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Hanging Up (Soundtrack) by David Hirshfelder

Tracksounds Rating = 6/10

Hanging Up (Soundtrack) by David Hirshfelder

Composed and Produced by David Hirshfelder
Executive Producer Robert Townson 
Released by Varese Sarabande Records 2000

Track Title Time Rating

Touchy-Feely Hirshfelder
by Christopher Coleman

One of the more disappointing films of early 2000, has been the comedy, Hanging Up, starring Meg Ryan, Lisa Kudrow, Diane Keaton (who also directed the film), and Walter Matthau.  A promising cast, but lack luster writing has produced a genuine bomb of a film.  Fortunately, composer David Hirschfelder was able to stay above all of the shortcomings of the film and has produced a rather fine score.

Hirshfelder certainly came into the spotlight with his daunting, Oscar nominated score for Elizabeth in 1998; however, Hanging Up demonstrates a completely different side of Hirshfelder’s talents.  With simple, yet emotional piano and sentimental accenting strings and woodwinds, David Hirshfelder serves up a very listenable score, much in line with a few other recent releases:  My Dog Skip (William Ross) and Diamonds (Joel Goldsmith).

The CD immediately begins by establishing the main theme in track one.  This theme is used often, but appropriately in many of the tracks to follow. Most of the time, variations on the theme are showcased on the piano. Track 1, It's Too Late has a magical quality too it that John Williams afficianados will find familiar.  This track sets one half of the tone for the score that is full of a lighthearted energy. 

Conference Call and Eve and Maddy Are Hondas (Tracks 3 and 9) are a delightful, classical  piano performance of the main theme, while track 8, Lou Missing, features contemporary jazz progressions.

The other half of the score is reflective and sad.  The music accompanying the "flashback" elements of the film are simple and somber. Flashback - Eve Crashes (tracks 2) incorporates a bit of speech from a little girl, adding a bit more poignancy to the track, but the saddest of the all is, Mums in Big Bear (track 11).

A couple of Christmas classics make their way into the track list, and given the light-heartedness of the score, they appear without too much intrusion.  Dean Martin’s silky smooth voice sings Let it Snow! while the incomparable voice of Judy Garland graces Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  Along with these non-score songs, the producers also included Georgia on My Mind performed by Steve Tyrell and All 4 One, and Once Upon a Time by Jay McShann.

Composer David Hirshfelder wowed the film and film music world with his forceful score to Elizabeth and now, with Hanging Up, has shown a much more tender side to his composing style.  The film certainly left many wondering what possessed them to see it in the first place and what possessed Diane Keaton to want to direct it, but the score is, at least, noteworthy.  For many this score might fall by the wayside or into the pile of forgotten scores for dramatic comedies, but for those looking for a softer, unobtrusive listening experience, Hanging Up could be a nice fit.

1 It's Too Late 3:00 ***
2 Flashback - Eve Crashes 1:25 ***
3 Conference Call 1:34 ***
4 Paralyzed Cowboy 0:26 ***
5 Memory Lane 1:51 **
6 Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! - Dean Martin 1:56 ***
7 Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland 2:42 ***
8 Lou Missing 2:25 ***
9 Even and Maddy are Hondas 1:01 ***
10 Flashback - Eve and Dad Dance 2:30 ***
11 Mums in Big Bear 2:31 ***
12 Even and Ogmed 4:07 ***
13 Disconnect/ Georgia's Arrival 3:13 ***
14 Georgia on My Mind - Steve Tyrell with All 4 One 3:52 **
15 Drive to Hospital 1:28 ***
16 Lou Dies 2:42 ***
17 Thanksgiving 2:20 ***
18 Once Upon a Time - Jay McShann 5:35 **
  Total Playing Time      



 Originality 6  

Music Selection


Themes/ Composition


CD Length


Track Order




Final Score

Post your thoughts about Hanging Up or this review at The Dominium.

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Have something to say about this score?  If you would like to contribute please e-mail me your thoughts.  Keep in mind I am limited on space here so I can't publish everyone's comments...but do send them!  Thanks!

 David Hirshfelder
David Hirshfelder

Hanging Up (Soundtrack) by David Hirshfelder
  Sound Clip:

  - Track 1 - It's Too Late

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Hanging Up (Soundtrack) by David Hirshfelder


All artwork from Hanging Up is exclusive property of Varese Sarabande Records (c) 2000.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.


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