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

Monday, October 09, 2006

CD REVIEW - The Wicker Man

The Wicker Man
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
Silva Screen SILCD1216 (U.K.)
14 Tracks 44:14 mins

The original film version of this story is a cult classic, a one of a kind experience, with a one of a kind score, in a folk music style, the sole film work of one Paul Giovanni. This Hollywood re-telling receives a conventional orchestral score (with electronics thrown in), in the best Herrmann/Hitchcock traditions by Angelo Badalementi.
I haven't seen the film, nor do I wish to (when will they ever learn not to re-make a classic film, but to take a lousy film and make a better version of it), so I can only form my impressions of the score from the soundtrack album. I suppose it's best described as having a mysterious beauty, largely variations on three basic thematic elements, the most striking of which is the use of solo female voice, introduced in the composer's "Overture for the Wicker Man." It is in fact a pity we don't hear more of this, but it only really comes to the fore again in the concluding track "The Burning."
It's one of those scores where a suite would be sufficient, as it's just so much of the same all the time, despite a few threatening moments here and there. The final aforementioned track is probably the most varied, and includes a doom-laden processional, an almost tribal dance for the Pagan celebrations as the islanders make their sacrifice of the hapless Nicolas Cage character, and of course the female voice's return for the final lament.
The accompanying booklet features a note by the composer, plus colour stills from the film. Quite a different approach from the original score, as I said, but then so is the film. Personally, I'll stick to the original - on both counts.


Post a Comment

<< Home