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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

CD REVIEW - Lady in the Water

Lady in the Water
Music by James Newton Howard
Decca 170 3629 (EU)
16 Tracks 59:48 mins

It's nice to see Howard's music given priority on this mixture of score and songs, with his 12 score tracks actually leading the way on the album, in this his latest collaboration with director M. Night Shyamalan.
The film has not been well received and is apparently based on a bedtime story the director made up for his kids. I've long thought his films overrated, so perhaps the general populace are now catching on. No fault however can be laid at the door of composer Howard, who has again produced another fine score, even if it does remind me of Signs, in that it is similarly propulsive, almost bordering on minimalism in its flowing passages.
It's a largely orchestral score, though choir is used tellingly and there are nice solos on piano and flute. As one would imagine, a good deal of the music is in mysterious, mystical mode, as a hotel janitor gets to grips with the strange female creature inhabiting the pool and her deadly pursuers.
As with Signs, the concluding score tracks are linked together, making for a flowing musical finale, some 10 minutes in length. The most powerful track is the penultimate one, "The Great Eatlon," which obviously is the final showdown, with plenty of musical fireworks on display, including a big, flowing choral passage. "End Titles" finishes the score in peaceful, delicate fashion, and leads into the first of four songs penned by Bob Dylan, performed by artists I have never heard of.


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