October 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Carter BURWELL [40:57]
Simone  
  Varese Sarabande VSD-6387   [40:57]

Simone

Within a minute of a Carter Burwell score I find I can identify his style. Defining that style is less easy however. A word I frequently use to describe his music is 'melancholy'. It's a mood shot through his work that I believe generally stems from the type of films themselves, but like John Barry it's that very personal voice in the orchestration of his work that simply suggests a bittersweet subtext.

Subtext is precisely what Andrew Niccol's movie is all about. The creation of a digital replacement actress on a movie set is a means of conveying the hollow vanity that pervades much of Hollywood. It shouldn't be a surprise then to find a score accompanying this that's a bubbling mix of kooky samples and percussion on the surface. Underneath however, lies a gentle simplicity to which Al Pacino's producer aspires and which Rachel Roberts (as S1m0ne) is unable to disguise. There's a memorable theme at the core of the simplicity, shown off at its best in "$$$imone".

Burwell has his very own brand of film scoring with which I'm pleased to say this latest belongs perfectly. It makes for a highly smirk-inducing listen too!

Paul Tonks

****

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