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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This may be my last review for a few days, as I've been battling a nasty bug on my PC and it seems to have gotten the better of me. Now, I'm just waiting on a call to see if it can be fixed and how long it may take, so please bear with me. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. Anyway, on to the review:-

Music by Marc Shaiman
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1126 (US)
14 Tracks 46:33 mins

Speechless is a 1994 romcom starring Michael Keaton and Geena Davis, set in the political world.
The film is an early outing for Marc Shaiman but, already with two Addams Family movies and two City Slickers under his belt, he was off to a flying start and, having worked successfully on director Ron Underwood's Heart and Souls, it was only natural they should team up again.
Shaiman's fast-paced main theme opens the score in "Prelude/Nytol" and its busy feel easily brings to mind the political jungle the characters inhabit. A slower, whimsical variant of the theme ends the track. This theme is to appear in variations throughout the score, driving the action forward, often accompanied by castanets, representing the film's New Mexico setting. "In Action" presents a particularly dynamic version, whilst the theme receives more whimsical variations in the likes of "Debater Be Good" and "Kevin Freaks;" still other tracks like "Mass Debater/Post/Cologne Again" find room for both approaches.
By contrast, there's a warm and tender romantic theme, which makes its presence felt in the likes of "Set a Date," "Walking" and "Fountain."
Another theme, representing the "Chuck & Eddie show that the Keaton character used to write, also appears, firstly in Dixieland style in "Chuck & Eddie Playoff" and then in more subdued form in "C & E Ya See Timmy."
The final cue "Kevin Blows It/The Truth Hurts/Big Finish" brings all the main themes together to conclude the score in satisfying style.
Shaiman has over the years often proved unequalled in his ability to write this kind of light and entertaining score, and I'm so pleased that La-La Land Records have chosen to preserve it for posterity.
Accompanying the CD is the usual high quality booklet, with Randall D. Larson's notes on the film, its composer and score, including the ever valuable cue-by-cue guide; all accompanied by a selection of colour stills.
This release is limited to just 1200 units, so you'd best hurry along for your copy to, where you can first listen to some samples if you wish.


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