Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

James NEWTON HOWARD A Perfect Murder OST VARÈSE SARABANDE VSD-5946 [30:22]

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Not very much information. Not very much music. I had not previously heard of James Newton Howard. My loss since what he has written here is respectable enough. It uses a breathy intimate atmosphere and a wide spatial sound-stage. The music is often simple, wispy and whispery: little shudders, shuffles, clunks and clinks; a vocalising solo female voice. There is the occasional 'Bad-Boy' rhythm. The Attack track is predictably violent with a motoric rhythm and the sound of clashing steel plates. It is all pretty commercial. From time to time I thought of the Goldsmith score for Basic Instinct. The present film stars Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow. From the cover art it is probably another seduction-adultery-murder drama. [The film is a re-make of the 1954 Hitchcock classic Dial M For Murder - editor] Pleasant music but not at all striking. A film souvenir disc which may yet become a collector's piece in years to come if either the film or the composer attracts success.

Robert Barnett

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