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The Skulls (Soundtrack) Randy Edelman

Tracksounds Rating = 6/10

The Skulls (Soundtrack) Randy Edelman

Composed and Produced by Randy Edelman
Executive Producers Neal H. Moritz and Rob Cohen
Released by Decca Records March 2000

Track Title Time Rating Skull Fracture
by Christopher Coleman

It has been sometime since composer Randy Edelman has produced a piece like The Skulls.   Edelman’s work for his other recent release, The Whole Nine Yards, offers little by way of a symphonic score, but instead delivers heavily jazz-influenced pieces.  The Skulls does mark a reunion with director Rob Cohen which has produced some of Edelman’s finest scores, Dragon:  The Bruce Lee Story and Dragonheart.

The Skulls faces a direction towards of some Edelman’s more memorable works with its easily identifiable synthetic rhythms and strings.  Given the subject matter this is understandable and the romantic themes of the previously mentioned scores are replaced with a darker, more foreboding main theme, which is akin to some of Mark Snow’s piano led themes.  In fact, Mark Snow fan’s would probably find a good deal to appreciate about this Edelman score.

Even though Edelman has teamed again with director Rob Cohen, only the synthesizers and drums exist as common elements between his earlier works and The Skulls.    The closest to Edelman’s  ferociously beautiful themes of the past might be track 11, For a Friend.   The opportunity for another one of Edelman’s unforgettable, moving, themes was certainly there with Luke an Chloe, but instead a rather strange collection of synths and warped guitar notes is layered over a steady, but slow rock-rhythm, before digressing to the main theme once again.

The main theme is comprised of deep percussions contrasted with a mysterious piano theme, which makes its way in and out of several tracks, but most effectively in track 2, Will’s Funeral.  This track features a piano solo of the theme before the strings take command and finally bring the track to a rather ominous close.  While not overwhelming or catchy, this is the highlight of the score as released by Decca Records.

There are a number of suspense-tracks that feature the unmistakable Edelman-synth sound.  The Race (track 3) and Ready to be Reborn (track 6) are good representations of this style found in many scores by Randy Edelman.

Thankfully, the producers of this release have placed all of the mediocre, non-score tracks at the conclusion of the disc, which always provides a better listening experience for film music fans.  Once again, these tracks will help to sell more CDs, but have taken away opportunities for the film’s composer to bring a broader range of orchestral music to the film. 

By all appearances the producers chose to allow pop music to be the musical meat for this film, leaving Edelman with mostly thin underscore.  This makes The Skulls somewhat of a disappointment and one that is unlikely to receive repeat listens.   Ever holding out high hopes that Randy Edelman will compose another unforgettable theme, I come away from the score for The Skulls with more disappointment than ever.  The Whole Nine Yards turned out to be what one might expect- very little as far as orchestral pieces are concerned, but The Skulls had the potential to be much more.  Edelman remains one of the most active composers around and so we can still hold out some hope for, two reported projects for Edelman, The Gelfin and Shanghai Noon…that’s SOME hope.

1 The Skulls 1:17 ***
2 Will's Funeral 1:52 ***
3 The Race 4:19 ***
4 The Duel 3:43 ***
5 "Watch Me" 1:30 ***
6 Ready to be Reborn 1:45 **
7 Thorazine Hell 1:07 **
8 Snake & Skeleton 2:21 **
9 Trust 2:06 ***
10 Skull Island 1:06 ***
11 For a Friend 2:20 ****
12 Secret & Elite 1:24 ***
13 A Closed Membership 2:02 ***
14 No One is Safe 1:38 ***
15 Revisiting The Race 2:46 ***
16 Pictures 0:59 ***
17 Luke and Chloe 1:56 **
18 Reprise 2:05 ***
19 Something About a Ceiling - 3 Day Wheely 3:30 **
20 Falling  - Eman 3:22 ***
21 Rigamarole - BTK 3:46 ***
22 Taste - Lorna Vailings 4:01 **
  Total Playing Time 50:55    

Category

Score

 
 Originality 6  

Music Selection

6  

Themes/ Composition

6  

CD Length

7  

Track Order

7  

Performance

6  

Final Score

6  
         
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Composer
Randy Edelman

The Skulls (Soundtrack) Randy Edelman

In this tale of trials and trust, Edelman explores a greater depth of emotional and thematic development. Once again an entirely electronic effort, Edelman's score for The Skulls is among the better of his most recent entries. Often, in the absense of the orchestral ambience that most score fans are accustomed to, Edelman's scores hinge on the rhythms and themes he inserts into them. And The Skulls is a great example of that. ***

Christian Clemmensen - Filmtracks

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The Skulls (Soundtrack) Randy Edelman

All artwork from The Skulls is exclusive property of Decca Records (c) 2000.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.

 

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