March 2001 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /March01/

An Everlasting Piece
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Although the music on the CD is credited to Hans Zimmer and The Jigs (a collection of individuals including director Barry Levinson), as the film poster only lists Zimmer I'm a little unsure as to who did what. But whatever the case, we are heavily into Irish jig (hence the group name!) territory. And there's certainly plenty of lively folk shenanigans on show here in cues like 'Repo Man', 'Day Job and 'You Gotta Lose to Win' to get those so inclined hopping around the room. To counter-balanced this energy sapping exercise, there is the wistful, dewy-eyed 'One Hundred and Ninety' (with acoustic guitar and fiddle) and this is reprised on 'I'm a Dick' and in more upbeat fashion on 'The Piece People'. And that's about it really. There are a number of other rather generic pieces of Irish flavoured rock ('Toupée or Not Toupée' and the increasingly self-absorbed 'Jiggy's Last Jam') and some vocal extravagances on 'The Rant' and 'F**kin Genius', but it's all very obvious and uninspiring.

In fact, in the end the very 'Oirishness' of the music is a bit hard to take, verging on parody in places. I suppose it's possible that was the intent, but whatever the case it just doesn't work very well. And don't get me wrong, I usually enjoy this kind of thing. But in this case, I found it all far too obvious and manipulative. Very little attempt is made at using the form to create something fresh and exciting and instead the broadest possible brush strokes are used so that it comes across almost like some beginners guide to Irish music.

Very disappointing coming from Zimmer, but this really is very self-indulgent. But then what do you expect when a group of pals get together to have a good time. For Hans Zimmer and The Jigs I'm certain this was a hoot. For the rest of us, far less so.

Mark Hockley

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