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Thursday, April 13, 2006

CD REVIEW - Inside Man

Inside Man
Music by Terence Blanchard
Varese Sarabande VSD-6722 (EU)
27 Tracks 56:29 mins

Director Spike Lee is not normally associated with crime thrillers, but he agreed to take on this bank heist thriller with a twist and of course took his composer of choice, Terence Blanchard, with him. And Blanchard certainly delivers, basing his score around two themes, the first big and weighty, which opens the album and crops up throughout subsequent tracks, seemingly accompanying the heist and the bad guys, principally Clive Owen, who seems to be making significant inroads into the Hollywood mainstream these days. It is particularly striking in a travelling variation for "Stevie Switcharoo," becoming expansive in the following "Dalton's World." The composer's secondary theme, if one could call it that, seemingly accompanies the hostage negotiator, Denzel Washington, and gives him a noble yet at times badass swagger, strutting his stuff to a retro, funky '70s-styled accompaniment. "Food Chain" and "Nice Talking to You" are striking examples of this theme, with "Photo Ops" presenting it in as similarly weighty form as the Clive Owen theme. Both themes come together in the concluding "Good and Ready," where first sax and then Blanchard's trumpet lead the way.
Tacked on the end of the album is an absolutely awful number - a combination of Bollywood and hip-hop, and we can only be thankful for its placement there.


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