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Monday, April 17, 2006

CD REVIEW - Ice Age: The Meltdown plus News from Costa Communications

Ice Age: The Meltdown
Music by John Powell
Varese Sarabande VSD-6725
32 Tracks 63:13 mins

David Newman did not return to score this sequel to the popular animated adventures of Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth and Diego the sabre tooth, but instead John Powell got the gig, and if you liked his scored for Robots, you probably won't be disappointed with his efforts here, which aren't quite as zany and inventive as that score, but are still very enjoyable nevertheless. Indeed, his sprightly main theme could easily have been borrowed from Robots, and this and the versatile theme I shall call "Manny's Theme" are at the heart of most of the action.
It's a typical animation score, with much "Mickey-Mousing" and plenty of sentiment and exciting action. "Manny's Theme" is heard both heroically and also tenderly as a kind of love theme between he and Ellie, the confused mammoth the guys meet on their quest to find safety when the ice begins to melt. Along the way, Sid encounters a tribe of "mini-sloths" and composer Powell has come up with a kind of tribal dance, which is very inventive, and is later reprised in celebratory fashion as the album's penultimate track. The final cue reprises the main thematic material from the score, ending on a wistful note.
I'm sure the film will be a great success and, like David Newman's before him, Powell's contributions will prove to be a vital element of that success.

From Costa Communications

Honour recognizes achievement in series television

(Beverly Hills, CA) The American Society of Composers and Publishers presented a prestigious Top Television Series award to composer Michael
Levine at the 21st Annual ASCAP Film and Television Awards gala on April 11 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, recognizing his contributions to the hit CBS series "Cold Case." The award honours ASCAP composers who have written the themes and underscore for the highest rated series during the period of
January 1 - December 31, 2005.

Born in Tokyo, Michael was raised in the Midwest and schooled in Canada
(McGill Univ.), Wisconsin(UW), and Boston (Berklee College of Music). He moved to New York City where his first job was playing violin on the streets. In the early 80s he founded the legendary No Guitars, one of the first bands to have a video on the just-launched MTV.

Winner of two Clio Awards for his work in advertising, Michael's groundbreaking combination of high-tech sound design with music became his calling card. His music for the first of his two Clio Awards, the
Mitsubishi Eclipse campaign, combined Japanese flute, an operatic soprano, world percussion, and electronically processed animal noises. His best-known ads are his jingles "Wacky Wild Kool-Aid Style," "Motts and Motts of Motts," and, most infamously, "Give me a Break" for Kit Kat, which is widely considered to be one of the most effective "earworms," a term used to describe a bit of music that you can't get out of your head, whether you want to or not. American Idol champ Carrie Underwood sang it on this year's campaign.

As the world's largest performing rights organization, ASCAP has over 200,000 composer, lyricist and music publisher members representing all genres of music. ASCAP is committed to protecting the rights of its members by licensing and collecting royalties for the public performance of their copyrighted works, and then distributing these fees to the Society's members based on performances. ASCAP's Board of Directors is made up solely of writers and publishers, elected by the membership every two years.