December 2001 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings / December /

Michael KAMEN
Band of Brothers  music from the TV series
  conducted by the composer
  SONY SK 89719   [69:55]

Band of Brothers

Although this is undoubtedly the greatest single project Kamen has worked on in some time, he seems to have taken its lead in the practice of regurgitating old material. For a 10-part series it may have been an idea to dip into the library to shave a little off the workload. But the regurgitating extends to far more than that. Two minutes into "Suite One" thereís so much of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves as to be painfully obvious. Right after that is an almost verbatim statement of "Coleís Theme" from Mr. Hollandís Opus in "Suite Two". Since these are tracks 2 and 3 respectively, rather hard to shake off the sense of familiarity for the episodic cues that follow.

All that aside, The London Metropolitan Orchestra sound superb. Comparisons with From the Earth to the Moon are warranted since this seriesí concept (through Tom Hanks) was exactly the same. As such, this deserves to come out on top since it didnít have to bend itself to the pop music backdrop of the former. There are no comparisons to be made with Saving Private Ryan however. From the outset, Kamen had a more dramatic story arc to work with and a TV format that wanted it hammered home as opposed to the tragedian John Williams approach.

This is a long, loud and powerful work that will be best appreciated by those unfamiliar with the composerís previous works.

Paul Tonks


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