The Vikings Season 3
Trevor Morris picks up where he left off and continues the good work on The Vikings. This epic 36 track CD covers the bredth of season 3. This is all largely incidental music (orchestrated). A nice balance of dramatic, tension building, action (drum heavy) outbursts and quieter string mellows.
There are strong dips into folk accented cues, a few choral backed, to give it a more historic fell – landing it as far away from modern civilisation and technology as possible.
Slightly more civilised, but retaining a strong folk element is Poldark by Anne Dudley. Melancholic as celtic can get (with or without the vocals), but also a sprightly and fancy free as folk is likely to ever get. These are the two strongest elements of this 20 track showcase. Sure there are moentns inbetween to fill the gaps that seem very much more routine as far as the orchestral work goes – dropping all hits of identity other than to represent basic high and low drama on screen. And it’s all very competently done, but it’s the strong ethnic compositions that truly give this one its flavour.
Marc Steitenfeld does himself a favour, yet shoots himself in the foot all at the same time with his atmosphereic score for the horror remake of Poltergiest. First of all he puts in a stronger effort that he did for Prometheus a few years back – but ultimately his work here is still going to pale in comparison to the work of Jerry Goldsmith on the original.
It’s fine enough for what it is – but it isn’t likely to gain him any notoriety. Ultimately a thankless job.
Suite Francaise takes a journey back to war era times and includes many German and French old tunes from back in the day. That will certainly get people in the mood before they hit track 6 which brings in the score by Rael Jones. String and piano heavy. It has its loud outbursts at times from the aforementioned string section, but the piano work tends to be very quiet and very subtle throughout. In fact it isn’t until the last few tracks that you see any real signs of thundering life. So this one is much more for the gentler at heart.
A Royal Night Out
Paul English provides 27 cues for this oh so “Royal English” film. Expect plenty of swing, jazz and beautifully flowing notes in what is essentially a real mix bag of styles swaying from one to the other, track to track.
A bit over the top in places (see track “Margaret is drugged”), but it seems to want to keep coming back to the slow lounge jazz feel mixing piano and horns before returning to the safety score realms of the string orchestra.
Trevor Rabin is perhaps more well known for his time spent on Michael Bay/ Jerry Brukheimer fodder (Con-Air, Armageddon, Gone in 60 Seconds). Here he’s onto the doggy drama adventure that is Max. There is a mix of his “action flare” compositions along with mellower dramatic cues. Not one that will stand out like his previous efforts (even if they were a lot less subtle than this one).