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Monday, November 10, 2008


Max Payne
Music by Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1080 (US)
17 Tracks 44:22 mins

I'm proud to have been able to review this enterprising label's releases right from the start and it's great to see them now getting to release soundtracks for new cinema releases, like this crime thriller with supernatural elements, which is based on the computer game of the same name, and stars Mark Wahlberg in the title role, as well as Beau Bridges, Mila Kunis, Chris O'Donnell, and new Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.
The music is in the capable hands of Marco Beltrami, this time sharing composing credits with hs long-time assistant Buck Sanders, who has done much synthesizer programming for Beltrami over the years, as well as composing the odd additional cue.
Dark electronic rhythms open "Max Attacks," before they develop into the questing main theme.
A variety of these electronic elements feature throughout the album, giving the music its ongoing pulse, with orchestra arising dramatically therefrom to give it it's emotional centre, as in the following "Investigation." Payne's secondary theme, a poignant piano-lead tune, representing the tragic loss of his family and partner, is first heard effectively detuned in "Payneful Piano." Initially subdued, "Colvin Quivers" marches relentlessly along to its slightly eerie conclusion; leading into the demonic opening of "Dethlab." "Storming the Office" sees a return to the main theme, which takes on an almost Bond-like quality; which leads into the lonely harp and strings of "No Respects For You." More relentless music accompanies "Lupino Spreads His Wings," leading to the uneasy suspense of "Max Returns Home," with a more conventional solo piano rendition of Max's secondary theme providing a poignant close. More rhythmic action follows in "Factoring Max" and "Window Payne," with Max's secondary theme returning and developing into a full orchestral rendition in "Dark Heaven." More action follows in "Vote for Dennis;" then the increasingly threatening "BB's Maxim" leads into the powerful and determined "Max Marches On." A sense of redemption fiollows in "Heaven To The Max," with its soaring strings; but the feeling is short-lived as the closing "Topless Fanfare" sees Max return to his relentless fight against crime.
The accompanying booklet features plenty of colour stills from the film, notes by the composers, a profile of Beltrami, and full music credits. Order your copy from


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