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January/February 2016
2/28/16 3:10 to Yuma   (Marco Beltrami)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on any of its albums if you are intellectually prepared for a very smart modernization of Ennio Morricone's famous style for the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1970's, one that will leave an impression on you with its distinct textures, processing, and rhythms.
Avoid it... if you demand flowing romanticism, obvious thematic consistency, or a gracious attitude from your Western scores, none of which even remotely conveyed in this edgy triumph of grit.
2/7/16 Pocahontas   (Alan Menken)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you do not maintain a complete collection of Alan Menken's music for Disney animation of the 1990's and seek one with abnormally consistent melodic and instrumental quality and a convincingly spiritual heart.
Avoid it... if you prefer Menken's musical numbers of show-stopping grandeur or comedy and slapstick material in both the songs and score, neither of which emphasized on this more even-keeled, dramatic entry.
1/14/16 Sicario   (Jóhann Jóhannsson)
All New Review
Buy it... if you crave the experience of being tortured by sound effects repackaged as "music," Jóhann Jóhannsson's intentionally brutal, ambient score certain to disrupt any good mood.
Avoid it... even if you approach this score under the impression that there is intelligence behind its instrumental applications, because Sicario is a surprisingly ordinary work even under the microscope.
1/10/16 Edward Scissorhands   (Danny Elfman)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you don't mind ultra-expressive scores that aggressively jerk the tears right out of you, for Edward Scissorhands is perhaps the most impressively tragic fairy tale score of the digital era.
Avoid it... if subtlety or minimalism is your preferred method of introspection, because restraint is the last word a person could use to describe the overwhelming emotional appeal of this music.
1/4/16 Toy Story   (Randy Newman)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the original album if you desire the affable songs from the film and can overlook the inconsistencies of style and structure that exist in the highlighted arrangement of the slapstick underscore.
Avoid it... if Randy Newman's fluffy, optimistic songs and scores seem childish and repetitive to you no matter the context, in which you should especially avoid the longer 2015 presentation that is recommended only for Newman collectors.
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