April 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Paul GRABOWSKY
Last Orders  
  OST
  VARÈSE SARABANDE VSD-6330   [37:14]

Last Orders

Grabowsky's score is extraordinary bellicose yet nostalgic and sentimental. It is very much a jazz blues-based score. Much use is made of solo piano and bass woodwinds and saxophone in low register, also bass strings -- all in unusual combinations, harmonies and colours. Sour smoochy, disconsolate, swing figures give a sense of seedy hopelessness. 'Love theme' with its rambling improvisatory piano jazz solo (that also includes just a tiny seam of classical-sounding music) seems to suggest love long lost and mute acceptance of fate. Even the more driving underlying rhythms of the jazz-based 'Detour' takes much of its length to shake off this feeling of ennui. 'You're beautiful' and 'A kiss' begin in a style that instantly reminds one of Lynch's Twin Peaks before solo piano and violin in the former and guitar in the latter confirm the bitter sweet disillusion that has passed before. 'Sweet relief' gives some badly-needed comic relief; it is a very cheeky off-colour visit to the toilet.

All the above is not to say that Paul Grabowski's score lacks appeal, on the contrary, and even though it's rather downbeat and dour, it makes a change from so much predictable material around at the moment.

Ian Lace

***(*)

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