CD Review: DIRK GENTLY soundtrack

DIRK GENTLY soundtrack | ©2012 Movie Score Media

DIRK GENTLEY is novelist Douglas Adams’ “holistic detective” turned quirky BBC sleuth solves his cases through quantum mechanics, or the “fundamental interconnectedness of all things” as he puts it in befuddled layman’s terms. Ditto the seemingly crazy-quilt musical ideas that have no doubt filtered through the prolific documentary and TV credits of British composer Daniel Pemberton, a potpourri that coalesces into a singularity of unique, and charmingly hip sound for this neatness-challenged Sherlock and his consistently amazed Watson Think the zither quirk of Anton Karas’ THIRD MAN soundtrack as pumped up with the rhythmic retro r & b of David […]Read On »

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Interview: BRAVE composer Patrick Doyle bears the highlands

Patrick Doyle | ©2012 Patrick Doyle

If there’s one picture that Patrick Doyle was fated to be the composer of, then it’s no contest that movie is BRAVE, Pixar’s animated salute to all things Scottish in the form of a feisty lass named Merida. Like all modern, high-born Disney heroines, this red hair rebels against the chauvinist-conformist path set by her well-meaning royal parents, with her archery skills representing the sharply pointed spirit of her determination. Not only does Merida’s shooting skill outrage her highland clansmen and intended suitors, but her unbreakable will also ends up incurring a witch’s ursine curse- the rampaging results of which […]Read On »

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CD Review: TAG: THE ASSASSINATION GAME soundtrack

TAG: THE ASSASSINATION GAME soundtrack | ©2012 Buysoundtrax Records

For a label that’s continually unearthing a certain generation’s cult obscurities like HARDLY WORKING and STARCHASER: THE LEGEND OF ORIN, Buysoundtrax makes one of their most pleasurably eccentric discoveries with 1982’s TAG: THE ASSASSINATION GAME. Written and directed by former Shape star Nick Castle to capitalize on the then-phenomena of “Assassin” games sweeping college campuses, TAG of course has those suction cup hijinx turn to real ammunition, the game going awry to the alternately satirical and lethally chilling strains of composer Craig Safan. Like the crazy kids who play at being as cool as the murderous big boys, Safan is […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL soundtrack

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL soundtrack | ©2012 Sony Classical

From the dangerous Chinese chase of RED CORNER to the bizarre Arabic rhythms of JARHEAD and the indigenous Australian music of OSCAR AND LUCINDA, Thomas Newman is one of film scoring’s most ethnically idiosyncratic world travelers, a musician to whom rhythm is his eccentric lifeblood. So what better place for a stay then in a land associated with the birth of plucked harmony itself? Newman’s right at joyous home with a first class room in THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, a movie that’s about how the country’s vibrantly tuneful culture brings new life to a bunch of British fogies. The […]Read On »

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CD review: MOON 44 soundtrack

MOON 44 soundtrack | ©2012 Buysoundtrax Records

It’s not easy being in the shadow of a man who made history, whether in world events or the creative arts. It’s even bolder to follow in that father’s footsteps, knowing that it’s nearly impossible to scale the same heights, no matter how talented you might be. So props can certainly be giving to the recently departed Joel Goldsmith for choosing his father Jerry’s profession, especially the son didn’t achieve the kind of bigger budgeted projects his work warranted. Yet that never stopped Joel from particularly excelling in the genre with such scores as THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS, WATCHERS, […]Read On »

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CD Review: STARHAWK soundtrack

STARHAWK soundtrack | ©2012 La La Land Records

Though Christopher Lennertz is prolifically onscreen with the comedy-centric likes of HORRIBLE BOSSES and HOP, it’s the videogame arena that truly lets this composer strut his creative stuff beyond giving humorous oomph to male bad behavior and talking animals. You can tell the first-person blast he has at the controls, often when bringing new energy to musical styles set long ago in the traditional movie realm, whether it’s the military action of MEDAL OF HONOR‘s European and Pacific assaults, the grooves of classic and current 007 music for FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and QUANTUM OF SOLACE, or being far more […]Read On »

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CD Review: SILENT HILL: DOWNPOUR soundtrack

SILENT HILL: DOWNPOUR soundtrack | ©2012 Milan Records

Daniel Licht certainly knows clever ways to kill people in the company of DEXTER, not to mention a gore-splattered musical past that includes HELLRAISER: BLOODLINE, THINNER and BAD MOON. It’s a set of eerie skills that suit him well for entering the video game netherworld for the first time with two entries into the SILENT HILL mythos. Up first is SILENT HILL: DOWNPOUR, which has an escaped convict being thrown into this twisted Twilight Zone after a Richard Kimble-style bus crash. Starting off DOWNPOUR with a bang is a catchy theme song by Korn’s Jonathan Davis, whose thrash makes it […]Read On »

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CD Review: BATTLESHIP soundtrack

BATTLESHIP soundtrack | ©2012 Varese Sarabande Records

When it comes to playing Big F’n Machine Things and slo-mo shots of beautiful heroes looking very concerned as the world appears to be ending in effects Armageddon, Steve Jablonsky remains the unstoppable equivalent to Optimus Prime, blasting out irresistibly catchy rhythms for the Michael Bay school of visual overload. What makes Jablonsky’s work supreme for the multiplex is his ability to run a marathon of hyper-notes with a heroic, thematic hook, breathlessly going through every motivic permutation possible when the score isn’t allowed to stop- yet still making that exhaustion fun. On that end, BATTLESHIP’s music beds are perhaps […]Read On »

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CD Review: ONCE UPON A TIME soundtrack

ONCE UPON A TIME soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

ABC’s fractured fairy tale show couldn’t have asked for a better composer than Mark Isham to tread between fantasy land and the “real world” of Storybrooke. Now with ONCE UPON A TIME’s yarns looking like they’ll be flipping for a while on Rumplestiltskin’s wheel, Intrada compiles the best of Isham’s episodic enchantments for an album the show’s fans will appreciate, as well as those appreciative of his cinematic stories. And therein lies TIME‘s best spell at fully bringing together those two worlds with Isham’s lush, yet melodically delicate sound. For while he might not have scored this kind of live […]Read On »

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CD Review: WHITE FANG soundtrack

WHITE FANG soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

Just like the confident bear who tangles with an upstart white wolf, Basil Poledouris’ old-fangled orchestral score was given a proper mauling by the Disney execs, who make their period Jack London adventure seem a lot more contemporary. But where it’s usually the veteran creature who’d lose the fight when thrown into the fight pit of studio politics, quite a bit of both composers’ work ended up in WHITE FANG, making the movie most notable for its stylistic clash of scores in the long run (even if Zimmer somehow went uncredited). Yet props can also be given to Disney for […]Read On »

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