CD Reviews: THE HILLS HAVE EYES and KNIGHT RIDER soundtracks

KNIGHT RIDER soundtrack | ©2014 Perseverance Records

Don Peake is one of the musicians who’ve jumped on board of Perseverance’s new “composer distribution series,” which allows artists to use the label as a proxy for titles they’ve always wanted to release. Among the titles to spring from the former Everly Brothers guitarist are FRANKIE AND JOHNNY ARE MARRIED and two volumes of KNIGHT RIDER. But horror cultists will most certainly get their primitive fill for Peake’s run through the cannibal-infested desert of Wes Craven during the director’s way grittier days, a grindhouse talent that had memorable brute force in 1977s THE HILLS HAVE EYES. This since way […]Read On »


CD Review: THE GOOD WIFE (The Official TV Score) soundtrack

THE GOOD WIFE (The Official TV Score) soundtrack | ©2014 CBS Records

If the religiously-minded Antonio Vivaldi was a television composer writing music for a less-than holy heroine, than his work might sound akin to the wittily dramatic music that David Buckley has been up to with the last several (and continuing) seasons of CBS’s hit THE GOOD WIFE. While Buckley might be busy on suspenseful feature scores like ATM, GONE and PARKER while simultaneously blowing away a couple thousand mercenaries in the videogame arena of CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS, THE GOOD WIFE  gives his defendants a chance to hear a far warmer, and more emotional side from the composer – one […]Read On »


CD Review: D.A.R.Y.L: LIMITED EDITION soundtrack

D.A.R.Y.L: LIMITED EDITION. soundtrack | ©2014 La La Land Records

At first, it might have seemed an odd choice to have the Oscar-winning composer of THE WAY WE WERE score a movie about a kid cyborg. But when you consider what a beautifully melodic sentimentalist that Marvin Hamlisch was, hiring him for this sweetly unique 1985 kid’s adventure made perfect sense. Young star Barret Oliver seemed to be doing next to every memorable genre movie from the period (FRANKENWEENIE, COCOON and THE NEVERENDING STORY among them), and brought much warmth to this robotic spin on E.T. as a super-smart twelve year-old who finds shelter from government baddies with a nice […]Read On »



BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

David Newman’s rocking, rambunctious voice for electronics and the orchestra provided the beat for two cult teen movies from the late 80s – one involving a bitchy clique of “Heathers,” and the other pairing the far more lovable, dunderheaded duo of Ted “Theodore” Logan and Bill S. Preston, Esquire. While the first picture got a snarky, country-flavored synth beat, the clever, time travelling conceit for BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE afforded Newman the opportunity to energetically combine a full-blast, history-spanning symphony with a rock-pop beat for the Wyld Stallyns’ first quest. It was indeed a truly ingenious stylistic combo as […]Read On »


CD Review: THE RIVER MURDERS soundtrack

THE RIVER MURDERS soundtrack | ©2014 Caldera Records

After their impressive initial releases of Guy Farley’s SECRET SHARER and Johan Soderqvist’s KING OF DEVIL’S ISLAND, Caldera Records continues to show excellent taste in finding subtle, yet powerful scores from composers of creative note – especially when it comes to their work for movies that might have flown under the radar. Now Pinar Toprak’s THE RIVER MURDERS sounds off with such tragic, heavenly resonance that you could easily have imagined this as the score for MYSTIC RIVER. But it’s a testament to her music’s melodic production value that you wouldn’t expect this score as belonging to a 2011 straight-to-DVD […]Read On »


CD Review: MILLION DOLLAR ARM soundtrack

MILLION DOLLAR ARM soundtrack | ©2014 Walt Disney Records

When A.R. Rahman first gained Oscar-winning attention in the western world for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, it was as if some musical pitch hitter had arrived from nowhere, able to capture the exotic rhythms of his heritage via a pop beat as fresh as any album-spinning club kid (despite the fact that this relatively youthful composer-producer had been updating ancient Indian beats for quite some time). It’s a situation that couldn’t have made Rahman a better composer to play the sweet culture clash of a bunch of cricket players from the continent being potentially thrust into major league baseball for this Disney […]Read On »


CD Review: MY NIKIFOR soundtrack

MY NIKIFOR soundtrack | ©2014 Movie Score Media

If you enjoyed the eccentric cimbalom approach of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL  then you’ll likely want to take a musical room in the addled, artistic mind of this Polish painter. For the stay proves a real, whimsical delight, as heard through composing concierge Bartek Gliniak. Having gotten recognition in his native Poland, this talented musical artist now gets some international soundtrack exposure with the release of his work for this award-winning 2004 film. Embodying a disabled, yet visionary painter who could barely communicate, Gliniak comes up with a memorable, waltzing theme that’s expresses itself through both wry humor and emotion […]Read On »


CD Review: SHIVER soundtrack

SHIVER soundtrack | ©2014 Intrada Records

RE-ANIMATOR‘s Richard Band really got put on the horror map with his big thing for decapitated noggins, which tells you all you need to know about how he ended up in the company of SHIVER‘s headhunting serial killer. Gone is any of that aforementioned film’s Herrmann-esque comedy for this straight-up thriller, to which Band contributes a grimly exciting score. Where budgetary necessity has resulted in many such low-budget horror movies employing a sampled orchestra, Band has certainly turned that sound into a charm that signifies he’s in the eerie house. Twisted bell percussion blends with efficiently emulated strings to give […]Read On »


CD Review: THE SIGNAL soundtrack

THE SIGNAL soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

While I’m dying to hear (let alone see) what composer Nima Fakhrara did for Japan’s live action version of GATCHAMAN (aka BATTLE OF THE PLANETS), I can only imagine that it must have caught the attention of THE SIGNAL – with the result being an eerily pulsing sci-fi score with a strong electric undercurrent. In this paranoid tale, three college students get far worse than they bargained for while chasing down a hacker. As they’re propelled into a sterile, claustrophobic nightmare of mad science where things gone from bad to mind and body-bendingly worse, Fakhara’s score tunes strongly into the […]Read On »


CD Review: WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? soundtrack (limited edition)

WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

All the dining metaphors in the world can’t do justice to Henry Mancini’s delicious mystery-comedy score for Ted Kotcheff’s equally delectable 1978 film that took cinematic food porn to new, mouth-watering heights. A composer who knew how to blend suspense, romance and humor with an escapist touch, Mancini starts the ovens rolling with a rollicking, Baroque theme that captures the pomp of haute culture. Eschewing “Pink Panther”-esque jazz in favor of a classical, continental approach, Mancini ooh’s-and-aah’s over the highly edible creations with perky brass and lush strings, while providing an unexpected melancholy bite in his love theme for Jacqueline […]Read On »

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