CD Review: The Best Scores of 2013 – The Runners-Up

Brian Tyler / NOW YOU SEE ME soundtrack | ©2013 Glassnote

BEYOND TWO SOULS (Lorne Balfe / Sony Entertainment) Though it’s far more of an interactive movie than it is a video game, the negligible level of first-person shooter ability here doesn’t prevent BEYOND TWO SOULS from being a complete immersive experience, especially with the eerie, and rapturous quality of Lorne Balfe’s score, leveled up with the ace technical and musical production oversight of Hans Zimmer. For a heroine seemingly cursed by her lifelong bond to an invisible entity, Balfe conjures a truly beautiful theme, topped with a female voice that resonates with a wounded emotion that binds this powerfully symphonic […]Read On »


CD Review: PAIN & GAIN soundtrack

PAIN & GAIN soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Michael Bay’s career has been based on brain-frying excess, mainlining images of sweaty biceps, barely-fitting bikinis and joyful violence upon the popcorn eating masses. In the process, he’s encouraged his composers to pump the volume to 11 with rampaging walls of muscular rock-fueled orchestras. But where Bay has often been righteously lambasted for being lame-brained in his stylistic choices, the multiplex king now reveals his over-the-top fetishes as the ultimate act of artistic subversion as he plays the amped energy of murderous adrenalin junkies in PAIN & GAIN and in the process encourages his musical confidant Steve Jablonsky to deliver […]Read On »


CD Review: GANGSTER SQUAD soundtrack

GANGSTER SQUAD soundtrack | ©2012 Varese Sarabande Records

Take a composer whose good guys are out to bust metal heads, then throw him into the late 40s Los Angeles. Chances are you’re not going to get a score like CHINATOWN, which is exactly the point of hiring one of Hollywood’s big rhythmic guns to musically envision a rogue LA sheriff’s department as Autobots pitted against the Decepticon mob goons of Mickey Cohen in the new film GANGSTER SQUAD. While film noir purists might cry foul at a score that fits nicely into Jablonsky’s TRANSFORMERS cannon as opposed to Jerry Goldsmith’s, Michael Bay’s go-to musician has accomplished his mission […]Read On »


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 »


CD review: GEARS OF WAR 3 soundtrack

GEARS OF WAR 3 soundtrack | ©2011 Sumthing Else Music Works

After doing an impressive tour of musical duty for Delta Squad, Steve Jablonsky suits up again for the COG squad’s ultimate battle against the seemingly unstoppable Locust horde for the GEARS OF WAR 3 soundtrack. As this brotherhood of war lays waste to the non-human residents of the planet Sera, Jablonsky blasts out huge kill zones of furious percussion to catch every drop of GEARS’ testosterone overload. It’s a rough, raw sound that’s different from the sleeker action workout Jablonsky gave to the bigscreen Autobots this summer, a more rugged symphonic and sampled excitement that’s in synch with flesh and […]Read On »


CD Review: YOUR HIGHNESS original soundtrack

YOUR HIGHNESS original soundtrack | ©2011 Varese Sarabande Records

After the somewhat unintentional hilarity of the TRANSFORMERS movies, Steve Jablonsky gets to score an outright gonzo take on ’80’s sword and sorcery films, with all of the sound and fury he usually applies to Optimus Prime. And that’s perfect when it comes to playing this unabashedly rude fantasy spectacle for real. Like a composer who’d been subjected to CLOCKWORK ORANGE-like viewings of THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE PRINCESS BRIDE, KULL THE CONQUERER and WILLOW, then turned loose on the world, Jablonsky wreaks loud havoc with every musical cliché in the genre book, as reworked for a rock orchestral […]Read On »

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