THE BEST SCORES OF 2016 – Part One

ARRIVAL soundtrack | ©2016 Deutsche Grammophon

THE BEST SCORES OF 2016 ARRIVAL  (Johann Johannsson / Deutsche Grammophon) An Icelander whose intensely psychological, yet still melodically accessible modernist scores like PRISONERS and SICARIO speak in alien languages of subsonic strings and nerve-chilling brass at last gets his actual close encounter as he translates the Rorschach Test language of obelisk / monolith dwelling inter-dimensional deities here. Johannsson brilliantly captures both a sense of wonder and fear with beholding the mind-boggling, verbally-scrambled unknown as whale cry motifs join with alternately moaning and chattering voices, backed by a strong orchestral sound that serves as a powerful universal musical translator in a way that’s […]Read On »


CD Review: PLANES and TURBO soundtracks

PLANES soundtrack | ©2013 Walt Disney Records

Mark Mancina has a long history of scoring talking animals for The Mouse House, from his arrangements on Hans Zimmer’s THE LION KING to his own adventurous score to TARZAN and BROTHER BEAR. However, his new, exhilarating work for a little plane that could flies far more in the spirit of TOP GUN and REMEMBER THE TITANS than a reincarnated bruin. With noble trumpets, rock-military rhythm, a rousing chorus and a sweepingly courageous orchestra, one might easily expect the underdog team entering a Midwestern stadium for the big game they somehow made it to. It’s a propulsive, flesh and blood […]Read On »


CD Review: SPEED (3,000 edition) soundtrack

SPEED soundtrack | ©2012 La La Land Records

Few soundtrack labels have rejoiced in putting out the rhythmically trend-setting scores of the 80’s and 90’s like La La Land Records, their explosive beats including the killer calypso groove of James Horner’s COMMANDO, Hans Zimmer’s twangily propulsive BROKEN ARROW, Mark Mancina’s Afro-grooves in BAD BOYS and Michael Kamen’s orchestrally operatic ho ho ho’s for DIE HARD. If that soundtrack stands as the seminal action score of the 80’s, then it’s fitting that La La has marked their 200th release with the next decade’s landmark work of popcorn aggressiveness for a full-on edition of Mancina’s SPEED. Why should you buy […]Read On »

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