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Erin Brockovich (Soundtrack) by Thomas Newman

Tracksounds Rating = 3/10

Erin Brockovich (Soundtrack) by Thomas Newman

Composed by Thomas Newman
Produced by Thomas Newman and Bill Bernstein
Released by Sony Classical Records, April 2000

Track Title Time Rating The Second Stage of Thomas Newman
by Christopher Coleman

For the majority of Thomas Newmanís career, he has produced serious, orchestral scores that, more often than not, delivered, at least, one or two truly memorable themes.   At the same time, most of his best works have gone under-appreciated.  He has been nominated for two Academy Awards: one for The Horse Whisperer and another for American Beauty.  These two scores alone typify Newmanís apparent two stage career thus far.

First with American Beauty and now Erin Brokovich, it appears Newman has fully entered, what could be called, the second stage of his career where his style has changed dramatically from delightful slices of Americana pie to more contemporary pieces influenced more by blues and jazz than anything else.  Hints of the style that dominates Newmanís most recent work for Erin Brokovich have existed for some time; namely,  Up Close and Personal.  The exception with even this score is that it delivered some of Newmanís great orchestral work as well.  Erin Brokovich does not.

This supremely short CD, just over 30 minutes, there are quite a few tracks, 23.  Do the math and you'll see that the average track length hovers around 1 minute.  Sad, but since the music is rather forgettable, this is forgiveable.  Added to 21 tracks of Newman's contemporary, underemphasized, score are two tracks from Sheryl Crow.  Oddly enough, these two tracks are liable to be the only tracks that perk the listener's ears even a little.

Erin Brokovich is a modern film with quirky, modern themes and so, in the minds of many, would demand a rather quirky, modern score.  Thomas Newman delivers just that.  The unfortunate part is that there is very little engaging about this score at all and its function as underscore in the film is the best place to experience it.  I have been able to stomach this style in smaller doses, but with Erin Brokovich, we have gone over-the-top, passed my limits of tolerance.  The music here is flat and empty and would better fit as underscore for some .com television commercial.  And given the length of many of the tracks, would make a perfect fit.

Suffice it to say, I donít think there is much chance of Thomas Newman flashing a look of shock and disappointment at the Oscars, as he did for American Beauty, for this score.  Hopefully, he will have another entry in 2000 that will grant a better chance at the acceptance podium- one that returns him to his earlier style and quality.

 

1 Useless 1:13 **
2 Xerox 0:45 **
3 Pro Bono 1:10 *
4 Classifieds 1:29 **
5 Annabelle 0:46 **
6 On the Plane 1:21 **
7 Chicken Fat Lady 1:00 **
8 Lymphocytes 0:55 **
9 Miss Wichita 2:10 **
10 Two Wrong Feet 1:27 **
11 What About You 1:09 ***
12 Redemption (Sheryl Crow) 4:28 **
13 Chromium 6 0:44 **
14 Malign 2:40 **
15 Holding Ponds 1:21 **
16 No Colon 1:18 *
17 Occasional Tombstones 1:07 **
18 Xerox Copy 0:46 **
19 Technically a Woman 0:48 **
20 Water Board 1:07 **
21 333 Million 1:18 **
22 Hinkley Reverse Mix 1:23 *
23 Everyday is a Winding Road (Sheryl Crow) 4:32 ***
  Total Playing Time 34:57    

Category

Score

 
 Originality 2  

Music Selection

3  

Themes/ Composition

2  

CD Length

5  

Track Order

5  

Performance

3  

Final Score

3  
         
Post your thoughts about Erin Brokovich or this review at  The Dominium

Other reviews:

Erin Brockovich, while certainly listenable, is more watered down. Completely electronic, its themeless ramblings are best represented by the wide range of low pitch electronic droplet and percussion sounds. An electronic keyboard and organ top it off with a slightly jazzy urban beat. Most surprising is the understatement of the title character's theme, especially in light of that character's undeniable charisma. *

Christian Clemmensen - Filmtracks


Composer
Thomas Newman

Erin Brockovich (Soundtrack) by Thomas Newman

Though it doesn't really plow any new ground in musical terms for its creator, Erin Brokovich is largely enjoyable and should make his fans quite happy. In particular it serves as a sunnier, easily digestible installment in Newman's high profile "real folks" trilogy of American Beauty and The Green Mile. ***

Nathaniel Thompson - Scorelogue

 

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Erin Brockovich (Soundtrack) by Thomas Newman

 

 

All artwork from Erin Brokovich is exclusive property of Sony Classical Records (c) 2000.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.

 

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