CD Review: AFRICA soundtrack

AFRICA soundtrack | ©2013 Silva Screen Records

Along with their DR. WHO soundtracks, Silva Screen has seemingly cornered the world market on the music of BBC nature documentaries. Where some of these entries dumbed down animal behavior into the stuff of Carl Stalling antics amidst more noble-minded orchestral grandeur, AFRICA‘s vast, stylistic continent shows why this is the land mass where two-legged intelligence began. Taking on thee task of chronicling every life form and landscape is Sarah Class, a composer whose documentary-filled resume understandably landed her the job with the likes of MYSTERY OF THE WOLF and THE MEERKATS There’s an exceptional level of writing, and elemental […]Read On »

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CD Review: SPARTACUS WAR OF THE DAMNED soundtrack

SPARTACUS WAR OF THE DAMNED soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

After scoring Starz’s SPARTACUS series and its spin-offs, Joseph LoDuca reaches the saga’s climax with a masterful, musical blow for freedom that does the saga, and the spirit of its late star Andy Whitfield worthy with WAR OF THE DAMNED. While the composer’s had plenty of experience in the sword-and-sandle arena from his days spent with Hercules and Xena (not to mention a Dark Ages Ash), the amped up violence and sex of this Starz spin has required even more musical muscle, and daring from the composer. Lo Duca’s final battle is impressively epic, pouring on gigantic orchestral themes that […]Read On »

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CD Review: INTO THE WEST soundtrack

INTO THE WEST soundtrack | ©2013 La La Land Records

Taking the idea of a family’s American expansion with all the Cinemascope passion afforded to HOW THE WEST WAS WON (but shrinking the screen just a bit for TNT), executive producer Steven Spielberg’s 2005 Emmy-lauded miniseries INTO THE WEST took home a music award for composer Geoff Zanelli. Yet in a slap to the creative face that would make an Indian shed a tear, the only album to get a release was one of those “inspired by” song jobs. Now, justice has finally come to the frontier with La La Land’s two-CD release of Zanelli’s beautifully evocative score. What makes […]Read On »

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CD Review: THEN CAME BRONSON soundtrack

THEN CAME BRONSON soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

NBC’s 1969 one-season series THEN CAME BRONSON had Michael Parks as a freewheelin’ journalist who goes on the road down Route 66, and a whole lot of other byways, as mostly driven by the liltingly romantic music of George Dunning – whose soft, string musings comprise the first CD of this unexpected, but very welcome Intrada release. No dirty, rock and rolling Easy Riders here for the primetime sensibility, just a nice guy cyclist finding kindred spirits on the road. One can certainly see album producer Lukas Kendall’s affinity for Dunning’s sweetly gentle approach, as his scoring here could easily […]Read On »

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INTERVIEW: HANNIBAL gets twisted score by Brian Reitzell

HANNIBAL | ©2013 NBC

You might argue that the spark for film scores to get industrially dark was lit when the scraping metallic music of Nine Inch Nail’s song “Closer” ran over the unforgettably disturbing opening titles of SEVEN. Now this bleakly transfixing style has become all the rage, from the visceral video forensics of CSI to the big screen torture dungeons of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and THE CALLER. But in a media obsessed with churning out serial killers to this alt. rock inspired bump-and-grind, the one psychopath creation that remains unequalled in ghoulish popularity is Hannibal Lector, the gourmand cannibal […]Read On »

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CD Review: FROZEN PLANET soundtrack

FROZEN PLANET soundtrack | ©2013 Silva Screen Records

Englishman George Fenton seems to have conquered the market on scoring every nook and cranny of the globe with a series of sweeping nature documentaries that have included EARTH, LIFE, PLANET EARTH and THE BLUE PLANET. And while the genre has technically evolved in light years from the dinosaur-age days of MUTUAL OF OMAHA’S WILD KINGDOM, the basic spectacle of watching animals being cute, or killing each other certainly hasn’t. That age-old struggle for survival is often mirrored in the artist’s challenge of going for the uncondescending beauty of God’s ice-covered earth, or choosing to play it with the family-friendly […]Read On »

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CD Review: NAPOLEON AND EUROPE (500 edition)

NAPOLEON AND EUROPE soundtrack | ©2013 Music Box Records

Just before he’d briefly invade Hollywood with his spectacularly ominous score for 1992’s DRACULA, esteemed Polish composer Wojciech Kilar would wave the colors for France’s self-appointed Emperor for the Gallic television series NAPOLEON AND EUROPE. Those American fans used to the elegant, brooding quality of Kilar’s work on DEATH AND THE MAIDEN and WE OWN THE NIGHT might be pleasantly surprised by the sometimes joyful quality of his main theme as it revels in triumphant orchestral splendor, sprightly marches and even a bit of Baroque harpsichord comedy, all setting the stage for a little man’s sense of greatness, and the […]Read On »

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CD Review: HOUSE OF CARDS soundtrack

HOUSE OF CARDS soundtrack | ©2013 Varese Sarabande Records

Though he’s relatively young, it seems that composer Jeff Beal has been at TV series like FAMILY LAW, ROME, UGLY BETTY and MONK with the entrenched dependability of a continuously elected senator. If that’s an apt metaphor, then it’s no wonder that HOUSE OF CARDS just might end up being Beal’s biggest hit in the medium- even if the “network” it’s on happens to be Netflix. You might also find it hard to believe that the English came up with the idea first for such a distinctly American show about a devious politician out to step up the broken ladder […]Read On »

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CD Review: MAGIC CITY soundtrack

MAGIC CITY soundtrack | ©2013 Silva Screen Records

When it comes to 60s retro music, few composers have shown an ability to conjure the decade’s diverse vibes like Italy’s Danielle Luppi. He’s rocked with HELL RIDE‘s biker guitars, dropped a martini in the hep jazz of THE WOMAN CHASER and cooed with the psychedelic eroticism of his country’s Shagadelia for the concept album “An Italian Story.” So it’s no surprise to see why Luppi’s been plunked in the middle of a late 50s crime-and-sex ridden Miami hotel for his biggest scoring shot yet in America with the Starz series MAGIC CITY. But what is a shock given the […]Read On »

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CD Review: TRON UPRISING soundtrack

TRON UPRISING soundtrack | ©2013 Walt Disney Records

Oft times when the next-big-thing techno / pop artist is brought in to “score” a film, it’s usually a relatively uncredited composer who makes matters musical, not to mention score-like. So if you’re judging by how electrifying Joseph Trapanese’s cue collection from TRON UPRISING from this CGI toon spin-off of Disney’s TRON LEGACY is, then it’s likely you’ll regard him as the real Flynn of this soundtrack grid. Trapanese and Daft Punk evolved Wendy Carlos’ already Avant-garde approach for the original TRON to the next, 21st century level by mixing a monolithic orchestra over state-of-the-art trance and techno club beats, […]Read On »

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