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Smokin' Aces by Clint Mansell

Smokin' Aces

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 The Soundtrack
 The Score
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Smokin' Aces (Score) by Clint Mansell

Smokin' Aces
Composed by Clint Mansell
Lakeshore Records (2007)

Rating: 9/10

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Listen to this soundclip of Smokin' AcesShell Shock (355 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of Smokin' AcesDead Reckoning (352 kb)

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“Clint Mansell’s albums truly work as albums—not just underscore, but as listenable albums that move from beginning to end. ”

Aces Smokin'
Review by Steve Townsley

After giving SMOKIN' ACES a listen, I brought a friend over to play the final track (“Dead Reckoning”) for her, just to see what she thought. After digesting it, and pondering it, she said “Well, thanks a lot—now I have to hear the rest of the album!”

Yes, CLINT MANSELL is kind of like that. I intended to ruin nothing for my friend just by playing the final track—only to see what she (not being a devoted film music follower) would respond. To get her hooked made me feel somewhat like a dealer—(but a well-intentioned one!)

CLINT MANSELL has composed music for artistic drama (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, THE FOUNTAIN) and has shown that he is more-than-capable of composing music for mainstream action films (SAHARA.) SMOKIN' ACES is some bizarre amalgam of both.

Many soundtrack enthusiasts and others took notice when Mansell’s REQUIEM FOR A DREAM was beefed up for the trailer of LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS—the simple, minimalist 2-note repetition was given a powerful urgency in a way that had probably not been as effective a mood-setter since the advent of “Jaws” some 30 years prior.

“Aces” touches upon that urgency, cleverly, masking it under a rock beat and some ethnic guitar work that really spices up this dark comedy-action flick. Clint Mansell’s albums truly work as albums—not just underscore, but as listenable albums that move from beginning to end. They are moody and atmospheric, gentle and coarse, and “Aces” is no exception. The whole score throbs with carefully crafted energy, which builds up to a thrilling climax. At a solid 45 minutes, it’s the ideal length to listen to all the way through without getting too weary. Play it!

Rating: 9/10

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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Surveillance (I-Spy and the FBI) 8:02  ****
2 Yo'Te Queiro (Oh Ma Corazon) 4:01  ***
3 Smokin' Aces/It's Buddy's World 10:08  **
4 Three for the Roadkill 2:44  ***
5 Welcome to Tahoe! 2:36  ***
6 Shellshock (Another Day, Another Dollar!) 8:04  ****
7 Aftermath (Body Count) 7:06  ****
8 Dead Reckoning 3:15  ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 45 minutes  




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