Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

CD REVIEWS - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and The Hiding Place

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Music by John Ottman
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1039 (U.S.)
22 Tracks 54:44 mins

Shane Black's return to screenwriting, also sees him directing this black comedy-thriller, which stars Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer.
The music is by John Ottman and largely consists of suspenseful, lightly jazzy music, somewhat in the '70s thriller style, with occasional exciting bursts of action and a little menace, but there is also a light, airy, fairytale quality to the music, particularly the main theme, with its sax and voices. A vocal Broken performed and co-composed by Robert Downey Jr completes the album, which comes with the usual colourful and informative booklet, featuring notes from both writer/director and composer.
Ottman seems to have become the composer of choice for superheroes these days, but a score like this one, really reveals his greatest strengths.

The Hiding Place
Music by Jared Depasquale
25 Tracks 47:49 mins

Jared Depasquale continues to write excellent scores for Focus on the Family Radio Theatre, the latest, which is available in many "family resource" catalogues and Wal-Marts across the States, being for this true story of the Ten Boom family, who hid Jews during the Nazi occupation of Holland during World War II.
The composer says "writing this score was especially difficult because I wanted to bring an authentic feel to the music. In other words, this shouldn't be a Hollywood score. I wanted it to sound as if a Dutch or Polish composer wrote the music. I found myself constantly listening to Henryk Gorecki Hendrik Andriessen and Krzystof Penderecki, as well as a lot of traditional Jewish music, hoping to absorb the emotion all those composer felt."
Well, he's certainly succeeded in producing yet another fine score for a story from the Holocaust, with the help of the Wormwood Orchestra. There is quite naturally an overall sense of tragedy, with fine, sensitive string writing, and some moving, emotional swells. Solos from mezzo soprano Buffy Baggot, in a setting of an excerpt from Psalm 119, violinist David Davidson and pianist Don Bryn, add poignancy, and Building the Hiding Place bristles with determination. Betsie's Death/Transcendence features passionate strings, ending in a very uplifting manner, with bells and voices; with Release and Remembrance providing an equally uplifting and emotional finale.
Though not commercially available, you can purchase a copy of the score directly from the composer by visiting his website at


Blogger Michael Javorka said...

Regarding THE HIDING PLACE, I can't agree more with Jeff's review. It's certainly a departure from typical Hollywood-style scoring, leaning more towards classical influences with beautiful, moving, emotional, even romantic expression in the music. Jared has been writing incredible music for numerous styles of film and radio productions. This score continues to show his versatility and talent as a composer who can do just about anything, and do it well.

8:29 AM  

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