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November/December 2018
12/31/18 Dracula   (John Williams)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you love the tragic and melodramatic portions of John Williams' scores from the early 1980's, for Dracula extends this morbidly heavy material to explosive proportions.
Avoid it... if you prefer your Williams scores to abound with extensive thematic subtleties, a trait not as evident in this score by construct and in part because of lingering issues with muted sound quality.
12/23/18 Georges Delerue: The London Sessions   (Compilations)
Updated Review, With Additional Albums
Buy it... if you have any remote curiosity about the career of Georges Delerue (or even if you already own a few of his scores), because this set is a very strong survey of his works in fantastic sound quality.
Avoid it... if you have no tolerance for flighty, whimsical romance themes and jazzy rhythms, a style that largely defined Delerue's career.
12/16/18 Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you are comfortable with Jerry Goldsmith's distinct merging of electronics and orchestra for the fantasy genre in the 1980's, because this dynamic score is a very symbolic representation of that era for the composer.
Avoid it... if ten to fifteen minutes of explosive and resounding action material for percussion and low brass is not enough to compensate for a score dominated by an overly cute and derivative synthetic theme for the fuzzy family side of the story.
12/8/18 Who Framed Roger Rabbit   (Alan Silvestri)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you can't get enough of that old Warner Brothers, Looney Tunes style of frenetic, enthusiastic orchestral slapstick music, Alan Silvestri mingling it with noir sentiment for this rowdy venture.
Avoid it... on any album other than the 2018 Intrada set if you seek a satisfying presentation of music from the film, assuming its dizzying personality doesn't make you want to strangle an animated character.
12/2/18 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan   (James Horner)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you're interested in hearing the roots of many of James Horner's great career motifs and thematic styles in one of the best scores in the history of the "Star Trek" franchise and the science fiction genre at large.
Avoid it... if an abrasive and harsh performance tone and somewhat archival recording quality, especially on the 1991 album, gives you pause, or if Horner's broad, sea-faring style seems out of place for you in this franchise.
11/25/18 Star Trek: The Motion Picture   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you are unfamiliar with the feature Star Trek scores and seek Jerry Goldsmith's original classic of romance, adventure, and suspense that influenced most of the subsequent music in the franchise.
Avoid it... on any album prior to the 2012 3-CD set from La-La Land Records, the nearly comprehensive presentation of the score and its early, rejected alternative by Goldsmith in the best sound quality available.
11/12/18 The Incredible Hulk (TV)   (Joe Harnell)
Updated Review, With Additional Albums
Buy it... only if you still have a soft spot for the lonely piano theme that usually accompanied David Banner on his quest for a cure to his maddening problem, its melody prevailing as the lasting identity of the concept.
Avoid it... if you expect that solitary theme for the scientist, as well as the pretty theme for his love interests, to be capable of carrying the otherwise badly dated action cues and disco music from the series.
11/3/18 The Predator   (Henry Jackman)
All New Review
Buy it... if you seek a competent extension of Alan Silvestri's original Predator themes and sensibilities in a broadly expanded fantasy and action mode that offers a few notable highlights.
Avoid it... if you demand a truly cohesive evolution of vintage and fresh ideas in this, a basically satisfying but still somewhat perfunctory merging of styles that doesn't always make complete sense as arranged.
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