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Thursday, November 13, 2008


Flash of Genius
Music by Aaron Zigman
Varese Sarabande 302 066 933 (US)
23 Tracks 35:39 mins

I don't believe this biographical film regarding inventor Robert Kearns and his battle with the U.S. auto industry has reached UK screens yet, but was released last month in the States. The music is by the busy Aaron Zigman; the album opening with the rather mournful trumpet-lead "The Wherehouse," which is followed by the dramatic, and somewhat anguished "The Mustangs." "The Diner" is, by contrast, a feelgood track for guitars and organ. Strings provide a feeling of urgency in "Losing It," with a kind of lament for trumpet breaking through at one point, before the track ends on a sad, subdued note. After all this drama, the flowing, flute-lead piece "Pray for Rain" provides some light relief, before a variation on the opening music brings us down to earth in "Break Up." The mood doesn't however linger, with the track ending on a bluesy note. The anxious "Drive to Previck's" follows, leading to the melancholy piano and strings of "Take the Deal." The piano continues sentimentally in "Dennis Returns," accompanied by subtle organ shadings.
"Make Another Kid" is pure blues, with "Back Home," a more laid-back variation on "The Diner" theme. "Testimony Montage" flows nicely with piano and organ, leading to the initially subdued "It's Not Over." but there's renewed positivity with a brief return to the urgent strings, before the track ends on a subdued note again. "The Letter" shows returned determination; followed by more blues in "Get Out."
The tentative piano and guitar of "The Porch" is followed the slightly more positive "It's Alive." Four brief cues, including more blues in "Piece of Crap," provide little to latch on to, before "The Verdict" ends the album initially in triumph, though this mood doesn't last long before more of a feeling of relief sets in.
The score has its moments, and probably works extremely well on film, but doesn't make for the most compelling listen on disc, due mainly to the brevity of many of the tracks.
There is, I believe, a bonus source chamber work track on the commercial CD, but I am working from an advance here and so only have access to Zigman's music.


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