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Pay it Forward by Thomas Newman

Composed and Conducted by Thomas Newman
Orchestrated and Produced by Thomas Newman
Executive Producer: Robert Townson
Released by Varese Sarabande July 2000


Q-Review

Thomas Newman entered the Oscar-hopeful fray, for 2000, with another score featuring his contemporary style of synths, glass orchestra, and percussions. Pay It Forward seemed to bag all the makings for multiple Oscar nominations: Oscar winners, Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey and Oscar-nominee, Haley Joel Osmet, so fellow Oscar-nominee, Thomas Newman would seem like the clincher for this film. Or would it?

Once again Newman delivers a score resembling American Beauty and Erin Brokovich - one that borders on some very experimental music. Loops, otherworldly synths and samples are dotted throughout the score. On occasion, Newman does bring back the simple combination of piano accompanied by subtle strings.  When he does so, the score becomes vastly more enjoyable.  These softer moments are few and far between and not enough to rescue the soundtrack.

 


The Bottom Line

This contemporary style of Newman is certainly recognizable, but still pales in comparison to his full orchestral masterpieces such as Little Women, How to Make an American Quilt or The Shawshank Redemption. Other composers such as Patrick Doyle and Mychael Danna have also delved into more contemporary and experimental realms, but with much more success, as judged from a "listenability" standpoint. 

While personally not finding this type of Newman score very enjoyable, I must commend Newman for continuing to pursue this leg of composing style. It nearly brought him an Oscar and maybe one day it will.  Unfortunately for Newman, it won't be for Pay it Forward either.

 Category

Score

Rating: 5/10

 Originality

6/10

 Composition 5/10

 CD Length

5/10

Varese Sarabande | Amazon.com