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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Synecdoche, New York
Music by Jon Brion
Lakeshore Records LKS 340472 (US)
18 Tracks 39:24 mins

I must confess that I am not too familiar with the work of Jon Brion. I've heard bits and pieces of his music in the past, but they haven't made much of an impression on me. However, when the composer's publicists offered me a copy of his new score for this the directorial debut of two-time Academy Award-winning writer Charlie Kaufman, I thought "why not give it a go."
The disc opens with the bouncy "Tacky Entrance Music," then quickly segues into "Dmi Thing from When She was the Kitchen," an initially quirky piece that develops into an almost religious guitar-lead theme. "All Plays Out (Fire Sale Version)" is easy-going and quite old fashioned in style. The guitar theme returns for the next track and is followed by the hesitant strings of "Forward Motion." "Something You Can't Return to" is a melancholy, bluesy guitar-lead piece, the downcast mood continuing into "Sex Based Decision Making, before the guitar theme returns. Perhaps not surprisingly, piano dominates "Piano One," which is again quite downbeat, though shows signs of some light at the end of the tunnel. Indeed, the following track, "Someone Else's Forward Motion" is a more optimistic development of the hesitant string theme. "Dmi We Meet Again?" is yet another variation on the guitar theme, with "Still Can't Return" threatening to develop into "From Russia With Love," or the theme from the Hamlet cigar ads.
"Piano Two" features what resembles satellite communication sounds, floating around melancholy piano; with "OK" building to quite a spiritual high on strings. However,"Can't Return" soon brings us down to earth with yet another varition on the guitar theme, which leads into "Piano Three," which does display some optimism in the strings. Yet another variation on the guitar theme closes the instrumental score and precedes three songs, which are strangely uncredited, both in the writing and performing.
Well, I gave it a go, and can't say that I'm any more impressed than I was to start with, but if you like your scores quirky, you'll probably be entertained.


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