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

Monday, April 07, 2008


Music by John Powell
Varese Sarabande VSD-6886 (EU)
19 Tracks 39:54 mins

After the sheer fun of his score for Horton Hears a Who!, John Powell has provided a very different score for a very different film, concerning an Iraq vet who returns home after his tour of duty only to find himself recalled to the field.
Powell's main theme is a noble, lonely piece for trumpet, something along the lines of Jerry Goldsmith's theme for The Last Castle. It both opens and closes the album and often supports the more poignant, elegiac moments of the score thereafter. "Graveside" is a suitably mournful piece, unusually with a somewhat bluesy electric guitar treatment, a style that is to return powerfully in "Tommy Breaks" and other troubled moments. "Going Awol" fairly pulses along to its climax, wherein the main theme makes its telling presence felt. "The Base" is a busy, perhaps surprisingly upbeat affair, with guitars again prominent; whilst piano takes the lead, supported by strings, in the emotional "Call Carlson," and offers the solo "Theme For Peace."
The lengthy and emotional "The Greatest Tragedy" closes the score in fine fashion, culminating in a powerful final statement of the main theme, with massed strings and martial drums; with the final track on the album being devoted to a song by The Marshall Tucker Band.

Extreme Music has a new release available. The double disc set Teen Pop (XCD 150) features a good mix of contemporary pop stylings, with the first disc being devoted to 16 vocals by a number of artists unknown to me, but then, as someone who never gets time to listen to pop, and who often skips over the songs on a film soundtrack, I barely know the names of some of the current bestsellers. The second disc presents instrumental versions of these numbers, and of course there are the customary 30 second versions of all. In these days of pop-dominated film and TV scores, these selections would sit comfortably on the soundtracks of any number of productions or trailers therefor.


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