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

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

CD REVIEW - The Astronaut Farmer

The Astronaut Farmer
Music by Stuart Matthewman
Varese Sarabande VSD 6790 (EU)
31 Tracks 65:40 mins

This quirky Billy Bob Thornton starrer features a fine Americana-styled score by English songwriter/musician/producer Stuart Matthewman (alias Cottonbelly), who worked on director Michael Polish's previous short films. He certainly takes his chance to score a feature with both hands, supporting Thornton's character's lone attempts to launch a self-built rocket into space with a fine orchestral score, with just a hint of electonics here and there.
The main theme, introduced in the "Opening Titles" is a nice, gentle affair, and is reprised in "Bank." We don't unfortunately get to hear it so much thereafter, though it does return triumphantly in the closing "Home." Every track in the score has something to offer, but my picks would be the light and playful "Sleepy Shepard," the piano-lead warmth of "Farmer and Sunshine," the cello-lead "Sad Family" and the proud, noble and heroic music, often featuring the great Maurice Murphy's trumpet, for scenes involving the rocket.
Rob Mathes is credited with orchestrations, arrangements, and conducting , and also wrote three tracks himself, all of which are winners. "Embrace the Media" features guitar-driven hijinks, whilst "Weatherman and "Dunkin Donuts" are straight out of the Copland school of hoedown music.
The album concludes with a vocal by the incomparable Gillian Welch.
I'm always interested in giving the music of composers unknown to me a listen, and am certainly keen to see the film with its interesting premise.


Post a Comment

<< Home