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Thursday, March 23, 2006

CD REVIEW - Freedomland

Music by James Newton Howard
Varese Sarabande VSD-6717
13 Tracks 45:12 mins

After his excellent orchestral score for King Kong, composer James Newton Howard comes crashing down to Earth with his urban styled music for this Samuel L. Jackson thriller, which I know nothing about, but I believe the subject of racism is somewhere at its core.
Howard's music mixes electronics with orchestra, with prominent guitar by Mike Landau on some tracks to provide a largely threatening and downright menacing accompaniment, with the more action-oriented cues often rocky or beat-driven. Piano adds sadness and sensitivity where necessary, but it's hard to warm to this score, which nevertheless has a few hopeful moments, with the partially triumphant title track, "I'll Come See You" and the concluding "Little Angel." Being the standouts.


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