August 2001Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /Aug01/

Honolulu Baby  
  PACIFIC TIME PTE8532-2   [34:40]

Honolulu Baby

There’s a little more depth than one might first suppose to be found in Carlo Siliotto’s score from this Italian comedic fable, although its brief running time coupled with a tendency towards repetition hold it back from becoming something truly special.

The title track is a fair version of the well-known song performed by Lino Patruno & The Red Pellini Gang, (a modernistic update with female vocal is also included but is barely passable). But it’s two original pieces, the lively Eastern influenced, somewhat avant-garde ‘Squeegie Washers Everywhere’ and the pensive ‘Is this Melancias?’, featuring acoustic guitar and trumpet, that really grab the attention. Both are particularly creative and effective and I was duly impressed. Disappointingly though there is little beyond this, with most of the remaining cues variations on these two themes; ‘Is This Melancias?’ is reprised on ‘The Fairies’, ‘Nine Months of Pipes’, albeit with some ambient pipes and brass and ‘Gabriela’ with bizarre wordless vocals, while ‘Squeegie Washers Everywhere’ is recalled on ‘Searching for Men’. Apart from this, the echoing, dissonance of ‘Desert and Dust’ is worth a little consideration, but the middle of the road ‘At the Market’ and the Continental pop song ‘Mama Melancias’ (think Eurovision Song Contest circa 1980) are merely dull.

In some ways this score is a victim of its own aspirations (or limitations). While it delivers more than expected and there are certainly parts that work exceedingly well, it’s also fair to say that its appeal is somewhat hampered by an ultimate lack of substance.

Mark Hockley


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