CD Review: THE SAINT soundtrack

THE SAINT soundtrack | ©2016 Music Box Records

The do-gooding bon vivant Simon Templar has been reincarnated in radio, television and film, as played by George Sanders, Roger Moore and Val Kilmer. However, his grooviest halo is heard by Music Box’s positively heavenly 3-CD release of the jazz-disco heroics that accompanied Simon Dutton over a series of TV movies in 1989. But listening to the swaggering saxes, punchy brass and romantically lush strings of Serge Franklin, you’d think you were back in 1981 spy dancing with Moore to the glitterball action of Bill Conti’s FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (if not doing the Euro-nightclub twist on the moon to Derek […]Read On »

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CD Review: THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO soundtrack

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO soundtrack | ©2016 Silva Screen Records

Though the decades of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s classic “Supermarionation” shows, the stirring, grandly thematic voice of Barry Gray made audiences believe that a puppet could fly – no more so then when piloting five spaceships called The Thunderbirds. Now spiffed up with a state-of-the-art mix of modelwork and CGI animation, THE THUNDERBIRDS has taken new flight on English TV, and soon America’s Netflix instant. Old school fans will likely miss the charm of wire-controlled marionettes and Gray’s straight-ahead scoring that nicely combined British patriotic pomp with hep 60’s pop. This reboot is pitched straight ahead for an adrenalized tween video […]Read On »

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DICKENSIAN and RIPPER STREET soundtracks – CD Reviews

RIPPER STREET soundtrack | ©2016 Silva Screen Records

    The music of Victorian-to-Edwardian England has never been more interesting given the likes of Hans Zimmer’s SHERLOCK HOLMES, Charlie Mole’s MR. SELFRIDGE and John Lunn’s DOWNTON ABBEY. When given the spirit of such TV dream-team mash-ups like PENNY DREADFUL, the antiquated approach becomes positively hopping, especially as heard on English label Silva Screen’s releases of the BBC soundtracks to Debbie Wiseman’s DICKENSIAN and Dominik Scherrer’s RIPPER STREET, shows whose desperation-caked cobblestones ring with exciting, unbuttoned vibrancy. DICKENSIAN is turns the Marvel Universe into the Charles Dickens one as literary superheroes from such classic novels as A CHRISTMAS CAROL, GREAT EXPECTATIONS and THE OLD CURIOUSITY SHOP search for the […]Read On »

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Composer Charlie Clouser invades earth for CHILDHOOD’S END – Interview

CHILDHOOD'S END soundtrack | ©2016 Lakeshore Records

Among practitioners of torture horror, Charlie Clouser’s razor-sharp industrial grinds and nightmarish, metallic atmospheres were the anti-tunes to inflict utter doom with in such nastily effective soundtracks as DEAD SILENCE DEATH SENTENCE, RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION and the SAW franchise in particular. Beatific music this wasn’t, even as the Nine Inch Nails keyboardist and award-winning hard rock producer showed that he had more than one stylistic hatchet at his scoring disposal when it came to television, especially in his rhythmic calculations for NUMB3RS and the surreal suspense that filled WAYWARD PINES So forgive us for thinking that Charlie Clouser has seen […]Read On »

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NARCOS: Composer Pedro Bromfman on scoring the new Netflix series – Interview

NARCOS soundtrack | ©2015 Lakeshore Records

Whether it’s a desperately poor person or the most sophisticated (and seditiously entertained) movie and TV watcher, nothing represents the ruthlessly swift, or successfully doomed path to the good life like The Drug Lord. Whether real or imagined, these captains of illegal industry represent the ultimate in charisma, cunning and seduction, everything it takes to keep enemies close, maintain armies of devoted followers and addict the public to your supply. From Mexico’s “El Chapo” to Cuba’s imagined Tony Montana, Latin America has been a hothouse region from which these enthralling villains have emerged, which makes Brazilian composer Pedro Bromfman especially […]Read On »

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CD Review: QUEENIE and TO KILL A PRIEST (1,000 edition)

QUEENIE soundtrack | ©2015 Intrada Records

Georges Delerue wrote an astonish 18 scores alone from 1987-88. Two reality-based scores from that time now show his versatility, first making an emotionally empowering Indian passage to Hollywood, and then movingly martyring a leader doomed against totalitarian odds. Even given his French birthright, few composers had a naturally feminine quality to their work like Delerue, whose string, violin and flute empathy embodies an ersatz Merle Oberon (in the exotic form of Mia Sara) in his score for QUEENIE, one of those passion-filled TV miniseries of yore involving a woman climbing her way to the top through beauty and bedroom, […]Read On »

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CD Review: WOLF HALL soundtrack

WOLF HALL soundtrack | ©2015 Silva Screen Records

It’s understandable that the BBC (let alone America) can’t get enough of the wildest member of England’s Royal Family and his entourage, who helped the lusty Henry VIII break from the Roman Catholic Church. The chief architect in his court who enabled is wife-laden plans was Thomas Cromwell, not exactly a babe magnet himself, but serpentine in his machinations that changed the fate of Britain. Given this interior, oft-villainized figure who spawned Hilary Mantle’s novels and this six-episode adaptation, it’s understood that a big, robust orchestral score might not be the way to go, or either the kind of contemporiazed […]Read On »

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CD Review: 1864 and ALLIES soundtracks

ALLIES soundtrack | ©2015 Movie Score Media

Movie Score Media’s quality releases continue to be not only a major source for discovering new composers whose attendant projects barely hit U.S. shores, but also a great way to hear relatively obscure foreign soundtracks done by sometimes eminent American musicians – in both notable cases here performed in the key of war. Early on in Marco Beltrami’s career, the composer wrote one of his most interesting psycho-killer scores for a deranged female cellist, albeit in the guise of a period costume drama for Norwegian director Ole Bornedal’s 2002 thriller I AM DINA. Now Beltrami reteams with him for a […]Read On »

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CD Review: BATES MOTEL and PENNY DREADFUL soundtracks

PENNY DREADFUL soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

Two cable hits have been busy re-inventing everyone’s favorite Mama’s boy and band of Edwardian monster hunters. But leave it to Chris Bacon and Abel Korzeniowski to make these often horrific exploits go down with orchestral elegance. For Bacon, it’s realizing that melodic empathy is the room key to loving Norman Bates as much as his mom, tenderness that suffuses his often beautiful, lush score to BATES MOTEL. Yet the spirit of Bernard Herrmann certainly inhabits this abode, not in stormily gothic (or stabbing) violins, but in BATES‘ long, drifting string lines and sympathetic piano. While there’s effectively uptempo percussion, […]Read On »

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CD Review: HANNIBAL Seasons 1 and 2 soundtracks

HANNIBALS Seasons 1 and 2 soundtracks | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

To label the sonic nightmare that Brian Reitzell has cooked up for television’s most lethally elegant doctor-gourmand as “music” is way to simple a way of defining the wildly experimental stew of sound design and occasional shards of melody that infuse a show that by rights shouldn’t be anywhere near network television, especially scoring that could lead to seizures in more tender viewers foolish enough to tune in. But the psychological incisiveness with which Reitzell conveys the sound of insanity is like nothing else that’s ever been done within the psycho-killer genre, be it on the big or small screens. […]Read On »

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