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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I Am Legend
Music by James Newton Howard
Varese Sarabande VSD 6878 (EU)
14 Tracks 44:28 mins

Why they needed to make yet another version of this classic sci-fi story I do not know. Charlton Heston's The Omega Man, though perhaps somewhat dated is still a perfectly acceptable version, but then the studios never remake bad films to try and make something of them, and instead always seem to go for the "classics" and generally fail to live up to standards set by the original. Will Smith takes the Heston role this time and I haven't seen the film, so I cannot comment on its success or failure, but box office results so far seem to lean towards the latter, from what I hear.
As for the score, well, Ron Grainer's music for the Heston film was long wished for and finally got a release by Film Score Monthly, much to everyone's joy. We don't have to wait years for the score to this new version, however, as Varese Sarabande has graced us with a soundtrack album of James Newton Howard's music - and what music it is - noble, elegiac, almost biblical at times, largely based on the composer's great main theme, which starts out the album in "My Name Is Robert Neville," on solo trumpet, but then is taken up by strings and choir. The theme is to appear throughout many of the subsequent tracks, sometimes full-blown, at others more intimately and poignantly on piano.
The other main music is for the constant threat of night and the mutants it brings out. This is represented by a mix of percussion and electronics, very heavy on drumming in the more exciting and menacing moments.
Whatever the fate of the film, one thing is for sure, this is a great score, probably the best I've heard from the composer since his wonderful music for Dinosaur.


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