Interview: SAVING MR. BANKS composer Thomas Newman scores a spoonful of bittersweet sugar

SAVING MR. BANKS soundtrack | ©2013 Walt Disney Soundtrack

Tuxedoed penguins, dancing chimney sweeps, a housekeeper floating in on an umbrella to tame a household of errant children – all accompanied by some of the most memorable songs to grace a Disney movie, let alone any family film in Hollywood via England history. These confections make for the enduring magic that is MARY POPPINS, a movie that’s melodiously synonymous with family warmth. However, the real story behind this heartwarming classic was anything but harmonious, especially when POPPINS decidedly Scrooge-like creator arrived in LA’s magic kingdom like a serving of castor oil – haunted by a childhood that was anything […]Read On »

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CD Review: SIDE EFFECTS soundtrack

SIDE EFFECTS soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Though he’s Oscar-nominated for the fun, and very busy score to SKYFALL, Thomas Newman’s most interesting work has always lay in the minimal, electronically ethereal, world-rock sound that announced a truly unique musical voice in the 80s with the likes of THE LOST BOYS, LIGHT OF DAY and THOSE SECRETS – a TV soundtrack that also marked one of Varese Sarabande’s earliest specialty releases. So it’s fitting that the label would provide a welcome return to Newman’s beautifully chilly sound for SIDE EFFECTS, a score that brings him back to musical basics with filmmaker Steven Soderbergh after funk of ERIN […]Read On »

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Interview: SKYFALL composer Thomas Newman gets his license to score

SKYFALL soundtrack | ©2012 Sony Masterworks

As James Bond gun-barrels hell-bent into the 21st century with his 23rd film SKYFALL, 007’s owners have continued to re-shape their iconic 50 year-old bread-and-Broccoli character into a spy who’s far more a part of a believable BOURNE universe, as opposed the stylish wisecracker who duked it out with evil industrialists aboard super tankers and space stations. While that gallows humor is still very much part of Bond’s DNA, the character has achieved a real-world level of brute force and inner turmoil unheard of in his past incarnations. But even before the real world makeover that’s best been personified by […]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: The Best Scores of 2011

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS- PART TWO soundtrack | ©2011 Water Tower Music

THE BEST SCORES OF 2011 THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (Thomas Newman / Relativity) There’s always been something ethereal, if not downright unearthly about the dreamy, often rhythmic sound that’s allowed Thomas Newman to become the first alt. rocker to make it big as a film composer. It’s a sound that’s particularly well-suited to the spiritual, conveying a universe behind the walls of reality in such scores as THE RAPTURE, OSCAR AND LUCINDA and PHENOMENON. Now Newman’s on the side of the angels with hats for this moving, faith-based Phillip K. Dick adaptation. His mesmerizing mix employs strings and acoustic guitar, suspenseful […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE HELP soundtrack

THE HELP soundtrack | ©2011 Varese Sarabande Records

Perhaps no member of the Newman clan broke from the lush, namesake sound of Lionel and Alfred more than the latter’s son David- at least to begin with. Bringing his first interest of alt. rock to such joyously groovy late-80’s comedy scores of DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, THE MAN WITH ONE RED SHOE and REAL GENIUS, Thomas Newman’s immediately impressed with its youthful hipness. But just as soon, Newman revealed his namesake’s mature, symphonic talents through LESS THAN ZERO, MEN DON’T LEAVE and DECEIVED. Rather than one style or the other, Thomas Newman’s scores have been distinguished through their frequent fusions […]Read On »

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CD review: THE DEBT soundtrack

THE DEBT soundtrack | ©2011 Relativity

The global stage of espionage is one Thomas Newman works to far more visceral effect in the equally excellent score and film to THE DEBT. It’s an action genre I’d love to see him get more of a workout in, and hopefully more chases and guns will be awaiting Newman given this film’s deserved Number One performance at the box office. Once again, Newman uses his state of the rhythmic art to electrify a history lesson – if a far more violent one here that reaches into the present. It’s a DEBT that’s paid forward with hyper-exciting percussion and entrancing […]Read On »

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