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Sunday, February 04, 2007

CD REVIEW - The Science of Sleep

The Science of Sleep
Music by Jean-Michel Bernard & Various Artists
Source etc 0944637092224 (EU)
26 Tracks 49:07 mins

Michel Gondry's surreal romantic fantasy The Science of Sleep, stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and features a score by Jean-Michel Bernard, who has composed and produced numerous film and TV scores, collaborating with the likes of Claude Bolling, Lalo Schifrin and Ennio Morricone along the way. He was also a member of the Ray Charles Quartet, performing the B3 Hammond organ. It is therefore not suprising to hear the instrument featured in this score. The instrument was a staple of the '60s film scene, featuring on many Italian scores in particular, but it is not heard that often these days.
This soundtrack album is something of a mixed bag, featuring selections from the score, some with full orchestra, others more keyboard-based, together with narration and dialogue from the film and songs from such diverse artists as Dick Annegarn, Willowz, Linda Serbu, Kool & The Gang and an ensemble piece "If You Rescue Me" by Bernal, Alain Chabat, Aurelia Petit and Sacha Bourdo. The album concludes with a vocal of Bernard's drifting main theme, by Kimiko Ono.
As a sound souvenir of the film, the album works fine, though why you wouldn't prefer to wait and have the actual film on DVD, I don't know, but for score enthusiasts, it is yet another disatisfying album, with the score seldom allowed to breathe on its own. Said score is mostly light and somewhat trippy, with acoustic guitar and Hammond featuring prominently. Some cues are quite sneaky, and mysterious, with a little menace here and there. Quite a surreal accompaniment, rather like the film itself.
The accompanying booklet is quite attractive, with many stills from the film.
The Science of Sleep is released in the U.K. on 16th February, with the soundtrack album just preceding it on 12th February.


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