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Just Visiting (Soundtrack) by John Powell

He Who Has the Most Fun
Review by Christopher Coleman

 

Jurassic Park III
7/10

Just Visiting (Soundtrack) by John Powell

 

 

Category

Score

Originality 9
Music Selection 8
Composition 9
CD Length 7
Track Order 8
Performance 8
Final Score 8/10

 

 

Real Audio Clips

 

Track 1 - Thibault Goes to England

Track 15 - On the Bridge

 

 

 

 Purchasing Options

 

Amazon.com 

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Varese Sarabande

 

 


Composer 
John Powell

 

Quick Quotes

 

 

Composed and Produced by John Powell
Additional Music by Nick Glennie-Smith, James McKee Smith, Geoff Zanelli
Performed by Heitor Pereira (Guitar); Kudson Kai (Vocals)
Executive Producer: Robert Townson
Conducted by Adam Stern; London Choir Conducted by Gavin Greenway
Released by Varese Saranbande April 2001

John Powell must have the greatest time when he composes.  Score after score that he composes or collaborates on literally pulse with color, life, and flair.   2000's Chicken Run and The Road to El Dorado were great examples and in 2001, John Powell shows no signs of letting up!  

Just Visiting, a hopeful rehash of an old French film, didn't promise more than a few half-hearted chuckles and a number of  "Oooos" and "Ahhhs" at the CG work in the film.   The absence of any talk regarding the music for this film can only be due to the fact that few bothered to see the film.  The unfortunate result is that another gem of a score, sure to delight fans of Powell's or Harry Gregson-Williams style of film music, has crept into stores with hardly a whisper.  Once again, Varese Sarabande comes to the rescue.

As forgettable as the film may be, John Powell's score, jumps off the screen, and CD for that matter, and makes its own mark as a truly entertaining bit of music all by itself.  In Powell's, now classic, manner of spacious choruses,  synthesizers, orchestra and eclectic mix, Just Visiting packs a pleasurable "wollop" in much the same way Chicken Run does, but in an ever-so-slightly-gentler-manner.

Just Visiting contains much of the same brand of fun that Powell was able to inject into his collaborative work with Hans Zimmer for The Road to El Dorado and certainly bares some resemblence to the militaristic fanfare in Chicken Run.  While the score sports a brand of "zaniness" usually relegated to animated films, Powell, most cleverly, mixes in slightly more serious touches.  On occasion, Powell pays homage to 12th Century music  by weaving lutes, harps, and recorders right into his barrage of sythensizer-bliss.  Track 1, Thibault Goes to England, is a nice example of this.  Powell establishes the main, heroic theme, but that is only where he starts!  Here we pick up the classic style of that era but also Powell's distinctive choral and percussion work.  With a triumphant fanfare, Powell refuses to let the listener get the tiniest bit bored.  That musical ride continues on through tracks such as, The Big Chase (22)."Subtlety" is certainly a word that is not in John Powell's musical dictionary.

To contrast the bold and adventursome side of this score, John Powell crafts some very entertaining music.  On the Bridge (15) has an Oriental-bend to it.  With modern rhythms and gorgeous harp accents, this piece is among the best.  Thankfully, this secondary theme established in On the Bridge is reprised in Not a Bunny (21) and Hunter Gets It/ Julia Sees the Castle (25). It is light, contemporary and, again, just plain fun.  Feel Like a Lady (16) is heartfelt and tender and finally erupts into a nice motif that is strangely Spanish in its flavor.  Only Powell could pull this off!  Guirtarist Heitor Pereira, who played the memorable Spaniard-theme from Gladiator, once again brings his simple, yet considerable talents to this project.  Rosaline and Thibault (6) and Tub for Two (10)  really showcase Pereira's skills.

John Powell reflects the emotional, romantic aspects of the story quite well in tracks such as, Andre Asks to Stay (20) and What Will I Do Without You (23).  Even though such tracks are short-lived they also provide a nice breather throughtout the soundtrack.  

The vast majority of this score is a pure delight to listen to.  Only a few of the quasi-suspence or comic-relief tracks are a little flat, but even then, Powell manages to throw something in that redeems the track: a bit of Pereira's guitar or that ominous chorus that I just can't seem to get enough of.  Even the final track, Your Time Will Come (21), with its painful dance rhythms and dance progressions is saved somewhat by Peirera's accompanying guitar.  

John Powell has yet to disappoint me.  One of his most under-appreciated works, Endurance, has long been a addiction of mine and his most recent works only strengthen my belief that this man must have the most fun of any film music composer working today.   It is so clear in his music.  While it bares the Media Ventures signatures, John Powell's music really has a life and character all its own and Just Visiting delivers 36:02 of additional proof.

 


Track Listing and Ratings

 Track

Title Time

 Rating

1 Thibault Goes to England   2:39  *****
2 The Hag's Hut 2:20  ****
3 Rosaline and Thibault 1:12  *****
4 Halucination and Execution 1:10  *****
5 To Chicago 0:40  ****
6 Kill the Car 2:00  ****
7 Thibault Sees Julia 1:16  ****
8 My Cousin, My Descendant 1:29  ****
9 Ode de Toilet 0:21  ****
10 Tub for Two 1:03  *****
11 So Many Descendants 0:21  ****
12 Kissing Cousins 0:39  ****
13 Searching for a Wizard 0:50  ****
14 Another Visitor 0:44  ***
15 On the Bridge   1:55  *****
16 Feel Like a Lady 1:04  ****
17 Andre Can't Ask 0:35  ****
18 The Wizard Pulls Himself Together 1:03  ****
19 The Wizard Cooks 0:40  ****
20 Andre Asks to Stay 0:51  ****
21 Not a Bunny 1:04  *****
22 The Big Chase 2:02  *****
23 What Will I Do Without You 1:46  ****
24 Thibault and the Wizard Return Home 1:56  ***
25 In the IceHall 1:04  ****
26 Hunter Gets It/ Julia Sees the Castle 1:44  ****
27 You Time Will Come 2:51  ***
 

Total Running Time

36:02  
 

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.

 

Referenced Reviews
The Road to El Dorado Chicken Run  |  Gladiator

 

Just Visiting (Soundtrack) by John Powell

 

 

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