CD Review: MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM soundtrack

MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM soundtrack | ©2013 Decca Records

After his terrific work on EMPEROR, composer Alex Heffes continues on a historical roll, now turning his focus from a colonized post WW2 Japan to the Afrikaaner police state that was only overturned in fairly recent history by Nelson Mandela, with no small amount of support from his wife Winnie. Heffes hears his LONG WALK TO FREEDOM with a mighty, upraised musical fist, his score tone indebted to both the longtime symphonic approach of historical epics, as well as the pulsing samples of contemporary thrillers. The impassioned, orchestral march and tender emotion of this oppressed power couple are given a […]Read On »

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CD Review: LAST VEGAS soundtrack

LAST VEGAS soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Where he was once known for musical Devo-lution, Mark Mothersbaugh has evolved into one of Hollywood’s most versatile composers, showing a colorful, chameleon-like range from SAFE‘s slam-bang urban action to the cartoon energy of CLOUDY WITH A CHANCEMEATBALLS and RUSHMORE‘s Baroque irony. Now given a trip to the Neon City with a bunch of very much breathing codgers, Mothersbaugh adapts quite nicely to the fender Rhodes organ funk that inflects just about every movie score to feature over-the-hill gangs from STAND UP GUYS  to THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE and any number of “Oceans” sequels. But then again, what better style […]Read On »

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CD Review: DAYS OF THUNDER Soundtrack (Limited 3,000 Edition)

DAYS OF THUNDER soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

For his first story credit, Tom Cruise had the nifty idea of placing his TOP GUN team into the rock-fueled world of NASCAR, from pedal-to-the-metal mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer to director Tony Scott. But even if composer Harold Faltermeyer was missing from the below-the-line pit crew, his energetic Krautrock level of synth-groove propulsion would be more than juiced up by another German-to-Hollywood action émigré named Hans Zimmer. Having recently gone from the English arthouse likes of DARK OBSESSION and PAPERHOUSE to LA’s go-to African guy with A WORLD APART and the Cruise-starring RAIN MAN, Zimmer was now making a fast break […]Read On »

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CD Review: THOR: THE DARK WORLD soundtrack

THOR: THE DARK WORLD soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

Back in the comic book day, The House of Ideas teamed The Thing with a guest superhero star of the month for Marvel-Two-in-One. That series’ consistent match-up of four-color brawn has now been musically equaled in the space of one year by Brian Tyler, who follows up his entry into Marvel’s cinematic universe for IRON MAN 3 with even more powerfully potent results in THOR: THE DARK WORLD. But while it might not necessarily be an even match comparing a playboy in a souped-up suit of armor with an alien-Norse demigod, the evil elf-sponsored end of the universe versus an […]Read On »

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CD Review: LUTHER: SONGS AND SCORE FROM SERIES 1, 2 & 3 soundtrack

LUTHER: SONGS AND SCORE FROM SERIES 1, 2 & 3 soundtrack | ©2013 Silva Screen Records

Silva Screen seemingly has a lock when it comes to the BBC with it TV collections of Time Lords and all of God’s documentary creatures. But when it comes to take-no-prisoners charisma, Detective Chief Inspector John LUTHER has been the charm, not only in the gripping hands of Idris Elba, but its soundtrack that mixes eclectic tune choices with powerful underscore suspense, both suspects at last rounded up here for a terrifically assembled compilation of the songs and score that helped Luther track down serial killers and robbers across three seasons. So far, the biggest exposure that American audiences have […]Read On »

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CD Review: FROZEN soundtrack

FROZEN soundtrack | ©2013 Walt Disney Records

An iced cornucopia of The Magic Kingdom’s greatest fairy tale hits that reprises the Hans Christian Anderson LITTLE MERMAID magic, FROZEN brims over with cute sidekicks, a dashing hero and the upped ante of two princesses – one with a power that Professor Xavier would admire. It all makes for exactly the kind of pre-teen soundtrack catnip that set the studio’s animated standard for a reason, and is once again delivered at the height of hiply imaginative panache. FROZEN‘s memorable numbers have been co-written by the WONDER PETS duo of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (who also happen to have […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE FIFTH ESTATE

THE FIFTH ESTATE soundtrack | ©2013 Lakeshore Records

Where you could have synth keyboards or an orchestra playing computer espionage in the dial-up modem days of WAR GAMES or THE NET, hacking has now grown to become an international enterprise of the hip and politically savvy. And along with these very good looking nerds, the techno thriller genre’s music has evolved into lightning-fast connection combos of trance-industrial rhythms, as often practiced by DJ’s getting their feet wet as film composers. So it’s nice to hear a composer who helped rep a new wave of film music back in the 80s with the oddball likes of BLOOD SIMPLE and […]Read On »

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CD Review: WE ARE WHAT WE ARE soundtrack

WE ARE WHAT WE ARE soundtrack | ©2013 Milan Records

Those expecting the kind of orchestrally ferocious, percussion-gnashing cannibal family score that usually comes with the rural, inbred territory aren’t going to get the expected soundtrack serving, in spite of one clan’s gruesome steadfastness that WE ARE WHAT WE ARE. The credit for this unusually intelligent, and delicate approach to a genre that splatters both flesh and instruments with equal helter-skelter abandon goes to the collaboration between composer Jeff Grace and director Jim Mickle, who previously collaborated on the apocalyptic vampire fable “Stake Land,” and now has relocated a Mexican meat-eater film for upstate New York with the same brand […]Read On »

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CD Review: CAPTAIN PHILLIPS soundtrack

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Where most Hollywood films do their best to instill some sense of reality into true-life movies, director Paul Greengrass has the ability to make his re-enactments real, which makes it no easy task for the composer to musically capture that sense of cinema verite. Where John Powell did an admirable job of creating an inevitable sense of dread with the ticking time-bomb percussion, Arabic suspense and tragic heroism that would send Greengrass’ UNITED 93 to its awful fate, the director’s new, equally gripping, but far “happier” ending for the true story of CAPTAIN PHILLIPS demands a way more visceral approach, and […]Read On »

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CD Review: BOUNTY KILLER soundtrack

BOUNTY KILLER soundtrack | ©2013 Lakeshore Records

Greg Edmondson certainly knows something about a trashed-out future after his twangy sci-fi score for the cult TV show FIREFLY. And when it comes to high adventure, his videogame music for the blockbuster “Uncharted” series stands as the genre’s answer to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Though made for decidedly less than that film, his new score for this post-apocalyptic mash-up of MAD MAX and TANK GIRL is a big bunch of balls-out fun. With a rousing orchestral performance that just might make Nashville a new symphonic scoring destination, Edmondson pours on a sound of bright, galloping nobility that would […]Read On »

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