CD Review: D.A.R.Y.L: LIMITED EDITION soundtrack

D.A.R.Y.L: LIMITED EDITION. soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

At first, it might have seemed an odd choice to have the Oscar-winning composer of THE WAY WE WERE score a movie about a kid cyborg. But when you consider what a beautifully melodic sentimentalist that Marvin Hamlisch was, hiring him for this sweetly unique 1985 kid’s adventure made perfect sense. Young star Barret Oliver seemed to be doing next to every memorable genre movie from the period (FRANKENWEENIE, COCOON and THE NEVERENDING STORY among them), and brought much warmth to this robotic spin on E.T. as a super-smart twelve year-old who finds shelter from government baddies with a nice […]Read On »

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CD Review: Camper Van Beethoven – OUR BELOVED REVOLUTIONARY SWEETHEART / KEY LIME PIE reissues

Camper Van Beethoven - KEY LIME PIE reissue | ©2014 Omnivore Records

Distributor: Omnivore Records Suggested Retail Price: $15.98 (each, CD price) Despite the fact that Cracker frontman Dave Lowery tore Virgin Records a new ass with his song “Ain’t Gonna Suck Itself” (“Virgin Records/it ain’t gonna suck itself/I say baby/it ain’t gonna suck itself) after a bitter label breakup, it doesn’t take anything away from the current reissues (courtesy of Omnivore Records) of his other band Camper Van Beethoven’s major label 1980s era albums OUR BELOVED REVOLUTIONARY SWEETHEART and KEY LIME PIE. Prior to these two discs (there’s also a special vinyl reissue as well), Camper Van Beethoven was a quirky […]Read On »

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CD Review: DISTANT THUNDER soundtrack

DISTANT THUNDER soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

Old-school Maurice Jarre admirers might have blanched when the composer mostly left behind the orchestra that he’d made his Hollywood name on with the likes of DR. ZHIVAGO to engage in electronic pursuits during the 80s and 90s. Yet his synth explorations yielded some of the composer’s most interesting, and innovative work with the likes of DREAMSCAPE, JULIA AND JULIA and THE MOSQUITO COAST, not to mention Oscar nominations for  WITNESS and GHOST. Now Intrada goes deep into the Vietnam-haunted Canadian woods to discover a near-unknown, computer-fashioned Jarre score with 1988s DISTANT THUNDER, an equally unsung film that brought together […]Read On »

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CD Review: BONNIE & CLYDE soundtrack

BONNIE & CLYDE soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

Having helped to blast away the ratings for The History Channel’s HATFIELDS & McCOYS with an energetic, rural score (co-composed with Tony Morales) for a post Civil War blood feud, John Debney gets to jump ahead a few decades for more upscale backwoods violence, courtesy of BONNIE & CLYDE. But where them other fightin’ families definitely were lacking in the glamour department, Debney’s musical canvas is increased exponentially by having two jazz age killer kids at his disposal – criminals who wanted to be stars of their own body-splattered “reality” show that made them antisocial media darlings. Debney spectacularly weds […]Read On »

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CD Review: STANDING UP soundtrack

STANDING UP soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Brian Tyler is best known for blowing stuff up real good in such might-makes-right scores as THE EXPENDABLES, IRON MAN 3 and THOR: THE DARK WORLD. Easily one of his most deliriously bombastic entries in this action field was for D.J. Caruso’s action thriller EAGLE EYE, which makes their new collaboration on “Standing Up” all the more surprising and powerful. For this story of two decidedly non-testosterone kids who run away from bullying at their summer camp, Tyler and Caruso show that real strength lies from within. It’s a lesson that the composer spells out with one of his most […]Read On »

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CD Review: Paul McCartney – NEW

Paul McCartney - NEW | ©2013 Hear Music

Suggested Retail Price: $12.99 Distributor: Hear Music I have been a big fan of Paul McCartney’s since the early 1990s when he was still crafting fascinating pop albums and occasionally writing some of his best tunes since the Beatles with Declan MacManus (aka Elvis Costello). Every new release since then, I’ve found ho-hum, but now, at age 71 McCartney has steamrolled back to the fore, first with fronting a mini-Nirvana reunion with the “Cut Me Some Slack” track from earlier this year and now with his latest full length album NEW. This doesn’t sound like someone ready for the retirement […]Read On »

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CD Review: THANKS FOR SHARING soundtrack

THANKS FOR SHARING soundtrack | ©2013 Milan Records

If there’s one addiction that it’s hard to think there’s ever too much of, then it’s likely sex addiction. So understandably, that clinically diagnosed affliction is often mocked by mainstream Hollywood, especially since it usually happens to befall incredibly good looking actors we don’t mind seeing have continuous sex. Given that cinematic problem (one that’s slightly remedied here with the casting of Josh Gad), one can only imagine the score that a comedy-centric composer like Christopher Lennertz might unleash on THANKS FOR SHARING. But as opposed to the rambunctious orchestrations of MARMADUKE or the dirty retro funk of IDENTITY THIEF, […]Read On »

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CD Review: KISS OF THE DAMNED soundtrack

KISS OF THE DAMNED soundtrack | ©2013 Soraya Recordings

A new wave of artsy filmmakers are paying tribute to the pop art Euro-horror movies of the late 60s and early 70s with AMER and BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO whose Shagadelic scores at least succeeded in being enjoyably tributes to the likes of Ennio Morricone, Fabio Frizzi and Goblin. But there’s a big difference between creating an impressive, intellectual music exercise for homages that don’t cinematically get it for all of their arch hipness. But for Xan Cassavetes’ infinitely more successful KISS OF THE DAMNED, Steve Hufsteter has come up with a score that has real retro heart. John Cassavetes talented daughter riffs […]Read On »

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CD Review: WYATT EARP: LIMITED EDITION soundtrack

WYATT EARP: LIMITED EDITION soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

Sure, 1993’s TOMBSTONE may have smoked 1994’s WYATT EARP at the box office O.K. Corral, a place where near-simultaneous movies with same subject matter are forced to shoot it out – the spoils usually afforded to the first picture into Dodge City. In this case, TOMBSTONE certainly had it over EARP in terms of length and enjoyability. And its terrific score by SILVERADO‘s Bruce Broughton was certainly a gunslinger to be reckoned with, even more ironically that it was Lawrence Kasdan’s western that truly impacted his composing career. But now with La La Land revealing the epic scope of James […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE MIRACLE WORKER (Limited Edition) soundtrack

THE MIRACLE WORKER soundtrack | ©2013 Kritzerland

Helen Keller remains the most famous special needs student in history, her struggle to the light after being looked at as being blind, deaf and dumb guided to the light by the miraculous efforts of her teacher Annie Sullivan. With Keller’s valiant lessons in living fully first detailed in her book, then seen on stage in William Gibson’s play, it was only natural that Hollywood would afford a completely sensory version of struggle with Arthur Penn’s Oscar-winning 1962 adaptation of THE MIRACLE WORKER. One of its biggest challenges was given to Laurence Rosenthal, who had to conjure the sound of […]Read On »

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