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Knight and Day by John Powell

Knight and Day

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Knight and Day (Soundtrack) by John Powell

Knight and Day
Composed by John Powell
Walt Disney Records (2010)

Rating: 7/10

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“This album is a blast...John Powell, who has some experience in scoring romantic comedies (Two Weeks Notice) and hard core action (The “Bourne” series) manages a bit of genre-bashing music-magic here.”

The Bourne Romantic-Comedy
Review by Steve Townsley

I am an unabashed JOHN POWELL enthusiast. He is, in this reviewer’s opinion, one of the top composers of today. Powell brings a seemingly inexhaustible fresh approach to the films that have the pleasure of being scored by him. I was incredibly pleased to visit his newest score to the Tom Cruise/Cameron Diaz action flick, KNIGHT AND DAY. (I’m going to check it out, the previews look decent.) But, as I haven’t seen the movie yet, my take on the score is going to rely solely upon the merits of the music itself.

I kinda like this approach when it comes to film music. I think music (and most music in general) is made good by two features:
1) What it makes you think.
2) What it makes you do.

In this instance, the answers are 1) fun action, and 2) tap my fingers and feet a lot.

I think Powell has really captured the heart of the action-rom-com, and the formula is simple: Treat it like a dance. Really. Many of the cues here feel like rapid ballroom dance numbers, with extra zest. Some of them might be a little too rapid, a little too zesty, but overall, his approach works. A lot. The crazy Latin strings and beat in “Hostage” (Track 5) are so much fun to soak in. Even his Parisian accordion lilts keep the listener more at ease, than tense. Strangely enough, Track 7, entitled “To the Island of Love” is among the score’s most tense action tracks. I think you can hear a bit of “Shrek” in Track 16 (“Bull Run”), but the flamenco guitar flavor is intense enough to keep your mind off of green ogres.

Here’s the catch, though, if you like to call it a “catch”: Five years ago, Powell did the same thing in a little high-profile couple comedy called “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”. Action, romance, and comedy blended all up in a Latin-dance score. BUT--that was a great album too, and it works, and it, too, was a underrated score. Overrated movie, perhaps, but highly underrated score.

This album is a blast. Since the movie seemed to die rather quickly for a Tom Cruise film that didn’t have the words “Mission” and “Impossible”, I might go so far as to say this is a undiscovered gem of the summer movie season. John Powell, who has some experience in scoring romantic comedies (Two Weeks Notice) and hard core action (The “Bourne” series) manages a bit of genre-bashing music-magic here.

Rating: 7/10




Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 At the Airport 4:42  ****
2 Rough Landing 3:45  **
3 Trouble on I-93 4:06  ***
4 Running from Roy 2:21  ****
5 Hostage 3:34  *****
6 Car Ferry 1:35  ****
7 To the Island of Love 4:22  ***
8 In Austria 1:32  **
9 Galley Fight 3:39  ***
10 Five Star 2:16  ****
11 June Spies 3:30  ****
12 He's a Spy 1:14  ***
13 Rooftops 3:23  ***
14 The Villa 2:30  ***
15 Reunion 4:28  ****
16 Bull Run 4:52  ****
17 Going to Cape Horn?  Take a Jacket 3:03  ****
  Total Running Time (approx)   minutes  




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