CD Review: INHERENT VICE soundtrack

INHERENT VICE soundtrack | ©2014 Nonesuch Records

For much of his filmmaking career, Paul Thomas Anderson had used composer Jon Brion to convey his provocative cinematic approach, from the insane percussive assault of PUNCH DRUNK LOVE to the frog-raining, imposing orchestral thunderstorms of MAGNOLIA. In relatively recent years, Thomas has moved onto Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood to accompany his swings between transfixing brilliance and unbearable pretention, often within the same films. If anything, Greenwood’s music has tended to be even more innovatively insane than Brion’s, ranging between abstract modernism and hypnotic melody to capture the addled minds of kingpins, whether it was an oil baron’s very bad attitude […]Read On »

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CD Review: ON THE WATERFRONT soundtrack

ON THE WATERFRONT soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

There are composers like Philip Glass (CANDYMAN) who start out in the concert hall, and go onto blaze impressive new careers in Hollywood. Then there are those like Andre Previn (ELMER GANTRY), who prolifically begin in tinsel town, only to leave it completely behind. And then there are such maestros as John Corigliano (ALTERED STATES), who briefly tread in Hollywood while making sure not to quit their day jobs, leaving behind a precious few soundtracks that show the dazzling movie career that could have been. On that note, perhaps no conductor could have been a Hollywood contender like Leonard Bernstein, […]Read On »

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CD Review: SHAFT soundtrack

SHAFT soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

Honkeys had their gun slinging, women-bedding superhero named James Bond for years until a 1971 sex machine named John Shaft showed that a black private dick could be just as bad-ass, especially when it came to an urban action-funk groove that got Isaac Hayes an Oscar winning song and nominated score. So perhaps it was a little ironic that a “white bloke from Luton” who’d been busy scoring 007 would land the music gig for John Singleton’s 2000 reboot, giving Sam Jackson a tailor-made vehicle to cement him as a big screen mofo. But even given Arnold’s urban pedigree that […]Read On »

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CD Review: ANONYMOUS REJECTED FILM SCORE soundtrack

ANONYMOUS REJECTED FILM SCORE soundtrack | ©2014 Taped Noise

Many composers have re-purposed scores that either were tossed because they simply were too smart for the movie they were intended for, frankly didn’t work with the picture or became the victim of studio politics that shelved the scores for spite. But whatever the reason the music didn’t see the official light of day, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of release on its own, whether it’s John Corigliano turning EDGE OF DARKNESS into “Music from the Edge” (on Perseverance), Jerry Goldsmith transforming the main electronic melody from his blackballed ALIEN NATION way down to earth as the jazz love […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE DOLL SQUAD and JUVENILE JIVE soundtracks

JUVENILE JIVE soundtrack | ©2014 Monstrous Movie Music

After starting out with Grade-A re-performances for the energetic scores that graced such wonderful B- genre features as THE DEADLY MANTIS and DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, David Schechter’s label Monstrous Movie Music has segued to releasing the actual soundtracks for even loonier sci-fi movies like KRONOS and MISSILE TO THE MOON, with some decidedly non-creature filled detours into westerns and prestige Ernest Gold scores in the bargain But for all of their sporadic and increasingly eccentric titles so far (whose latest batch includes a herd of deliriously scored oaters with THE GATLING GUN and a “Western Medley” collection), it’s a […]Read On »

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CD Review: TEST soundtrack

TEST soundtrack | ©2014 Movie Score Media

A gay dancer in early 1985 San Francisco deals with relationships and the beginning of the AIDS pandemic in this well-reviewed drama that not only throws back to an era that marked the end of sexual innocence, but also a musical time that marked the highpoint of a specific movie scoring synth sound best embodied by the likes of Tangerine Dream. And for many fans of that progressive German group, the decade also marked a high point with the propulsive sheen of scores that embodied the stylish LA gloss of HEARTBREAKERS and MIRACLE MILE. Welsh composer Ceiri Torjussen (BIG-ASS SPIDER) […]Read On »

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CD Review: LE PROFESSIONNEL and LE MARGINAL soundtracks

LE PROFESSIONEL soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

Somehow, unlike the latter Jean Reno who’d play the Eric Serra scored PROFESSIONAL the original, ultimate French tough guy named Jean-Paul Belmondo never quite caught on as an English language star, despite his savoir faire with guns, girls and cigarettes – qualities he’d practice in abundance with 1981s LE PROFESSIONNEL and 1983s LE MARGINAL. But beyond their Gallic leading man, what would truly connect the first movie’s revenge-seeking agent and the second’s drug-busting commissioner were two uniformly superb scores by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, now remastered and given complete releases by France’s Music Box Records. Adept at every conceivable genre […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE CASE AGAINST 8 and THE WEDDING DATE: THE RECEPTION EDITION soundtracks

THE WEDDING DATE: THE RECEPTION EDITION soundtrack | ©2014 Buysoundtrax

Now best known for putting propulsive arrows in the Green ARROW‘s quiver, Blake Neely seeks musical justice in a far more subdued, but equally powerful manner when it comes to overturning America’s legal prejudice against gay marriage. Marking another dramatically effective documentary score after chronicling The Challenger’s MISSION OF HOPE, Neely once again conveys a poignant, human face on landmark events. His CASE AGAINST 8 takes on an ethereal, subtly Americana tone as heard for rhythmic beds of guitars, piano, strings and poignantly sampled atmospheres. This score isn’t about winning the fight against voter and government-mandated prejudice with fist-waving, but […]Read On »

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CD Review: IN YOUR EYES soundtrack

IN YOUR EYES soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

A guitarist and arranger for such composers as Brian Tyler and Harry Gregson-Williams, Tony Morales has been impressing with his suspenseful, action-heavy scores for THE BAG MAN and ENEMIES CLOSER, while also netting an Emmy nomination for co-scoring the hellbilly hootenany of the HATFIELDS & McCOYS along with John Debney. Perhaps that’s why Morales’ romantic score for IN YOUR EYES  sounds like it could be taking place during a Van Damme face-off, as well as a mesmerizing mind-eye bridge where boy meets girl via psychic connection. Morales’ programming chops, not to mention melodic talent, add much musical atmosphere to this […]Read On »

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CD Review: GOLDEN NEEDLES and THE FOURTH PROTOCOL soundtracks

THE FOURTH PROTOCOL soundtrack | ©2014 Buysoundtrax

From spies to a certain magnum-blasting cop, Lalo Schifrin can be certified as one of Hollywood’s most versatile men of musical action – though it’s likely to be his lightning fists of Chopsocky jazz-Fu which will go down as his most popular score (along with Bruce Lee’s most popular film) for 1973s ENTER THE DRAGON. But perhaps an even cooler contender would be the soundtrack for director Robert Clouse’s 1974 follow up GOLDEN NEEDLES, which had seven treasure hunters of various moral shadings pursuing an idol whose “seven forbidden acupuncture points” all kick ass with Schifrin’s distinctive take on exotic […]Read On »

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