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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

CD REVIEW - The Pursuit of Happyness

The Pursuit of Happyness
Music by Andrea Guerra
Varese Sarabande VSD 6783 (EU)
16 Tracks 40:08 mins

I don't suppose American film music fans will have heard too much of Andrea Guerra, and in fact I was quite surprised to hear he had scored this acclaimed Will Smith film, in which the popular actor/rapper stars with his real-life son Jaden. How he came to do so, I have yet to determine but, having reviewed some of his Italian scores in the past and quite enjoyed them, I was quite looking forward to the results.
I have to say that it is again very likeable, if a little in the predictable style written by so many American composers for a film of this kind. Whether he was working to orders or whether he just felt that this was what was required, again I do not know, but it certainly won't make him stand out in the crowd, although having Smith nominated for an Oscar can only help raise the profiles of everyone involved.
The disc opens with the optimistic, easy moving "Opening," which is immediately followed by the bustling big city music of "Being Stupid." "Running" is a purposeful track, with a swinging percussion accompaniment. After all this optimisim, "Trouble at home," brings us down to earth, introducing sad material that is developed through later downbeat moments of the film and score. But it's "Possibly" that introduces the most memorable and sentimental theme. In this and subsequent tracks it is often quietly optimistic, but the final two tracks see it come into its own with the warm "Happyness," in which acoustic guitar plays its part, and "Welcome Chris," where the theme positively soars at times, befor piano brings us to gentle closure.


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