Gold to unleash the musical bells and whistles for this two-CD compilation that includes “The Next Doctor,” “Planet of the Dead,” “The Waters of Mars” and “The End of Time.” There are certain musical signatures you […]Read On »

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CD Review: FAIR GAME original soundtrack

© 2010 Lakeshore Records | Fair Game Soundtrack

John Powell re-invented the action spy beat when he teamed with director Doug Liman for the first BOURNE IDENTITY, a mélange of ethnic percussion and pounding orchestral drive that Powell’s since varied for the director with the explosive humor of MR. AND MRS. SMITH and the boisterous action of JUMPER. What makes Powell’s new teaming with Liman different is that FAIR GAME’s battlefield is mostly centered around the duplicitous halls of the Bush White House, let alone the suburban home of its finked-out CIA heroine Valerie Plame. Instead of sleeper agents crashing through her door, it’s the press that wrecks […]Read On »

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CD Review: FABLE III original soundtrack

© 2010 Fable III | Fable III Soundtrack

Having composed the last two scores for this series of particularly malleable role playing games, Russell Shaw returns for the third chapter of FABLE. And as you chose whether to save, or squander your fantasy kingdom of Albion, Russell is there to weave an uncommonly rich tapestry of melodic enchantment. Not only does he give you the heroic orchestrations, brass heraldry and female choruses you’d expect from any videogame quest, but also offers some nice unexpected bits, from Gypsy violin playing to the off-kilter bells of a music box and Greensleeves-like guitar strumming. Whether Albion ends up in riches or […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE RCA CLASSIC FILM SCORE series

© 2010 Sony Records | RCA CLASSICS Soundtrack

The 1970’s were a renaissance for film suite compilation albums, as young LP listeners were introduced to the works of such Hollywood scoring legends as Bernard Herrmann, Miklos Rosza and Franz Waxman. But no great re-performance of these golden age masters functioned as the gateway drug for film music appreciation like the RCA Red Seal Classic Film Score Series, which had Charles Gerhardt conducting The National Philharmonic Orchestra. With the original movie orchestrations under his baton, and enticingly designed album covers to sell these ambitious releases, Gerhardt and series producer George Korngold (son of Erich) conjured a wash of infinitely […]Read On »

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CD Review: PATTON soundtrack

© 2010 Intrada Records | Patton Soundtrack

Jerry Goldsmith may have been an armchair general when it came to WW2, but it’s doubtful few composers gave as much glory to our fighting men, and their leaders with the likes of MACARTHUR and INCHON. Yet few of these outstanding Goldsmith scores have the immediately recognizable stripes of his 1970 Oscar-nominated PATTON, a soundtrack that defined the imperious can-do attitude of America’s most gloriously infamous officer. Right from his unscored opening speech to his belief in reincarnation, George S. Patton wasn’t so much a military leader as he was a force of nature. And while PATTON’s music is most […]Read On »

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