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

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Yes, I'm back - well, kind of! There's so much going on in my life at the moment that I just am not able to spend all the hours I did previously on analysing and reviewing CDs and, whilst I am not intending to give it up altogether, I cannot promise to always deliver detailed reviews of things that come my way in the future. I hope the kind folks who send me their releases continue to support me, and I hope they know that I will always give some kind of coverage to everything they share with me but, if they choose not to, I'll understand, and it may be that my blogging days will then come to an end. I'll keep you posted.

Anyway, there are a lot of CDs arriving at the moment, so I'd best make a start, and where better than by making you aware of the latest releases from the enterprising La-La Land Records.

Music by David Arnold
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1058 (US)
Disc 1 - 25 Tracks 55:28 mins Disc 2 - 15 Tracks 53:47 mins

Following on from his excellent symphonic scores for Stargate and Independence Day, David Arnold composed another big orchestral/choral score for Roland Emmerich's take on the famous Japanese Godzilla franchise. Fans of that series were less than happy with the changes made to their favourite monster, and the film didn't fare that well at the box office, but fault certainly couldn't be found with Arnold's score, which pushed all the right buttons. His Godzilla theme was suitably powerful and reminiscent of his "bad guys" music for the other two Arnold-scored films previously mentioned. And there was of course a good deal of exciting action music to support Godzilla's on-screen rampages. Arnold also composed a fine, heroic martial theme, which was used all too sparingly and he was suitably light and romantic in the more intimate encounters.
At the time of the film's release, though prepared, a score album was never issued, just a song-filled album, with a couple of score cues thrown in almost as an afterthought. Fans of Arnold and his music have been hoping for a score release ever since. Well, finally they have one, and what a fine release it is, a double-disc presentation of the sccore, plus a handful of bonus tracks of alternate takes and the album version of the Godzilla theme. All this, and a splendid accompanying booklet, featuring plenty of colour stills from the film, plus Don Goldwasser's detailed notes on the production and its music, including the composer's enlightening reminiscences. Grab your copy soon, as it's a limited edition of just 3000 units.

The Dark Crystal - 25th Anniversary Edition
Music by Trevor Jones
La-La land Records LLLCD 1059
13 Tracks 40:37 mins

If you were unlucky enough to miss out on Numenorean Music's limited edition release of 2003, which coupled both the original album tracks and the complete score, you might like to pick up a copy of this special 25th anniversary release of Trevor Jones' brilliant music for the 1982 fantasy The Dark Crystal. Here, we have solely the original album tracks but, to be honest, this is all one needs, as it is such a brilliantly put together album and really highlights the best aspects of Jones' score.
The composer had previously only really been known for his work on Excalibur and, even then, most people will only remember the classical pieces utilised in the film. Who was to know what a brilliant score he would go on to write for this production of the Jim Henson Creatureshop?
At the heart of the score is his majestic main theme, and there is some pretty menacing music for the villians of the piece, the Skeksis, with more pastoral and ethereal writing supporting the here and heroine of the piece, the Gelflings, including a gorgeous, yet somewhat sad love theme between them. Amongst the big orchestral writing, a kind of medieval style is employed, not only in the Gelfling music, but also the dance of the Pod people. Particularly powerful moments in the score include "The Funerals" with its flowing organ and that for the resolution of the tale The Great Conjunction," whilst the "Finale" brings together the main thematic material for a satisfying close.
Accompanying the disc is another colourful booklet, with stills from the film and Randall Larson's essay, which includes comments from the composer himself.
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