January 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Music composed by Angelo Badalamenti
  Available on Milan Records (74321 97115 2)  
Running Time: 37:28
Crotchet   Amazon UK   Amazon US


Badalamenti has been exceptionally busy this past year. The wonderful Secretary was followed by this project and then: Lathe of Heaven and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (both for TV), Auto Focus, Cabin Fever and Resistance. One answer for how heís accomplished so much in so short a space of time is given in the CD booklet. Itís explained that composer and director didnít meet until the day before the filmís premiere. Their working relationship between Paris and New York was conducted by technological means Ė in 20 days from start to finish. Just imagine how many scores a composer could work on if those were the circumstances more often!

For this true story of a man who lived a lie and murdered his family, the music balances on the line between unsettling and melancholia. In tone that relates it to his classic Twin Peaks, but the synth work has moved on considerably. The lines are long and dreamy, but the accompaniment is more involving. There arenít any credits for additional performers, so the assumption is that Badalamenti played some part of the score himself too. Which would have saved more timeÖ

This is an album that sustains a mood, and this is something the composer does well. Whether through the (uncredited) female voice of "House of Silence" or the smooth yet disturbing electronics palette used in "Dark Humanity", the technique is subtle while the effect is powerful. Iíve found myself playing this and Secretary repeatedly this year. I only hope heís as fruit-baringly busy next year.

Paul Tonks

**** 4

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