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Comments about the soundtrack for Unbreakable (James Newton Howard)

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An album that goes good without saying...
• Posted by: Liam Norton   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, November 17, 2001, at 5:43 p.m.
• IP Address: ool-18b95cf5.dyn.optonline.net

The fact that writer/director M. Night Shyamalan and actor Bruce Willis, after their joint success with The Sixth Sense, have teamed up again for Unbreakable has been much noted. Less frequently cited is that scorer James Newton Howard, is most likely to do it again. Like Howard's score for The Sixth Sense, this new instrumental soundtrack is distinctly understated. Since Howard can lean toward sappy obviousness in more blatantly emotional work, the nearly ambient nature of the new score is welcome. True, sometimes he nearly slips into new age territory with tracks matching strings and acoustic piano, but elsewhere he strikes the right note of quietly unsettling apprehension.

The few tracks that have a more aggressive profile are less successful, since most achieve it largely through simplistic beats that are by now dated clichés in the techno world. However, "Blindsided" (like the earlier film's "Suicide Ghost") provides an adrenaline shock with its suddenly loud, isolated beginning and following dissonance. The album goes good without saying...






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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.