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January/February 2015
2/24/15 The Unknown Known   (Danny Elfman)
All New Review
Buy it... if you want to hear Danny Elfman cleverly eviscerate a neurotic character on screen with a simultaneously playful and sinister treatment of underplayed but surprisingly engaging rhythmic devices.
Avoid it... if you easily tire of Elfman's methods when he clearly pulls elements from his past scores into a new environment, in this case his prior incarnations combining to skewer a controversial political figure.
2/19/15 The Passion of the Christ   (John Debney)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you are willing to wade through a significant portion of unpleasant, worldly ambience to reach the intense and impressive payoff at the end of this gruesome cinematic depiction of religious fantasy.
Avoid it... if you prefer a loving musical celebration of Jesus Christ's life or have a distaste for bloated, self-important music that could be considered a Christian propaganda tool as much as the film it accompanies.
2/15/15 Switchback   (Basil Poledouris)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you appreciate Basil Poledouris' predictably muscular action material for synthesizer and orchestra, even if it doesn't contain the composer's typical melodic statements.
Avoid it... if just four or five cues of bold orchestral adventure cannot compensate for several lengthy passages of far less interesting ambient sound design.
2/7/15 The Grand Budapest Hotel   (Alexandre Desplat)
All New Review
Buy it... if you loved Alexandre Desplat's totally irreverent treatment of European musical stereotypes in the film and are willing to chance an encounter with that hilariously insane parody music on album.
Avoid it... if you believe you may have the genetic predisposition towards a mental disorder, because this score's album could substantially accelerate the development of any brain disease.
2/1/15 The Theory of Everything   (Jóhann Jóhannsson)
All New Review
Buy it... only if you were attracted to this conservatively subdued and occasionally pretty score in context, where it offers a pleasant enough ambience to basically suffice.
Avoid it... if you expect any coherent or unique musical narrative in this score to suggest a sense of achievement and perseverance in the main characters' lives.
1/26/15 Warriors of Virtue   (Don Davis)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you have a loyal collection of James Horner's children's fantasy scores of the early 1990's and seek his regular orchestrator's extension of the same sound in an early solo venture.
Avoid it... if you demand significant portions of the kind of instrumental and dissonant creativity that Don Davis would show later in his career, for this entry is comparatively generic in style.
1/13/15 Predator 2   (Alan Silvestri)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if ten minutes of bravado in action and theme from the first score's glory can combine with a handful of Alan Silvestri's trademark, ballsy action rhythms to compensate for an otherwise challenging new atmosphere for this sequel score.
Avoid it... if you demand an even listening experience and brazen new identities, the narrative of Predator 2 somewhat disjointed in its ethnic techniques and containing several completely unlistenable passages of percussive, vocal, and synthetic manipulation.
1/6/15 The X-Files: Fight the Future   (Mark Snow)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you seek a transitional score that leads you from the early days of atmospheric suspense music in "The X-Files" to the later years of harmonic romanticism that poignantly emerged in the show.
Avoid it... if you expect to hear a score that truly embodies the electronic spirit and soul of the episodic scores that Mark Snow provided for the series on television, because the orchestral presence, as well as missing motifs from the show, set this work apart.
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rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Page created 1/5/15 and last updated 5/30/15.
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