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Flashnotes - June 2002


Last Flashed:
October 19, 2003

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Ice Age by David Newman

Ice Age by David Newman - June 23, 2002

The name "Newman" and animated feature films go hand in hand.  For Fox Studios' Ice Age, though, its David Newman at the musical helm instead of Randy.  David Newman's music for this computer-graphics spectacular delivers evocative, ethnic themes, powerful action cues,  as well as some true, classic-cartoon-looniness.  From wondrous-waltzes to psychotic-scherzo, Ice Age throws something new at the listener with each passing track.  Ice Age is an entertaining, musical barrage on the ears, in the tradition of Chicken Run, but doesn't quite reach the musical-heights of the Powell/Gregson-Williams 2000 project. Still, David Newman's efforts certainly won't leave the listener out in the cold!

Track 3 - Humans/Diego |  Track 5 - Dodos  |  Track 7 - Walking Through

Purchase at Varese Sarabande   


Unfaithful by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek

Unfaithful by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek - June 23, 2002

Composer of such rarified scores as Bliss, Total Eclipse and Lost Souls, and veteran of television film scores, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek delivers another mesmerizing score for Unfaithful.  Leaning heavily upon his main theme, primarily played on a lonely and spacious piano, Kaczmarek winds lush supporting strings throughout the Varese Sarabande, 19 track-release.  With an an occasional solo vocal and suggestive-breathing accents, Unfaithful, while beautiful, also maintains an air of "badness".  Through Unfaithful, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek's reputation as a inventive and passionate composer remains safe and fans of his previous works will find Unfaithful true to form.  Those unfamiliar with Kaczmarek's work would do themselves a favor by introducing themselves to it with this release.

Track 11 - Unfaithful |  Track 19 - Silence 

Purchase at Varese Sarabande   


Minority Report by John Williams

Minority Report by John Williams - June 13, 2002

John Williams' "other" summer score, Minority Report, is throw-back score of the best kind.  Evoking the fondest memories of some of his classic works of the Seventies such as Star Wars and Close Encounters, the largely dark and foreboding score also has beautiful moments and even comedic moments as well (Jawa's anyone?).  Not completely abandoned is Williams evolved sound found in last year's underrated, Artificial Intelligence as well as his increasingly familiar action style also featured in Attack of the ClonesMinority Report manages to impress the listener in its complexity and diversity to a degree not reached in its summer-predecessor.  Don't bother waiting for more opinions...everybody will be running to pick this one up!

Track 1 - Minority Report  |  Track 7 - Eye Dentiscan  |  Track 9 - Sean's Theme

Purchase at Amazon.com


Wyatt Earp by James Newton Howard

Wyatt Earp by James Newton Howard - June 9, 2002

One of James Newton Howard's more difficult to find score is that of the thematic Wyatt Earp.  Since the original soundtrack release is now out of print, obtaining this CD is not the simplest of tasks, but well worth any efforts one might put forth.  In short, it is one of Howard's best scores.  Portions of Wyatt Earp will sound familiar to many, even outside of those who follow film music as the title theme was adopted by CBS for a number of years.  James Newton Howard's Americana-influenced score is set to telling of the infamous life of Wyatt Earp - from his childhood through to his retirement days.  The man's tragedies and triumphs are all under girded by Howard's rich orchestral score.  There are a few celtic, period pieces that flow well enough, but its when the grand orchestra belts out the main themes that Wyatt Earp makes its way into ones long-term memory.  Since there is no DVD of the film either, one will have to catch it on a Sunday matinee television show or dust off a VHS copy to enjoy the music in context.

Track 18 - Dodge City



Vincent Gallo

Vincent Gallo: Recordings of Music for Film - June 9, 2002

Composer Vincent Gallo's promotional release Vicent Gallo: Recordings of Music for Film contains almost 30 tracks of music originally composed and recorded in the late 1970's through the mid-Eighties.  Gallos music reflects the era as does the sound quality.  If the music suffers, it may very well be because Gallo both directed and starred in a couple of the films represented on the disc.  While the spirit of Indie-film making doesn't get any stronger than this, there remains an awkward nostalgia that hovers over the entire listening experience.  Gallo's occasionally tonal but most often post-modern, experimental music will certainly not have one humming along, but perhaps "contemplating along" instead.  Most pieces feature no more than two or three instruments with the guitar or upright piano taking the lead.  It is rather unclear who would most enjoy Gallo's work presented here, perhaps those in the Indie film-world, but it is not likely to be the typical film music fan.

More info available at Warp Records



The Sum of All Fears by Jerry Goldsmith- June 6, 2002

The surprisingly successful release of Tom Clancy's latest novel-turned-feature-film, The Sum of All Fears, delivers composer Jerry Goldsmith's first feature film score since The Last Castle (Oct. 2001).  Elektra's release of The Sum of All Fears is; however, one of the more uneven listens of the first-half of 2002.  Jerry Goldsmith's brooding, if not understated, score, which at times hints of his work from The Mummy and The 13th Warrior and of course a plethora of his military-focused scores, is inharmoniously broken up by a handful of soulful, pop vocal pieces.  These inclusions, which might make the album more sellable, due to their sporadic placement on the album, tend to jerk the listener from the familiar musical world of Goldsmith into a Soul Train, slow-jam session and back.  The cries of the Goldsmith loyalists can already be heard calling for a more "complete" score release and given his original score presented here, it just might be worth it.

Track 3 - The Bomb Track 4 - That Went Well  Track 12 - Deserted Lab

Purchase at Amazon.com

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