Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Monday, December 08, 2008


24: Redemption
Music by Sean Callery
Varese Sarabande VSD 6936 (EU)
17 Tracks 54:37 mins

I gather this score is for a feature bridging the gap between the last and next series of the popular 24, and that it recently aired on satellite TV in the UK. That's about as much as I know, as I'm not really into the show at all. I did try early episodes (when it was still shown on terrestrial TV), but found it not at all to my liking, with unlikeable characters that I just couldn't find any empathy with - but I guess I'm in the minority.
Sean Callery has been the composer of choice for the show, from the start, I believe, and has by all accounts done a pretty good job. Again, I'm not familiar with his past efforts on the show, but I assume, in this case, the story has an African setting, judging by the sounds he conjures in the "Prologue," with its mysterious and eerie feel giving way to a powerful conclusion. "Across the Plains" and "Willie" are easy-going African-styled pieces, though the latter does turn wistful on flute in its latter stages. "Dubako on the Hunt" offers an expectant mix of percussion, electronics and orchestra, with a burst of action at its climax; with "Jack and Benton" following along as a poignant aftermath. It's back to the African-styled percussion and ethnic flutes for the start of "Soccer Game Interrupted," but this playful feeling is soon interrupted by bursts of menacing action music. "Vultures" offers more mystery and suspense, with a haunting, mystical vocal by Lizbeth Scott.
A sad flute refrain opens "Don't Let Them Take My Kids," before menacing percussion takes over, upping a gear to provide an heroic statement, only to plunge into more menacing percussion-driven action. "Tortured Jack" is a tense affair, followed by a mix of action and suspense in "Evacuating the School," with "Anything At All" offering a synth-lead mix of menace and tragedy. We're back in action territory again for the stealthy, percussive "One Man Against Juma's Army," a sweeping synth end leading into "Benton's Sacrifice, " which initially sees Ms Scott reprising and developing her vocal from before to provide a fitting lament.
"Street Battle" pauses for brief reflection, before building percussively to full-on action, which continues in "Open the Gate," with Ms Scott returning with impassioned vocals to drive the music on to its satisfying conclusion; with the final track, "New President in a Troubled World" offering synths-lead light at the end of the tunnel, and a final impassioned burst of Ms Scott to conclude proceedings.
There is undoubtedly some good music on offer here, but unfortunately the use of synths, often in the lead, does undervalue it somewhat. They are however a staple of much US TV scoring these days, so I guess we have to live with them.


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