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Apocalypse World War II
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Music from the Batman Trilogy
The Possession

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Snowpiercer
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Captain America:  The Winter Soldier
Rio 2

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First Impressions

April 1999

 

April 26, 1999

Duel of the Fates from
Star Wars:  The Phantom Menace
 
by John Williams

FIR - 10/10

 

(Sony)

Ok.  The anticipation has been killing me and finally, I've heard it.  Duel of the Fates is, in a word, fantastic!  Paying homage to Carl Orff, John Williams weaves his musical mastery.  Granted, I may be going overboard due to my excessive anxiety over the release of the film, but I simply cannot help but giving this track a perfect score.  The choral work is splendid and Williams is able incorporate shades of his work for the Battle of Endor scenes in Return of the Jedi; however, this piece has an abruptness that I have not heard from William's before!  It is stirring, kinetic, and flamboyant.  It has all the signs of an epic score.

The Red Violin by
John Corigliano

FIR - 6/10

(Sony)

It has been almost two decades since Corigliano shivered many with his score for Altered States.  His score for The Red Violin can be said to be beautiful, certainly classical, but most of all it is eerie.  The first track sets the tone with a solo female vocalist, soon to be joined by, what else, but the violin.  Several tracks are down right terrifying and others joyously reminding the listener of Vivaldi and other classical composers.  There is an eeriness that pervades most of this score as the history of the rouge-tinted violin is traced though the centuries.  This violin is said to be "haunted."  If so, then John Corigliano has captured this element perfectly.  The score is of the classical-variety and, while beautifully played by Joshua Bell and conducted by Esa-Pekka, there are few easily perceived themes that tie the whole score together.  Such continuity is really left of the "star" of the score, the violin.

April 20, 1999

Message in a Bottle
by Gabriel Yared

FIR - 8/10

(Atlantic)

The handful of score cuts by Yared on the pop compilation soundtrack for this film nearly persuaded me to purchase it.  I refrained in hopes of a complete score release.  Gabriel Yared has produced a beautiful, sentimental score-- filled with soft strings, piano, and some wonderful guitar work reminding one of portions of Williams' score for Stepmom.  It is the variety of subtlties that make me love this score so far: the light vcoal work and bell accents; the light jazzy cut of track 9 and so on.  Although there are some 17 tracks, all very listenable, all, save two, are under 4:00 minutes long.  Another minor strike against the CD release is the pitiful amount of information in the liner notes -- plenty of useless film snap-shots though.

April 13, 1999

The Last of the Dogmen
by David Arnold

FIR - 7/10

(Atlantic)

This is one of David Arnold's best scores.  Before ID4 and Godzilla, this wonderful dramatic score helped to establish Arnold as the new composer in town.  This score far surpasses either of the previously mentioned.  It is full of wonder, awe and power with nods to Barry and Horner and of course Williams.  Upon first listening, I must say this will probably be my favorite Arnold score to date. Two other Native American-centric movie scores Legends of the Fall and Dances with Wolves are both superior to this effort but Dogmen is a very listenable CD release.

April 5, 1999

The Corruptor
by Carter Burwell

FIR - 6/10

(Varese Sarabande)

Burwell brings a unique blend of East and West with his score for The Corruptor.  Even though this film appears to be a cookie-cutter 90's cop film, his score is not.  The blending of the distinctive eastern style played on the strings with the western electronic rhythms makes for a nice listen.  That being said, aside from the main theme, there isn't much to make one give it repeated listens.



 

The Peacemaker
by Hans Zimmer

FIR - 7/10

(Varese Sarabande)

I suppose I'm a bit late on this one, but I must say these are some very good action/suspence tracks to be added to the MV repetoire.  The live orchestra is great along with the distinctive Gregson-Williams choral work.  Fans of Crimson Tide, The Rock, and Armageddon will dig this one.

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