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Wednesday, August 06, 2008


The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
Music by Randy Edelman
Varese Sarabande VSD 6916 (EU)
30 Tracks 77:44 mins

This third outing for Brendan Fraser & co. (less Rachel Weisz - replaced by Maria Bello), comes some 7 years after The Mummy Returns, and is directed by Rob Cohen, who has gone with long-time musical collaborator Randy Edelman for the score. Most critics seems to have panned the film but, from the clips I have seen, it looks an enjoyable romp and I'm looking forward to seeing it.
The previous two Mummy films both boasted excellent scores, by Jerry Goldsmith and Alan Silvestri respectively, so Edelman would need to be at his very best to keep company with such these fine gentlemen's efforts. With the film scored virtually wall-to-wall in old Hollywood tradition, allowing for the generous length of this album, what has been delivered?
Well, it is very Edelman, that one can say from the get-go, composed in his familiar style, and full of strong melodic material, featuring orchestra and choir, with just a few electronics; commencing with the adventurous main theme "A Call To Adventure," which is to feature throughout, as is, and in interesting variations like in "Yang Follows the O'Connells." I can imagine some critics looking down their nose at it, when compared to Goldsmith's score in particular but, for me, it pushed all the right buttons and makes for a very entertaining listen indeed.
Edelman's secondary theme, for the emperor, is introduced, initially sadly on cello, in "Silently Yearning For Centuries, but this is to enjoy much more menacing and powerful incarnations as the score proceeds and is particularly spine-chilling when it bursts forth majestically on horns. Often, it is pitted against the main theme, and I guarantee you'll probably have one or both themes playing on your mind by the time you've listened to this album.
Supporting the numerous action sequences, the composer produces some great complimentary material in tracks like "The Reign of Terror;" "Formation of the Terra Cotta Army;" "Crash and Burn;" "Shanghai Chase;" "Entering the Tomb;" "Visit from a 3-Headed Friend;" "New Year's Betrayal;" "The Emperor Versus Zi Yuan;" "Rick and Evy in Battle;" "Heartbreak," after its emotional opening; and "Shielding a Son;" but the score has its share of intimate moments too. The romantic "A Family Presses Close," "Love in the Hamalayas" and "A Warm Rooftop," with their tender piano solos, are nice, and there are some nice Oriental touches in "Reading of the Scrolls," with flute, harp and female voice featured; whilst "Alex and Lin" offers yet more tender romance. "Memories, Retirement and Dinner" adds some colonial elegance, complete with harpischord.
Traditional Oriental instruments are threaded subtly throughout the score and erhu features strongly in a nice version of the emperor's theme in "Ancient China;" but it's not all serious stuff, the breezy "Rick's Long Rod," adds brief comic lightness to proceedings.
The score concludes satisfyingly with a reprise of the main theme in "Finale;" the album closing with the torch song "My Sweet Eternal Love," performed by Helen Feng.
I don't care what anyone else might think, I love good melodic film scoring, and have no hesitation in procaliming this album one of the most enjoyable of the year.

From Costa Communications:-



Soundtrack available on Hollywood Records

John Debney contributes over 30-minutes of action music for The Mummy

(Hollywood, CA) Academy Award nominated composer John Debney scores Touchstone Pictures' “Swing Vote,” directed by Joshua Michael Stern, produced by Jim Wilson and Kevin Costner. The heartfelt comedy stars Kevin Costner as Bud Johnson, an apathetic, lovable loser, who becomes the deciding vote for the presidential election. Debney sets the tone for “Swing Vote” with an upbeat, patriotic score; along with guitar laden music [available now on Hollywood Records]. In addition to “Swing Vote,” Debney also contributed over 30 minutes of the score for Universal Pictures' “The Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” directed by Rob Cohen and starring Brendan Fraser. Both films opened on Friday.

John Debney has built a solid reputation scoring films in all genres. His credits include “The Passion of the Christ,” for which he received an Oscar nomination; “Idlewild,” a Prohibition-era musical starring the duo Outkast and featuring famed trumpeter Arturo Sandoval; animated films “Barnyard” and “Chicken Little,” comic-book inspired “Sin City,” and comedies “Elf” and “Liar, Liar.”

In addition to an Academy Award nomination, Debney has received numerous Emmy nominations, a Dove award for The Passion of The Christ, A CUE award for the videogame score for “Lair,” and the youngest recipient of the prestigious ASCAP Henry Mancini Award for Career Achievement. Other film music awards include the Ubeda Spin International Film Music Conference, Turks & Caicos International Film Festival and the Ischia Italy Film Festival. Debney has also conducted concerts of his music with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.

John Debney’s ability to deliver the perfect score has allowed him repeat performances with many directors. For Garry Marshall, Debney scored the black comedy, “Georgia Rule,” “Princess Diaries 1 & 2” and “Raising Helen;” for Tom Shadyac, he scored “Evan Almighty,” and “Bruce Almighty.” Upcoming, Debney returns to work with Robert Rodriguez, for whom he scored “Spy Kids 1 & 2,” “The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl” and “Sin City,” to score “Sin City 2 & 3.” Next month Debney’s score to Liongate's “My Best Friend’s Girl” can be heard in theaters on September 19th; which marks his third collaboration with Howie Deutsch for whom he scored “The Whole Ten Yards” and “The Replacements.”


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