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

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Music by Nicholas Hooper
DECCA 271 0512 (EU)
28 Tracks 62:51 mins

Director David Yates returns for the latest in the James Bond conquering Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as does his composer of choice, Nicholas Hooper, whose music for their previous outing was competent, but distinctly unmemorable. So what has he produced this time, I hear you ask. Well, it's basically more of the same. I'm sure it serves the film well enough, but hasn't got the staying power of Williams' work, or of Doyle's for Goblet of Fire, for that matter.
The album presents the score pretty much in film order, the only exceptions being track 2 "In Noctem," which is the basis for much of the material representing Dumbledore in the score, yet was left out of the film, as was the sequence it accompanied, and only heard during the End Titles; and the big-band sound of "Wizard Wheezes," which is listed as "not in film."
As the films have gotten progressively darker, so the music has reflected this and, though there are of course lighter moments in the score, particularly in view of the romantic shenanigans going on, and of course the expected snatches of Williams material, much of what's on offer is of the dark, ominous and sinister variety; and the "Opening" reflects this, with some impressive choral work leading to something of a doom-laden march, which is to reappear later in the score. Choir again features in the aforementioned "In Noctem " which, without giving the game away, is melancholy for a very good reason.
My picks of what's on offer include the adventurous action writing in "Ron's Victory" and "Of Love & War;" the delicate harp-lead music of "Harry & Hermione;" the gentle Scottish lilt of "Farewell Aragog;" the guitar-lead romance of "When Ginny Kissed Harry;" the heartbreaking strings of "Dumbledore's Farewell;" the peaceful calm of "The Friends;" and the hi jinks of "The Weasley Stomp," which ends the disc in celebratory fashion.
The accompanying booklet features full musical credits and notes from both the director and his composer.
Hooper has indicated that he will not be returning for the last two films in the series, so we can only hope the powers that be invite John Williams back to provide a memorable musical conclusion, or at least someone who can do as good a job as Patrick Doyle did. Heaven forbid a Zimmer or Elfman, fine composers though they are, should come in and completely change the musical landscape.

News from Top Dollar PR:

Sumthing Else Music Works Announces Release of
Bionic Commando Original Soundtrack
Featuring Music Composed by Jamie Christopherson, Simun Viklund,
Trond-Viggo Melsen and Erik Thunberg


New York - July 28th, 2009 -Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc., through its licensing
relationship with Capcom®, proudly presents Bionic Commando Original Soundtrack
featuring the musical score from the next generation sequel to the classic 1988
Nintendo Entertainment System video game. The soundtrack album is released today
to retail through Sumthing Else Music Works ( and is available
for digital download on Sumthing Digital ( and iTunes®.

Bionic Commando® sees the return of the bionically-enhanced Nathan "Rad" Spencer,
voiced by Mike Patton, the former lead singer of Faith No More. Time has not been
kind to Spencer: 10 years after his heroic defeat of the Imperials in the original
game, he has been betrayed by the government he swore to serve, imprisoned for crimes
he didn't commit, and sentenced to death. On the very day of Spencer's execution,
terrorists detonate a massive experimental weapon in Ascension City, unleashing
an intense earthquake that has turned the city into rubble and wiped out its population.
With the terrain in ruins and the city's air defense grid now in the control of
a massive terrorist force whose goal remains unclear, the FSA have only one option
left - a behind-the-lines assault. The perfect job for a Bionic Commando.
Composer Jamie Christopherson: "I remember playing Bionic Commando back on the NES
and like everyone else I was blown away by the quality of the music. Not only were
there extremely 'hummable' epic melodies, but the use of the MIDI chip to create
a very dense and complicated orchestral arrangement was astonishing. If someone
would have told me that 20 years later I would be working on a next generation
Bionic Commando game, I would never have believed them. I was fortunate enough to
take the music (including the famous main theme) and give it a modern treatment,
complete with an anthemic 15-piece brass ensemble."

Bionic Commando transposes the swing-and-shoot gameplay of the 8-bit original to
a stunning 3D environment of towering buildings, suspended roadways and monorails,
deep canyons and sheer rock faces, where every environment is scalable using swinging,
scaling, climbing and wall-walking techniques. For more information on the game
please visit

For more information on Sumthing Else Music Works and its complete catalog of video
game soundtracks, please visit and

About Capcom

Capcom is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive
entertainment for game consoles, PCs, handheld and wireless devices. Founded in
1983, the company has created hundreds of games, including best-selling franchises
Resident Evil®, Street Fighter®, Mega Man® and Devil May Cry®. Capcom maintains
operations in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Korea, with corporate
headquarters located in Osaka, Japan. More information about Capcom can be found
on the company web site,

Bionic Commando, Capcom, Resident Evil, Mega Man and Devil May Cry are either registered
trademarks or trademarks of Capcom Co., Ltd., in the U.S. or other countries. Street
Fighter is a registered trademark of Capcom U.S.A., Inc. All other trademarks are
owned by their respective owners.

About Sumthing Else Music Works, Inc.

Since its creation in the late 1990's by the world-renowned song writer, musician
and record producer, Nile Rodgers, Sumthing Else Music Works has become the acknowledged
industry leader in licensing and distributing video game soundtracks. Possessing
full in-house services worldwide, from retail marketing and sales through physical
and digital distribution, Sumthing is partnered with the world's leading video game
developers and publishers including BioWare, Bungie Studios, Capcom, Crytek, Eidos
Interactive, Epic Games, Gearbox Software, Microsoft, Mistwalker, Rare, SEGA, Silicon
Knights, Sony Computer Entertainment and Ubisoft. Their catalogue of titles includes
the best selling video game soundtrack of all time, Halo 2: Volume One, as well
as award-winning titles including: Resident Evil 5,Street Fighter IV, Halo Wars,
Halo Trilogy, Gears of War 2, Fable II, Too Human, Brothers In Arms, Crysis, Advent
Rising, Fable, Gears of War, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 Volume Two, Halo 3, Hitman:
Blood Money, Hitman: Contracts, Jade Empire, Kameo: Elements of Power, Mass Effect,
Red Steel, Unreal Tournament 3 and many others.

Sumthing Else Music Works and Sumthing Distribution logos are copyright of their
respective companies. All other names of products mentioned herein may be the trademarks
of their respective owners.

All names of companies and products mentioned herein are the trademarks of their
respective owners.


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