Music

CD Review: MEGAMIND original soundtrack

© 2010 Lakeshore Records | MEGAMIND Soundtrack

Though his one-time minion Heitor Pereria beat him to the supervillain scoring punch with DESPICABLE ME, Hans Zimmer gets the last laugh by actually seeing his similarly-themed, and equally fun MEGAMIND score (done in cahoots with Lorne Balfe) get an actual release on Lakeshore Records. Sure, both flicks might have arches trumpeting their dastardly doings. Yet both DESPICABLE ME and MEGAMIND also show their uber-evil characters as big musical softies. In fact, MEGAMIND is downright sweet for the most part as its titular fiend’s baby bells mix it up with ersatz superhero bombast, music that plays Megamind as the good […]Read On »

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CD Review: Sword and Sorcery scores (CONAN THE BARBARIAN, RED SONJA, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS)

Conan Soundtrack | © 2010 Tadlow Records

For baby boomer fantasy fans, there were never better days than the early 80’s when it came to seeing sweaty, near-naked barbarians hacking their way through the Hyborean Age with sex and gore to spare. But in a period that’s fondly remembered for the cheesy likes of ATOR THE INVINCIBLE, YOR, HAWK THE SLAYER and THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, one film truly took the genre seriously, with all the production polish to spare. And 28 years later, John Milius’ adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s CONAN THE BARBARIAN still remains the king of this genre, whose blood and thunder score by Basil Poledouris remains the one fantasy soundtrack to rule them all.

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CD Review: HUMAN TARGET: Season 1 (2,000 edition)

HUMAN TARGET TV Soundtrack | © 2010 La La Land Records

Bear McCreary continues to prove himself as the hardest-working composer on television, whose sound gets bigger and better with each show, none more spectacularly than with the ripping symphonic style he’s given to Fox’s spin on DC comics’ HUMAN TARGET. Though he’s composed the pokey country experiments of EUREKA, the sci-fi mythos of GALACTICA and CAPRICA and the chilling apocalypses of THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES and THE WALKING DEAD, there always seemed to be a superhero waiting to break free from Bear McCreary. And while TARGET’s danger-seeking impersonator might not have any powers beyond being extra crafty, McCreary’s adventurous scoring […]Read On »

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CD Review: SKYLINE soundtrack

© 2010 Varese Sarabande Records | Skyline Soundtrack

If you’re doing a DIY, apartment-set riff on ID4 for the sum of 10 million dollars, then trying to make your production look like it cost 10 times that, you’d better have a score as big as your ambitions. Thankfully, the effects wizard Strause brothers have Matthew Margeson unleashing the big orchestral guns for their unfairly maligned, and thoroughly entertaining gonzo sci-fi pic. With mad action skills learned during a career whose highlights range from assisting Klaus Badelt on CONSTANTINE, to arranging KICK-ASS and programming synths for ANGELS AND DEMONS, Margeson now has his own major debut to apply all […]Read On »

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CD Review: Paul McCartney & Wings – BAND ON THE RUN Special Edition

Paul McCartney & Wings - BAND ON THE RUN - Special Edition | © 2010 MPL Communications

Label: Concord Music Group Suggested Retail Price: $29.98 When you’re part of the biggest band ever, what’s a poor boy from Liverpool to do? How about start a new band with his wife? When the Beatles disbanded in 1970, and the Fab Four went their separate ways, with both John Lennon and Paul McCartney finding musical partners and muses with their wives (Lennon with Yoko Ono, McCartney with Linda Eastman). Both produced mixed results, though Wings, McCartney’s band with Linda, had the most longevity and the most consistent chart-topping success. It’s hard to top the Beatles, and although all four […]Read On »

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Music Review: Taylor Swift – SPEAK NOW

Taylor Swift - SPEAK NOW

Let’s clear the air about Taylor Swift and who she is, what she is and her legitimacy as a pop music force. First off, the young singer (now 20, soon to be 21 in December) hit the scene as a country music artist whose popularity grew in a grass roots sort of way. She was the anti-Britney Spears – someone vulnerable, sincere and innocent even if her lyrics proved to be biting and bitter at times.

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CD Review: RED HILL soundtrack

© 2010 Milan Records | Red Hill Soundtrack

It’s ironic that two of the coolest wild west scores to arrive in years both hail from Down Under, as Dmitri Golovko’s RED HILL joins Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ THE PROPOSITION as prime examples of how to give an old musical warhorse a shot of ferocious outlaw energy. But where PROPOSITION’s nerve-jangling percussion brought modern experimentalism to a blood-soaked period piece, RED HILL shoots its raw, old-school acoustic sound into a contemporary western- in this case playing the last stand outback sheriff standing against a recently released villain out for some biblical payback. There’s very little that’s Aussie here […]Read On »

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CD Review: KUNG FU / MAN IN THE WILDERNESS

© 2010 Film Score Monthly Records | Kung Fu Soundtrack

It’s finally time to snatch a pebble out of Film Score Monthly’s hand with this soundtrack two-fer, which combines music from two poetically different scores for men seeking their way in the American outback. The first traveler just happens to be everyone’s favorite Shaolin fugitive monk Cain, whose mystical tête-à-têtes with his teachers are front and center through much of KUNG FU. Though designed as a concept album in 1973 by composer Jim Helms, some score purists might take umbrage to so much dialogue on an FSM release. Yet it’s almost hard to imagine Helms’ harmonies without the Confucianisms, the […]Read On »

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Music Review: THE TING TINGS – “Hands E.P.”

THE TING TING'S - HANDS E.P.

If Blondie had a baby it would be The Ting Tings, the irresistible electro-pop duo fronted by eclectic noisemakers Jules De Martino and Katy White. Their debut disc 2008 WE STARTED NOTHING captured an ‘80s sensibility and was definitely rooted in the spirit of Debbie Harry’s New Wave goodness. Many of the song lyrics were repetitive, but that was part of their anarchic charm especially with their hit single “That’s Not My Name.” Now, the duo have released their first single “Hands” alongside two remixes from their forthcoming (and untitled) 2011 album. “Hands” feels even more polished than the WE STARTED NOTHING songs, capturing the band progressing their sound as White digs a little deeper into their inner disco diva.

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CD Review: JACKBOOTS ON WHITEHALL

© 2010 Movie Score Media | Jackboots on Whitehall Soundtrack

As composer Barry Gray showed with THE THUNDERBIRDS, puppets are far more believable when the composer is playing them for real, especially with music that doesn’t have any strings attached to imbuing the marionettes and their miniature settings with epic heroism. Now with his music for the WW2 spoof JACKBOOTS ON WHITEHALL, Guy Michelmore delivers what’s probably the coolest music to grace marionettes since the days of Team Tracy. As the band of puppet brothers go against the Nazi troops who’ve invaded England, JACKBOOTS summons an explosive spirit in line with TEAM AMERICA, But where Harry Gregson-Williams did a great […]Read On »

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