Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


Gabriel YARED Message in a Bottle  OST     ATLANTIC 83163 [73:58]


Crotchet (UK)

Amazon (USA)

Not surprisingly, the soundtrack to "Message in a Bottle" is one of those vapid 'Music From And Inspired By' albums. I feel obligated as a reviewer to discuss the songs, but I dislike them and have no intention of wasting anyone's time in some half-wit validation of their existence. But as a courtesy, here is the song rundown: 'I Could Not Ask For More' performed by Edwin McCain, 'No Mermaid' by Sinead Lohan, 'Let Me Go' by Faith Hill, 'I Will Know Your Love' by Beth Nielsen Chapman, 'Only Lonely' by Hootie & The Blowfish, 'Don't' by Yve.n.Adam, 'Carolina' by Sheryl Crow, 'I Love You' by Sarah McLachlan, 'Fallen Angels' by Marc Cohn, 'Somewhere In The Middle' by Nine Sky Wonder, 'What Will I Do' by Clannad, and 'One More Time' by Laura Pausini. I have no use for this malodorous collection of generic pap. Those who do, have my sympathy. There is also an original song by Gabriel Yared & David Foster and Linda Thompson titled 'I'll Still Love You Then,' performed by Anna Nordell. It incorporates Yared's sweet main theme, coupled with typical Foster predictability, and unmemorable lyrics.

The disc ends with 19 minutes and ten seconds of Yared's underscore. The music received countless negative reviews for its "bloated" contribution to the film, but on disc it fares reasonably well. Yared became a Hollywood commodity following his overrated wall of clichéd melodramatic sound for "The English Patient;" here he fails to dampen the melodrama or clichés adequately, but he does use some intelligence to polish them to a high shine.

The trio of score tracks share many of the same wistful orchestrations and somewhat ambiguous melodies, making the 19 minutes seem like one extended cue. Heavy on Vienna-like strings, guitar and piano, it bears some resemblance to John Williams' "Sabrina" and "Stepmom." The track 'Theresa & Garret' merely sets the foundation of Yared's music with the string, guitar, and piano themes. 'Message in a Bottle' builds on that foundation until it forms a mildly rhythmic dance that ultimately falls in upon itself, bringing the listener back where he began. 'Dear Catherine' again builds up from the base, but this time using wordless voices and melancholy chord progressions that slowly mutate into a vibrant finale.

Regrettably, the score tracks do not make the album as a whole worth recommending to anyone other than the soundtrack completist. However, it remains noteworthy that 19 minutes of capable music is worth a lot more than 55 minutes of that lesser kind.


Jeffrey Wheeler


Jeffrey Wheeler

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