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Section Header
Composed and Produced by:
Mark Isham

Conducted by:
Robert Ziegler

Orchestrated by:
Brad Dechter
Greg Ballinger
Tim Simonec

WaterTower Music

Release Date:
April 9th, 2013

Also See:
The Natural
Fly Away Home

Audio Clips:
7. Jackie's Style of Baseball (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

10. Rachel is Pregnant (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

18. Pee Wee and Jackie (0:28):
WMA (188K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

21. Jackie Robinson (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular U.S. release, primarily distributed via download but also available through's "CDr on demand" service.


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Our Price: $9.99

Sales Rank: 103115

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Buy it... if you admire the subtleties of a finely crafted Americana score, Mark Isham very respectfully paying tribute to this story's gravity within the expected formulas of the genre.

Avoid it... if you demand that this score transcend to greatness in memorable fashion, the conservative personality of Isham's work sufficiently dramatic without making many overt attempts to move the listener.

42: (Mark Isham) It's impossible to consider yourself a fan of the game of baseball without knowing about the legacy of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player to reach the major leagues of the sport. His challenging but triumphant ascendance to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 opened the doors for countless other minority players in subsequent years, and Robinson's jersey number, 42, was eventually retired for all teams in baseball. It's astonishing to look back at the ridicule and scorn that he faced from even his own teammates during the events shown in this film, representing some of the best and worst moments that the sport has experienced. With consultation from Robinson's still living wife and players on his teams, the 2013 movie 42 was crafted with the intention of providing a true depiction of the man and the pivotal events that led up to and included the breaking of the color barrier in baseball. Some dramatic liberties were taken with the lead character, and there are a handful of somewhat careless errors in the historical aspects of the story, but for the most part, reactions to the film were very positive. While 42 is not expected to join the ranks of the historical sports genre greats, it did turn a good profit at the box office and provided an aging Harrison Ford with a notably believable and affable role as the executive of the Dodgers who shepherded Robinson to the majors. There is no doubt that 42 strives to embody the baseball and apple pie sense of Americana that has made the sport's history so rich with "pastime" definitions, and although composer Mark Isham is known to many movie-goers as an artist most adept at maintaining extremely troubled soundscapes for horror and other dark genre topics, he has also meandered through some very patriotic assignments through the years. Most comparisons will be made between 42 and Miracle, the latter representing America's breakthrough hockey win in the 1980 Olympics. Though valid to a degree, Isham reaches back to the homely melodrama of Fly Away Home and October Sky to a greater degree, resisting the flashier orchestral heroics (until the end) but instead opting for wholesome ambient weight. A topic such as Robinson's achievements is difficult to score because no viewer wants to have the music driven home in too obvious a fashion; after all, this isn't a fantasy film like The Natural. That said, Isham does build to those Randy Newman levels of pomp at the conclusion of 42.

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For some listeners, there may be a degree of disappointment with the fact that Isham chooses a very safe and humble road in 42. There are three facets to most of the score's length, none of which really reaching out and grabbing the attention of the listener despite being competent to the task at hand for each part. The score opens with its most expected element: respectful, thoughtful Americana ambience. Isham's solo trumpet performances (reportedly not his own this time) are a highlight of the work, but unfortunately they are diminished for most of the score and replaced at times with far more subtle woodwind tones. The dark side of 42, whether manifested in troubled contemplation or outward confrontation, is addressed by the ominous whole notes of low strings, an anonymous but effective technique. The most exuberant portions of the score are those in "Jackie's Style of Baseball," "Jackie Steals," and a few others; these upbeat violin and piano-led sequences offer the rhythmic flow of Fly Away Home and are sadly too infrequent in the score to counter the stoic personality of the remainder. As the work progresses, the Americana part of the equation exerts itself in fuller orchestral performances, "Rachel is Pregnant" heralding a feeling of nobility that will be extended considerably in the solid suite track, "Jackie Robinson," that concludes the album presentation. If there is one dominant, recurring criticism to be made of Isham's Americana works, it is that he has rarely been able to recapture the combination of melodic charm and graceful flow of Fly Away Home, a throw-away assignment like Racing Stripes ironically coming closest to that achievement. Many of the same concerns about Miracle come back to haunt 42, led by Isham's inability to enunciate the progressions of his themes in such a way as to really make them memorable for the average listener. Indeed, 42 is full of thematic development, but the pacing of these ideas is so slow and the orchestrations so generic that the listener has little chance to latch onto the theme and empathize with its target representations as a result. As such, 42 is a lovely little score that builds to its necessary crescendo at the end, easily earning Isham his pay for the project. But it's also an anonymous effort, one so careful to honor a legend without over-dramatizing him that the whole package ultimately fails to connect on a deeper level. Had Isham maintained a greater solo role for the trumpet (maybe just an adjustment of the mix), perhaps the score would have developed that distinctive touch. The rather short score-only album features very little in hints of the prevailing musical styles of the era, either. It's a nice souvenir from the film but it's difficult not to get the feeling that an opportunity for a classic sports score was missed here. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Mark Isham reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.9 (in 21 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.85 (in 8,275 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.71 Stars
Smart Average: 2.81 Stars*
***** 12 
**** 18 
*** 30 
** 25 
* 24 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   42: Music for Scientology
  Scott B. -- 5/31/13 (8:29 a.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings: Total Time: 41:52

• 1. He's Coming (1:34)
• 2. You Can't Go in There (1:07)
• 3. Jack Roosevelt Robinson (1:31)
• 4. Can You Do It (1:56)
• 5. Spring Training (1:23)
• 6. You Are a Hero (0:58)
• 7. Jackie's Style of Baseball (3:15)
• 8. Jackie Has to Run (2:30)
• 9. Why Are You Doing This? (3:00)
• 10. Rachel is Pregnant (1:43)
• 11. Jackie Talks to His Son (1:01)
• 12. Jackie Apologizes to Wendell (1:16)
• 13. Jackie is Brought Up (4:18)
• 14. A White Man's Game (0:41)
• 15. Jackie Steals (2:07)
• 16. They Are Never Going to Beat You (1:07)
• 17. Hate Mail (1:25)
• 18. Pee Wee and Jackie (1:33)
• 19. Spiked (1:02)
• 20. Branch Rickey (1:39)
• 21. Jackie Robinson (6:46)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes no extra information about the score or film. As in many of's "CDr on demand" products, the packaging smells incredibly foul when new.

  All artwork and sound clips from 42 are Copyright © 2013, WaterTower Music. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/23/13 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2013-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.