November 2000 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/monthly listings/November/



Turbulence 2 - Fear of Flying
 PACIFIC TIME PTE-8526 [73:52]
Amazon UK  Amazon USA

Now that The Matrix has really put Don Davis on the map, it remains to be seen whether he will rise to the very top ranks of film composers or merely settle into the middle order. And while this is a competent score that will no doubt serve its film well, the jury is still out on that particular question. For while at times it all degenerates into nothing more than a somewhat repetitive, routine action/suspense score, once you get to the meat of the work (from track 14 onwards) things really do pick up and by the end I found myself pretty much won over.

The 'Main Title-Turbulence 2' is a very rhythmic, attention grabbing opening and immediately I was involved and ready to be entertained. A softer, more emotional theme is then introduced in 'Martin & Son' and up until this point all was moving along rather well. But if ever a CD could be split into contrasting halves in terms of quality it's this one. There is a long run of very ordinary, standard suspense cues beginning with '1st Turbulence', right through 'Passengers Passed Out' into the five minute plus 'Drugged Ice/Bleeder'. Indeed the next five cues are much the same and I had almost given up hope. But then subtly at first there seemed to be a shift in emphasis and invention with first 'Romantic Freq 221, then 'Directions', another long cue at over six minutes, but here the gradual build-up with variations in pace and a pleasing hook creates a much stronger sense of drama and excitement. 'Cargo Trouble' is very much a continuation of 'Directions' with many of the same motifs and the overall improvement is sustained until 'Tarmac Showdown', an eight and half minute epic cue that forced me to reassess the entire score.

Signing off with an improved version of the 'Main Title' in 'Turbulence 2 Roll' which also incorporates a brief reprise of 'Martin & Son', the score completes its mid-way transformation and managed to leave me surprisingly satisfied. And at least with this score the synthesiser technology has been used to better advantage than is often the case. But then Davis is very experienced in making synths sound classy, even if I can't agree with director David Mackay's sleeve note quote that this is an 'orchestral sounding score that you'd never know was achieved entirely on a desktop'.

If you can get past the generic suspense cues that litter the first half of the CD, there is more quality here than might be initially suspected.

Mark Hockley


Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers : - The UK's Biggest Video Store

Concert and Show tickets


Musicians accessories

Click here to visit

Return to Index