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Flashnotes - February 2002

 
   

Last Flashed:
October 19, 2003

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Ali by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke

Ali by Lisa Gerrard, Pieter Bourke and Various Artists- February 16, 2002

The first soundtrack release for Ali, primarily made up classic to contemporary R&B tracks...and one lonely track by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke has sold relatively well.  Unfortunately, Decca's release of Ali - Original Soundtrack II is a bitter disappointment.  This follow up CD, while listed as the "score" album" at many online outlets, hardly qualifies for such a description.  Only 5 of the 11 tracks feature original score from the film.  The remaining tracks are, again, primarily of the R&B, Gospel, and blues variety.  Even though there are a select few moments where Gerrard and Bourke's contributions tread along the Christopher Young brand of jazzy-minimalist lines, the presentation here fails to achieve a good flow.  As a result, this Ali soundtrack comes off as disjointed, at best.  The highlights of the soundtrack are not even provided by Gerrard and Bourke.  Instead this slim-pickens-honor goes to Dungeon East & Whild Peach for Set Me Free (1) and Martin Tillman's Ceremony (9).  If one is hoping for a good dose of Gerrard's vocal magic, then it would be a good idea to stay clear of both Ali soundtrack releases and to pop in one's Gladiator CD again.

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Hart's War by Rachel Portman

Hart's War by Rachel Portman - February 5, 2002

Despite claims of NOT being another war movie, complete with all the basic testosterone pumping ingredients audiences are accustomed to, Hart's War has certainly marketed as just that.  While the trailers have targeted the same audiences that We Were Soldiers and even Black Hawk Down have,  the makers of film, through the soundtrack liner notes, want to impress that this movie is different.  Hence, the selection of Rachel Portman as the film's score composer is not as big a stretch as it might appear.  Whomever the target audience is and whatever this film is really, Hart's War is a more than decent effort from Rachel Portman.  Portman doesn't completely abandon the style that fans have come to love so much, but she takes her talents to places that have not visited before.  Drawing on heroic, trumpet leads as some of Hollywood's most successful war-film composers have done for years, Portman is able to touch that sensitive, patriotic nerve.  For the majority of the soundtrack; however, the mood is somewhat melancholy...if not downright somber.  It becomes rather tiresome by the time the last track has played and one is longing for at least one restatement of the heroic theme that launches the CD.  (Full review to come)

01 Final Salute | 14 End Credits

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Monster's Ball by Asche & Spencer

Monster's Ball by Asche and Spenser - February 5, 2002

Lion's Gate Record's first official soundtrack release is for the critically acclaimed Monster's Ball.  Composed by the Minneapolis and Los Angeles based composer-team of Asche & Spencer, Monster's Ball is another intriguing, minimalistic, film music score that seem to be growing in number all the time.  Underscoring the relational complexities depicted in the film, the music for Monster's Ball, more often than not, floats unassumingly in the background.  Heavily processed guitars and a vast collection of synthetic elements comprise the backbone-feel of the score and is not surprising coming from a a team that also specializes in sound design.  Fans of Edward Shearmur's score for K-Pax will find something to latch hold of and appreciate at many of the score's more "concrete" moments.  All in all, Monster's Ball is an atmospheric trip those with a taste for such textures in their film music.

08 Hank's Transition

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