August 2001Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /Aug01/

  CITADEL STC 77131   [43:54]


Good marks to Jeff Dana for imaginative use of a clutch of ancient and contemporary, and exotic instruments, nicely blended for the score of this TV drama, set on an isolated island off the coast of New England, relating a family’s turbulent response to the loss of a child. The instrumental line-up includes: harp guitar, vielle, bass mandolin, gamelan, flapamba, steel guitar and harmonium and the music encompasses a wide mixture of styles: there are elements of Gaelic, oriental, medieval and minimalist music.

As might be expected the preponderant mood is one of ruminative melancholy. One might be kind and say that it is atmospheric and sensitively scored, elegiac music of compassion and consolation, but the slow tempi, consistently sombre mood and the lack of any definable, never mind memorable theme, makes this score heavy going, almost soporific. Was there no joy? Alas, it is only too typical of too many of today’s scores. There is too much ‘sameness’, and its features are over-familiar from too many scores for similar dramas. The few relatively upbeat cues fail to introduce any basically fresh ideas. The score for Baby probably works well for the screenplay but as a listening experience it soon outstays its welcome

Grace Barber


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