June 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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  VARÈSE SARABANDE VSD-6338   [31:11]


It took a few minutes to determine what Debney had been asked to emulate on this one. And then learning that the film is a series of supernatural experiences within a love story, I suddenly recognised it as Thomas Newman’s The Sixth Sense. Track 4, "Meeting Sister Madeline" contains the most directly obvious reference to the earlier score.

Debney often seems stuck with following in others footsteps. Or when he’s not, it seems Danny Elfman is providing a theme so as to elevate his score into something noticeable (or more honestly – marketable). This is such a shame, because the composer who emulated the Golden Era of swashbuckling for Cutthroat Island was someone to prick up your ears and take notice of.

The remainder of Dragonfly is regrettably forgettable stuff, in large part because of its consistently subdued tone. There’s a sizeable enough orchestra credited in the booklet (a welcome new practice by Varese), but you’d be hard pressed to single out and section that gets special use or treatment.

Debney deserves to work with so much better.

Paul Tonks


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