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White Oleander by Thomas Newman

White Oleander

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 The Soundtrack
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White Oleander (Soundtrack)  by Thomas Newman

White Oleander
Composed by Thomas Newman
Varese Sarabande Records (2002)

Rating: 4/10

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“Lacking the contrasting stylistic vibrancy found in another 2002 Newman project, ROAD TO PERDITION, this score is more akin to the almost non-existent, THE SALTON SEA.”

White Noise
Review by Christopher Coleman

Produced by Thomas Newman and Bill Bernstein
Executive Producer: Robert Townson

Janet Finch's best selling novel, WHITE OLEANDER,  was brought to the big screen by director Peter Kosminsky. The film version focuses on three of the nine foster homes that a young girl, whose self-absorbed, single mother, goes to jail, spends a segment of her life - being molded and shaped by each of them, but can any of them conquer the poisonous effect of her own mother's influence?

Thomas Newman gets the call again to score another mainstream female-centric, feature-film. Unfortunately WHITE OLEANDER does not live up to the memorable Newman style of LITTLE WOMEN, HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT OR FRIED GREEN TOMATOES.  Instead, WHITE OLEANDER continues the composers "breathy," minimalist style that has dominated his work over the better part of a decade. Lacking the contrasting stylistic vibrancy found in another 2002 Newman project, ROAD TO PERDITION, this score is more akin to the almost non-existent, THE SALTON SEA. Aside from the opening two tracks the score virtually disappears into a dimension of seemingly extraneous synthesizers and electronically processed percussions.

Of course it is unfair to expect Thomas Newman to a Little Women-like score for a film of this nature, but more often than not, Thomas Newman scores seem to move closer to modern musical experiments, which seldom turn translate into interesting listening experiences for general film music lovers.

Rating: 4/10

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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Oleander Time 4:21  ***
2 Not My Type 2:29  **
3 Starr 1:04  **
4 Durer Rabbit 1:24  **
5 Meteor Shower 1:38  **
6 Plain Denim Dress 2:25  **
7 Broken People 1:53  *
8 Fire Season 1:25  **
9 Claire 1:15  **
10 Rollercoaster 2:17  **
11 Rena 1:02  **
12 Milk Flowers 1:23  *
13 La Puta Del Diablo 1:26  **
14 Bullet 0:49  *
15 DMSO 2:20  **
16 Uncle Ray 0:50  *
17 Every Insult 1:11  **
18 Shadow Puppet 1:59  **
19 White Oleander 3:19  ***
  Total Running Time (approx) 34 minutes  




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