January 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

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

index page/ monthly listings / January /

Music composed by John Ottman
  Available on Varèse Sarabande Records (VSD-6411)  
Running Time: 64:48
Crotchet   Amazon UK   Amazon US


Apart from being an accomplished editor (The Usual Suspects) and an aspiring director (Urban Legend 2), John Ottman is also a composer of note and certainly has a way with melodic suspense. Here he gives a good account of himself in what was no doubt one of his usual examples of under funded, not enough time miracles of economy and ingenuity. And after so many recent instances of this I have no doubt he will appreciate all the more being able to work on something like the upcoming X-Men sequel.

As with the vast majority of Ottmanís scores there is a deceptively tender quality to his music, undercut and offset by an insidious darkness that hangs over his work like a shroud. Itís a fascinating combination. And while there are certainly generic sections to this work, there is always an overall intelligence that ultimately lifts it slightly above the norm. To illustrate this, the gentle foreboding of the 'Main Titles' is carried through the entire soundtrack, with regular, frantic bursts of cacophony ('Abduction' etc. ) distorting the otherwise sweet-natured tinkling piano and string themes of innocence and hope that are the backbone of the score.

Another sturdy example of Ottman polish and acumen, providing further proof that this composer is one of the most reliable around.

Mark Hockley

***(*) 31/2

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