April 2001 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Founder Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /April01/



Compilation: Alan SILVESTRI Cast Away - music for the films of Robert Zemeckis
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This is an excellent, varied and entertaining album including music from all ten collaborations between director, Robert Zemeckis and composer, Alan Silvestri.

It begins splendidly, in great swinging style, with the high-spirited, fast-paced jazz-based music for Romancing the Stone with its smoky, husky sexy saxophone solos. Next comes the exciting robust theme for Back to the Future which is embellished and extended through a tense, long-winding crescendo, with snare drum and timpani prominent for Back to the Future, Part II. Bracing, exhilarating music with a western twist, tempered by sweet and tender romantic material distinguishes Back to the Future, Part III.

Who Framed Peter Rabbit?, is a heady mix of easy listening, raw jazz with sleazy torch song overtones, plus western and suspense genres music for this comic cuts adventure. For Death Becomes Her, Silvestri invents some wonderfully comic voluptuous, catty material for Zemeckis's warring women (Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep). The mood turns to quiet heroism and innocent sincerity for the lovely Forrest Gump music. This mood of child-like awe and wonder continues into Silvesti's memorable and much-admired score for Contact, an attractive unassuming yet reassuring drama about an alien species making its first contact with earth.

What Lies Beneath is altogether different, a creepy, dark, doom-laden tribute to Bernard Herrmann in Psycho and Vertigo mode.

The album is completed by the latest collaboration, Cast Away. This music is relaxing and elegiac with soothing, seashore sounds, nicely woven into its fabric.

The only let-down is the poor standard of the booklet (a mere 4 pages) with Robert Townson uncharacteristically breathing platitudes instead of writing or commissioning the background/analytical notes that normally distinguish such Varèse Sarabande compilations.

Ian Lace

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