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Thursday, May 01, 2008


The Life Before Her Eyes
Music by James Horner
Lakeshore Records LKS 340062 (US)
12 Tracks 53:43 mins

This drama is about a woman looking back on the events of fifteen years ago, when she was a survivor of a shooting at her high school, which claimed her best friend. It stars Uma Thurman as the older and Evan Rachel Wood as the younger versions of the main character.
Unlike James Horner's other recent release on Lakeshore Records, The Spiderwick Chronicles, for which he provided a big orchestral score, this is an appropriately more intimate affair, utilising largely synths and samples, but with the composer himself performing on piano and George Doering featuring on guitar. The results are not nearly so instantly gratifying as Spiderwick, but I'm sure are equally well suited to the subject matter, and if you like your music quieter, with much emotional depth, you will probably enjoy this largely melancholy work.
Horner's piano is particularly effective in tracks like "Becoming Close Friends," which speaks of warmth and friendship, but just as telling on tracks that deal with the character's emotional loss, and poignant moments like "The Gift of a Necklace." And throughout, Horner's subtle use of voice and ethereal atmospheres remain amongst the composer's more effective trademarks.
The final cue, the 12-minute "Young Diana's Future - A Future That Could Have Been...," starts very dramatically, but then Horner's piano enters optimistically, with solo voice and synths soaring heavenwards, before piano returns to provide a peaceful close.
This is one of those scores that rewards with each new listening, and it's great to have two scores like this and Spiderwick out at the same time to remind one of the composer's great ability and versatility.


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