Tracksounds Rating = 8/10
by Christopher Coleman
Craig Armstrong may not be the most commonly discussed film
score composer on the message boards, but his score to director Phillip
Noyce’s The Bone Collector may help to change that.
Generally, speaking movies like The Bone Collector fail to
get my $7.50 and likewise scores to such suspense-thrillers fail to get my
money as well. As far as the
score goes, The Bone Collector is not your average
psychopath-murderer sort of score. Craig
Armstrong provides some interesting themes and styles one might not be
expecting for such a movie.
The score, as released on compact disc by Decca, begins with
a simple piano melody, New York City, which becomes the score's
main theme. Behind the piano
are some eerie strings and percussions which really set the tone for the
entire score. This track doesn’t stay eerie for long, as
builds with more intensity and determination before it ends. Craig Armstrong's music definitely has a dark edge to it, but there exists a bit
more resolve, a bit more purpose within the music than is generally
expected for such a film. This
makes most of the tracks quite easy to listen to.
A full orchestral version of this piece comes at the conclusion of
the CD, track 16, where the London Symphony Orchestra gives us a more
traditional rendition of the theme.
Track 2, Prelude, continues the style started in the
previous track. The start is
rather abrupt, but then the piano theme returns once again. An interesting element is the solo vocalist heard for just a
few notes but later returns as a full blown choir. I was going to refrain from making a Graeme Revell comparison
(as I seem to do often), but this short vocal just forces me to do so.
In fact, there are quite a few elements that might lead one to
believe this was a Revell score: the piano, the synths, the previously mentioned vocals.
This isn’t too surprising since Craig Armstrong also composed
additional music for The Negotiator (Revell.)
The Bone Collector has more in common with The Saint,
The thing that Armstrong has done is that he weaves in and
out of the dark, mysterious, and suspenseful giving the listener important
breaks with his more driven, even up tempo style. Take track 10, McKenzie,
as an example. It isn’t
just senseless suspense underscore. It
is a track full of percussion and synths and even good ol’ “pops”
that our old records make. a very interesting track that
serves to break up what could; otherwise, get monotonous fast.
This fact makes this score stand out from most suspense thriller
scores and makes it a worthy listen.
Amelia’s Song (track 4) is constructed like the
New York City theme with piano and strings, but leans to a lighter,
heartfelt side. At the same
time, Armstrong does not abandon the overall darkness of the film’s
content in order to depict the film's heroin.
Another wonderful example of this is found in track 9, Rhyme And
Amelia's Love Theme. One wouldn’t call this an average love theme.
It is simply too dark. one gets the sense that time is ticking away, lives are
in danger (they always are), but somehow love works its way into the
situation (it usually does).
One of the best tracks is Pier Pressure (track 12).
It starts off harmless enough, but it isn’t long before the main
theme bursts onto the scene with determined rhythms and orchestral hits
that are awesome. The pulse
is slowed down dramatically and returns to the more foreboding state
before the track concludes.
The vocals return strongly in track 15, The City Awakes.
It is vocals and vocals alone for this piece and it works.
In contrast to the rest of the score, this track is one that is
full of light and hope. It
oozes with the feeling that the bad boy has been dispensed with and the
good guys have triumphed…but maybe with a high price tag?
New York City
Race Against Time
Walking The Grid
Working the Evidence
Rhyme and Amelia's Love Theme
|15||The City Awakens||2:48||****|
|Total Playing Time||50:10|
This is Armstrong's first solo composition effort for a major market film, and he enters the arena with a bang. With styles that range from the largely orchestral to the choral, from the solo voice to the performance of multiple synthesizers, Armstrong blends a little of everything into his music for The Bone Collector...Not only did this score catch me by surprise, but I predict that it will be a frequent listen for me in the months to come..****
Clemmensen - Filmtracks
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|All artwork from The
Bone Collector is exclusive property of Decca Records (c) 1999. Its
appearance is for imformational purposes only.
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