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Thursday, May 22, 2008


Fool's Gold
Music by George Fenton
Varese Sarabande VSD-6885 (EU)
25 Tracks 68:20 mins.

For this fun action adventure, starring the attractive pairing of Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, George Fenton breaks the shackles of documentary and small serious features to produce one of his most enjoyable scores for years. Not that he hasn't written some fine music in recent times, it's just that he seems to really have had fun on this assignment and, as a result, has come up with his most accessible score since Valiant and Ever After.
Fenton's music for Fool's Gold is adventurous and exciting at times, and lighter and comedic when it needs to be. The opening track encapsulates the composer's approach to the score for, after an adventurous flourish, a rhythmic guitar-lead theme moves things nicely along, with reggae-styled interludes and even a brief appearance by steel drums. It's a great way to start the album.
Throughout the subsequent score, Caribbean and Latin elements make their presence felt, alongside the more conventional orchestral sounds, and there's even a bit of funk to be found in the sneaky "Debt Collector" and "Sabotaging the Grid."
I'm a sucker for good action writing and Fenton certainly provides some in cues like "Man Overboard," "Trouble in the Churchyard," "Finn to the Rescue" and "The Treasure, The Kidnap and the Sea Plane;" and pure fun in the likes of "Late for the Hearing," mixing the two in cues like "Saving Gemma's Hat."
"The Stand Off" sees a return for the horns-lead theme that opened the album, which continues purposefully on strings; and "Tess's Theme" is a lovely interlude for acoustic guitars, which is expanded upon in "A Nice...Soft...Landing;" with "The Day Drive," providing some feel-good music; whilst the horns return in style for the big, satisfying conlusion in "Sharing the Spoils."
The album ends with four vocal performances by Majek Fashek, Classic, The Dualers, and the fondly remembered "You Can Get It If You Really Want" by Desmond Decker.


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