2007 Cue Awards

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I've been asked, "Why do you go through so much trouble for these crazy awards of yours?"  Well, I'm not sure actually.  I know it's a fun exercise.  I know it helps me take a look at an entire year of music and dig out some "old" stuff from earlier in the year.  Sometimes these scores have been forgotten due to the end-of-year-barrage of films and film scores.  I think, in the end, it's great to publicly honor someone or something for that bit of joy and energy or peace or kick-in-the-pants it provided to me throughout the year.  Other than, buying soundtracks and going to movies, there aren't a many ways to "give back" to those that produce and deliver this special kind of music.  I suppose The Cue's are just one more way of trying to do that.

With the conclusion of this years Cue Awards, I'm left feeling a little frustrated...just the way one is supposed to feel after any award show concludes...apparently.  The major change in how winners were selected this year brings the Cue Awards closer to a true site award, as opposed to "my" favorites and "their" favorites.  "Change is good," they say, so I'm feeling that, even though this change in format was an experiment, we'll continue it next year.  This new format certainly brings about a lot more thought and discussion and it's a blast to have Steve and Cap (who's ongoing contributions help make Tracksounds what it is) participate each year. 

Unfortunately, Matthew Peterson couldn't join in this year (life happens, I'm told.) but we look forward to him being back next year.  Perhaps even YOU will be able to participate next year.  We'll see what the gods of technology have to say about that.  Until then, I get to stew over how most of my personal favorites didn't win a Cue Award.  Hopefully, 2007 will be as full of surprises and solid scores as 2006.

Christopher Coleman



SURPRISE OF THE YEAR

Tales of Earthsea was simply a bolt of lightning for me.  I knew nothing about the anime film, when I first heard a clip of it.  It enthralled me like few soundtracks did in 2006.

DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR

Sometimes you want just a little bit more.  FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS was just too understated.  It's time to let someone else have a crack at your movies Mr. Eastwood...by someone other than someone with the last name Eastwood.  There really are some decent composers out there.

BEST SCORE MISSED BY OSCAR

Ok...could there be more decent scores missed by Oscar in a single year?  Not to come down on the official nominees, but sheesh.  Usually there is one, perhaps two, dark horse, indy-filmish-type-scores that get nominated, but this year, it seems they all are.  Is blockbuster film and Oscar nominee mutually exclusive nowadays?

MOST UNOBTRUSIVE SONG ON A SCORE ALBUM

This is always an interesting category.  This year Eragon did the best job of including "popification" without destroying the flow and atmosphere created by the score.

BEST TRAILER MUSIC

WORLD TRADE CENTER...a tough one.  Lots of music to choose from, yet they seemed to find the perfect fit with THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE. 

RECORD LABEL OF THE YEAR

MovieScore is doing a bang-up job bringing us music that might not see the light of day otherwise.  Lookout for Milan...what a great year they had.  Of course, Varese dominates in sheer volume, but had a good number of entertaining releases.

BEST SOUNDTRACK COVER ART

I love this award.  Nothing I hate more than a crappy CD insert.  Ok perhaps a crappy CD.  THE FOUNTAIN was beautiful.  THE PROMISE was derivative, but colorful.

BEST CUE AS HEARD IN FILM

Phoenix vs. Professor X?  Musically, it just didn't get much better than that in 2006; however, the climactic scene of LADY IN THE WATER was pretty much standard James-Newton-Howard-Breathtaking-stuff. 

BEST SCORE IN FILM

Have to nominate X-Men again, BUT, in fact, the score was deserving of a better film.  Superman Return worked pretty well...albeit the music for Lex Luther and company left a little to be desired.  Ottman didn't have to go the comedic route a la "March of the Villains" but something "more" was in order here.

BEST SCORE ON ALBUM

Start to finish The Da Vinci Code and X-Men (again) top my list. 

BEST SCORE FOR A VIDEO GAME

Such a wonder genre.  So much good stuff coming out of the video game world.  The most high profile score came for a game yet to be released - Howard Shore's SOUL OF THE ULTIMATE NATION.  Still Chris Tilton's BLACK is a serious contendor as well as the well-awarded HITMAN: BLOOD MONEY by Jesper Kyd.

BEST SCORE FOR ANIMATED FILM

With the 17 some odd animated film released in 2006, one won hope for a real stand out effort.  Well, there were some decent ones:   John Powell's Happy Feet, Douglas Pipe's Monster House among them, but overall it was a little disappointing.  Still, just at the end of the year came a wee little film that no one was talking about that featured a score that really no one was talking about, Arthur and the Invisibles.  The score for Eric Serra was a bit of a surprise to be sure.

BEST ACTION SCORE

Plenty to choose from here, but John Powell's X-Men: The Last Stand was the action-class of 2006.

BEST DRAMATIC SCORE

A true toughie, this category is.  The Da Vinci Code was a tour de force to be reckoned with.  Lady in the Water did not overly impress me out of the gate, but has grown on me since.  We are Marshall, a late entry, but a dramatically entertaining listen.

BREAKOUT COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

Alexander Desplat?  Quite a year, my friend.  Christophe Beck also had a year not to be sneezed at.

DISAPPEARING COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

Wheeeeeerrrrrrreeeee's Johnny?  Ok...everyone needs a break, I guess.

OUTSTANDING COMPOSER OF THE YEAR

Alexander Desplat.  Christophe Beck.  You had good years, but John Powell...holy schmoly.  You've earned the right to be 2007's Disappearing Composer of the Year.  Take a year man, you've earned it.

MOST MEMORABLE/OUTSTANDING THEME OF THE YEAR

A true toughie part deux.  If I think of what theme I've hummed the most in the last year...it'd have to be The Dark Phoenix theme from X-Men:  The Last Stand, yet there were a number of others that I truly enjoyed:  Superman Return's Power of the sun-theme, and Patrick Doyle's title theme from Eragon are among them.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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