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Comments about the soundtrack for Liar Liar (John Debney)

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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review
• Posted by: Brett J. Ulrich   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2008, at 9:33 a.m.
• IP Address:

(The following donated review by Brett J. Ulrich was moved by Filmtracks to this comment section in February, 2008)

Liar Liar: (John Debney) When I picked up this CD about a year to a year and a half ago I hadn't ever heard the name John Debney before. Sure, I thought I knew all about film music, listening to Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner and John Williams day in and day out. But one day I went out on a limb, recalling that the film had a pretty nice sounding score from what I heard of it when everyone in the theater wasn't laughing, and picked up the CD. When I put the CD in, I was immediately surprised at the intricacy of the score. The first track opens softly, with the main theme. Albeit this was written by James Newton Howard, Debney makes very effective use of solos and dynamic contrast to make this one of the most enjoyable pieces of film music I have heard to date.

Debney's constant use of the main theme throughout helps bring a sense of cohesiveness to the score that is all too often missing in some of the mainstream works of today. Hearing the full orchestra of the main theme is indeed very uplifting. The score itself, while emotionally rich, has a playful quality that is only usually found in children's movies. However not only is it perfectly suited for the movie, it is a very enjoyable listen. Track 4, "I'm a Bad Father" in particular is perfect example of this. A soulful clarinet solo is the highlight of this track, accentuating Fletcher's (Jim Carrey) emotional response to putting his work over his son. While that portion is indeed brief, the track ends with a few upbeat bars that immediately give way into the next track in which the horns perform a rousing version of the main theme. The sheer volume produced by the brass in this track is overwhelming, and indeed awesome to listen to. For the airport scene in the movie, a few brief seconds of true Hollywood action music make their way into the score, but it blends seamlessly with the big orchestral sound of track 9 "Airport Chase."

A track by track analysis of this score would in no way do it justice. The second you put the CD in your CD player you won't want to take it out until the final note has faded, and then you will more than likely press play again, since the score's (29:19) running time will pass you by faster than you'd imagine. This is the CD that started me collecting Debney's rare promotional CDs, most of his scores are released this way. However, since this score is actually available commercially, pick it up. Along with Cutthroat Island, this is simply one of Debney's best to date. As Tom Shadyac mentions in the liner notes, John Debney is truly the best-kept secret in Hollywood. ****

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rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Scoreboard created 7/24/98 and last updated 4/25/15.