French composer, Michel Colombier has been writing
music for films since 1965 (L'Arme à Gauche). Much of his work has been
for American films including White Nights (1985); Deep Cover (1992)
and the oddly entitled How Stella Got her Groove Back (1998). Halliwell's
Who's Who in the Movies does not give one accolade to any of the 34 scores
listed under his name. His score for Swept Away starring Madonna as a
beautiful but spoilt socialite, stranded on a Mediterranean island with a communist
sailor, might not convince Halliwell either. It is slight but amiable. Divorced
from the film, this album could be filed under easy listening.
The opening track 'The Greeks' revisits Zorba using
varying tempi and colorations. 'The Gym' follows in similar light-hearted vein.
For the opening of 'Montage' there is that current cliché, a solo piano pitched
in a remote key to signal isolation, but the track is saved by glittering development
work for the piano over warm string tones.
'Pensive' is just that, plucked very briefly from
a guitar. 'Night in a dinghy' is a nicely shaped nocturne with an oboe sailing
romantically above softly throbbing lower string ostinati, with a brief episode
featuring steel drums and harmonica. 'Land' brings a rush of excitement and
the 'The Island' adds a blush of romantic thrill that spills over to 'Separate
Ways'. Nice atmospheric use is made of Greek ethnic instruments to add colour
to the lyricism of Colombier's strings through these latter tracks. 'Beach
confrontation' is a combative exercise for timps and savage string staccatos.
'Togetherness' is a tentative, repetitive minimalist dialogue, almost static,
between piano and fiddle – with little modulation and development through its
4½-minute duration making it seem endless. 'First Boat' and 'Rescued' take the
becalmed music forward through faster tempi, the latter restoring the Greek
element and adding a touch of regret to the romantic theme as if the rescue
was not entirely welcome. 'Alone' is another clichéd string evocation of sighing
and yearning, supported by prolonged Greek instrumental thrumming. 'Phone-call'
has meditative celli and clarinet that continues the yearning rather prettily
with soft synths pushing towards some urgency. The final 'Parted' carries on
in the same vein over six tedious minutes but with the piano meandering and
solo cello. Della Reese sings a blasé up-dated version the old Rosemary Clooney
classic 'Come-on-a-my-house' – come back Rosie!
Routine romantic score just about saved from longueurs
by some Greek colourings.