This is a truly delightful album. I mean no disparagement when I say it sounds
like a meeting of Debussy and easy listening. Splash! (1984), was
of course the movie about the boy (Tom Hanks) who loves a mermaid (the lovely
Daryl Hannah) who twice saves him from drowning off Cape Cod and pursues
him to New York.
Holdridge's music is magical - particularly his sweeping romantic material.
Of this, for instance, there is: the rather private and other-worldly 'Late
at Night'; the delicacy and vulnerability of 'I Love You' that somehow suggests
a concern about the 'impossible(?)' relationship; and the glorious full flowering
of the romantic music in 'End Title.' Elsewhere, there are nicely evocative
seascapes ('Underwater'), relaxed jazz treatments for 'In the bar' and lively
upbeat material in 'Madison and Bloomingdales' as mermaid turned maiden discovers
the delights of the New York shops. 'Watching TV' is a comfortable and dreamy
guitar solo. Contrasting drama and excitement come with cues like 'Escape
and Chase' written with equal skill and persuasion.
Rita Coolidge sings "Love Come For Me" the film's love theme and four bonus
tracks including two of this song -- first with saxophone and then guitar
soloists, and orchestra; plus an alternative take on another dreamily romantic
cue, 'Rainy Night.'
A charming beautifully constructed score that makes ideal dinner party or
late night listening or relaxing music for a long car ride.
And Jeffrey Wheeler is equally enthusiastic:-
Easily dated (ahh, that 1980s sound serves as a personal, mental marker for
my younger days), nevertheless timelessly sumptuous, Holdridge's
Splash is too good for this promotional release. Everyone should have
the opportunity to hear this. But, one takes what one can get.
Holdridge's score for this fish... *mermaid*-out-of-water love story makes
ample use of rolling strings and an ingenious main theme. The orchestrations
are generally typical from this composer; pleasantly, liberally tuneful,
intricately composed with a voluble emphasis on brief, easy solos backed
by strings only. Holdridge swims straight (or strait, continuing with the
puns) into these waters, setting the tone with the splendid 'Main Title.'
The more intense cues, such as 'Escape and Chase,' are delightfully rousing
and adventurous, and Holdridge paces the action-oriented tracks with exaggerated
rhythms and artful flourishes. The love song by Lee Holdridge and Will Jennings,
'Love Came for Me,' garners a fair performance from singer Rita Coolidge,
but the lyrics border on being trite schwarmerei (though surprisingly superior
to Jennings' more recent output). What dates the soundtrack are cues like
'In the Bar,' which could readily play in elevators world-wide. The presence
of Muzak in the score brings nothing joyful to the experience, but a human
awareness quashes it swiftly.
The production is tolerable for a promotional release. The disc includes
five bonus tracks: the film versions of 'Escape and Chase' & 'The Leap
for Freedom,' two solo arrangements of 'Love Came for Me,' and another
forgettable excursion into period scoring. The sound is sometimes grainy,
a point that is especially obvious when Coolidge seems to be singing into
a paper cup. The sleeve notes by Holdridge explain his approach in a
thorough-though-casual manner, but I wonder what Ron Howard was attempting
to do when he wrote his?