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

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Music by John Ottman
Varese Sarabande 302 066 937 2 (US)
18 Tracks 63:25 mins

After a spell in the world of the superhero, director Bryan Singer comes down to earth with a film about real would-be heroes, those gallant German officers who sought to assassinate Hitler and bring to an end World War II. Of course, the story has been told and re-told, and we know the plot ended in failure, but the director chose to have another stab at the story anyway, with Tom Cruise playing leader of the plotters Colonel von Stauffenberg, supported by a solid cast, including Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson and Terence Stamp.
Of course, where Singer goes, his composer and editor, John Ottman, usually follows, and this is indeed the case here. Ottman's score for the film is best described as an exercise in tension, a virtual wall-to-wall accompaniment in the old Hollywood tradition, and something one rarely finds these days, save for in certain action thrillers. Also unusually, is the fact that the music runs underneath the dialogue as well as the action, driven on by synths and samples, including the composer's own filtered vocals when he couldn't find the sample to fit the chugging noise he was hearing in his head. A generous sampling of Ottman's music is present on this disc, with an 80-piece orchestra providing the thematic material over top of the propulsive underpinning.
The score reaches its tragic conclusion with the emotional "Long Live Sacred Germany," which leads into the impressive choral end title piece "They'll Remember You," performed by the Rundfunkchor, Berlin, with featured mezzo soprano Sylke Schwab; which nonsensically opens the album, instead of concluding it as it should.
The accompanying booklet features colour stills, music credits and a fairly lengthy note by the composer, but if you want to find out more about his score, just google him and the film's title, and you will find interviews with him, both audio and in print, all over the net.

Sex and the City
Music by Aaron Zigman
Decca 478 1541 (EU)
18 Tracks 44:59 mins

Following two song albums from the big screen adaptation of the popular TV series, finally the composer of the score, Aaron Zigman, gets his due with an unexpected, yet very welcome release of his music. Of course, it's nothing earth-shattering, and is suitably light, fluffy and whimsical for the most part, but it also features more than its fair share of emotion, with delicate piano playing by the composer himself, and of course the show's original theme and variations thereon is incorporated here and there to provide that distinctive Latin feel. Overall, an entertaining listen, and I'm pleased the composer wasn't left out of the party. Just don't let the album's pink cover put you off buying it!


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