CD Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER soundtrack

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

Where most Marvel movie scores have been sure to couch their metal musical exosuits in warmly approachable orchestral flesh, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is the first comic book score from the studio to truly do a Terminator number on its listeners for a significant chunk of time, going for hammering, stripped-down percussion and nail-on-chalkboard effects, a cold, troubling sound even crazier than the kind of ultra-beat scoring you’d normally get for scores featuring such assassin-turned-heroes as Jason Bourne. However, we’re talking about a hero-turned-assassin in THE WINTER SOLDIER, which is more than justification for Henry Jackman to come up […]Read On »

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CD Review: YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES soundtrack

YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

The ’80s were the glory days when it came to the Amblin pictures that truly imparted company head Steven Spielberg’s handprint of thrillingly humanistic fantasy and chills to any number of movies that stand as classics for a certain generation – among them BACK TO THE FUTURE, GREMLINS and THE GOONIES. Also uniting these movies were their sweeping orchestral scores by the likes of Alan Silvestri, Jerry Goldsmith and Dave Grusin, which also resonated with a topical pop sound. But if there was one Amblin composer who stood as the answer to equaling the thrillingly lush, symphonic quality of John […]Read On »

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CD Review: GIRL ON A BICYCLE soundtrack

GIRL ON A BICYCLE soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

After using a groovily offbeat acoustical approach for to play the tangled LA relationships of LOVELY & AMAZING and FRIENDS WITH MONEY, American composer Craig Richey takes a trip to Paris for a more universally symphonic comedy sound for GIRL ON A BICYCLE, as an Italian tour bus driver with a sex-starved German fiancée finds himself falling for a winsome French bicyclist who passes by his route. While he wittily captures its characters’ nationalities with an accordion and mandolin, this enjoyably sweet is mostly about using lushly melodic strings for the kind of perky Francophile enchantment practiced by Alexandre Desplat […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE FACE OF LOVE soundtrack

THE FACE OF LOVE soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

With a real talent for playing intimate orchestral emotion, Marcelo Zarvos is making a name for himself when it comes to psychological dramas from THE BEAVER to THE WORDS and even the sweetly pokey scoring for ENOUGH SAID (now out as a Varese limited edition). It’s a feeling for the mysterious nature of human relationships that gets a Hitchcockian treatment as Annette Benning’s widow suffers a non-lethal case of vertigo after becoming enamored with a dead ringer for her husband. Going for the kind of richly emphatic, strongly theme-driven emotion that other composer’s might fear to tread in, Zarvos captures […]Read On »

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CD Review: DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS soundtrack

DEMITRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS soundtrack | ©2014 Kritzerland Records

Franz Waxman took over from Alfred Newman for this more action-oriented sequel to the smash Cinemascope hit THE ROBE,  music that lavished in the widescreen opportunities for sex, slaying and that good old time Hollywood religion. Making an on-screen point that he was taking a very big spiritual cue from Newman’s original work in addition to themes from its holy melodic clothing, Waxman’s score is a colorful blend of sword-and-sandal spectacle and messianic message so particular to this genre, music that’s exciting and moving in equal measure. While not trying to ethnically capture the sounds of a Roman Empire under […]Read On »

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CD Review: LE WEEK-END soundtrack

LE WEEK-END soundtrack | ©2014 Milan Records

It seems to have been a while since we’ve had a really wonderful “pure jazz” soundtrack since Mark Isham’s bluesy work on such Alan Rudolph relationship films as AFTERGLOW and THE MODERNS. LE WEEK-END nicely brings back those fond memories for a wonderfully brief spell that takes listeners back to the latter score’s City of Lights, as a burned-out British couple tries to rekindle their spark on a second honeymoon. Yet given that these aren’t young lovers swinging about artist circles during the 1930s, composer Jeremy Sams takes an entrancingly cool jazz combo approach a la Chet Baker, with a […]Read On »

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CD Review: WAVELENGTH soundtrack (1,500 edition)

WAVELENGTH soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

The same year that E.T. crash-landed on earth to gigantic global success, three boyish aliens were marooned in L.A. to a near-invisible ripple of recognition (unless you count how STARMAN copied their silver sphere mothership). Perhaps the most notable memento of this unassuming little sci-fi movie (which was actually made in 1981) would be its neo-futuristic score by Tangerine Dream, the German progressive group then truly taking off in Hollywood with their far more notorious 1982 soundtrack to RISKY BUSINESS. Yet that film’s alternatively meditative and rhythmic sound is also very much an identifying factor to “Wavelength,” its alien vibrations […]Read On »

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CD Review: AFTER THE DARK (THE PHILOSOPHERS) soundtrack

AFTER THE DARK soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

A group of handsomely fresh-scrubbed western students gather in a Jakarta classroom to play mental doomsday games about which few of them will get to squeeze into an imaginary bunker. Heady stuff indeed for a surreal apocalypse film as it were, mind games that are given a creepily meditative, futuristic pulse by co-composers Nicholas O’Toole (HOW TO BE A SERIAL KILLER) and Jonathan Davis, here contributing his first score since 2002s QUEEN OF THE DAMNED (then done alongside Richard Gibbs). Better known among concertgoers for being front and center with the group Korn, Davis also gets additional music assistance from […]Read On »

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CD Review: JOSEPH ANDREWS soundtrack

JOSEPH ANDREWS soundtrack | ©2014 Kritzerland Records

Director Tony Richardson ushered in a new era for bawdy costume comedies with his 1963 Best Picture winner TOM JONES, which also nabbed its composer John Addison a Best Score Oscar for his “substantially original” music. A rollicking pastiche of 17th century stylings that treated pompous classical music clichés with all the delightful disrespect of Mozart on a drunken night out, TOM JONES re-invigorated the costume drama soundtrack with bawdy delight. Having released Addison’s clowning masterwork several years back to a sold-out reception, Kritzerland has now put out the director-composer’s 1977 follow-up with their adaptation of “Tom” author Henry Fielding’s […]Read On »

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CD Review: AFRIKA’AIOLI soundtrack

AFRIKA’AIOLI soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

Outside of John Powell’s RIO scores, you’re not likely to hear a more delightful jungle of tropical instruments than the ethnic winds and percussion spread out through these three scores on Music Box’s assemblage of the music of Michel Korb – perhaps France’s most interesting proponent of ethnomusicology outside of Maurice Jarre. But where that composer used African and Asian rhythms to dramatic effect, Korb’s work is comedic in nature, if not outrightly joyous. With AFRIKA’AIOLI dealing with two layabouts who become fish out of water on the dark continent, Korb’s whistling, drum beats, antique-sounding piano and squeeze box percussion conveys […]Read On »

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