Epic: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Music by Danny Elfman (a J!-ENT World Groove Album Review)
Another fantastic soundtrack in the musical oeuvre of Danny Elfman! Fans of Elman’s style of music will no doubt enjoy “Epic: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Music by Danny Elfman”. Recommended!
Image is courtesy of © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Epic: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Music by Danny Elfman
LABEL: Sony Classical
RELEASE DATE: May 28, 2013
- Tara’s Chamber
- Meet Dad
- Moonhaven Parade
- The Selection
- Tara’s Gift
- Girl Meets Boy
- Rings of Knowledge
- In the House
- Many Leaves
- False Start
- Epic Final Confrontation
- Epic Finale
When it comes to television and movie soundtracks, Danny Elfman’s name is one of the names you will often seen listed.
Known for creating “The Simpsons” theme, creating music for Tim Burton’s “Batman”, “Corpse Bride”, “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and most recently creating the music for “Men in Black 3″, “Frankenweenie”, “Hitchcock” and “Oz and the Great and Powerful”, to say that Danny Elfman is in demand as a composer is an understatement.
And for the Oingo Boingo lead vocalist turned prolific TV/film composer, Danny Elfman’s latest addition to his musical oeuvre is the 2013 American 3D computer animated epic fantasy-adventure-comedy drama, “Epic” based on William Joyce’s children’s book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs”. An animated film produced by Blue Sky Studios, directed by Chris Wedge and features the voices of stars talents such as Amanda Seyfried, josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler and Beyonce Knowles.
The film revolves around a teenage girl named Mary Katherine who moves in with her eccentric scientist father Professor Bomba, after the death of her mother. She finds out that her father is looking for little tiny human soldiers, which she is quite skeptical and wishes her father would stop pursuing such work.
But the truth is Professor Bomba is correct and that these tiny humans known as “Leafmen” do in fact exist and their duty is to protect the forest from the evil Boggans and their leader Mandrake who are intent in destroying the forest.
One day, as Mary Katherine a.k.a. “M.K.” leaves home, annoyed by her father, the queen of the forest, Queen Tara is attacked by Bogans and is shot by Mandrake. While looking for father’s dog Ozzie, she sees Queen Tara falling and Tara gives M.K. her leaf pod and uses her magic to shrink her. Her final message to M.K. is to take the pod to a glowworm named Nim Galuu.
Now, knowing that her father research is true, M.K. with the help of the Leafmen try to reach to safety, knowing that Mandrake and the Boggans are out to kill them.
With this adventure and fantasy theme, Danny Elfmanworked with many musicians for this soundtrack. From musicians who specialize in violins, violas, celli, bass, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, French horns, trumpets, trombones, tubas, harps, percussion, timpani, piano and guitar.
brings a bit of an Irish style of fun and uplifting music for the first track “Leafmen”. But manages to transition to the more serious and action-sequence of “Pursuit” which features Danny Elfman’s trademark style of action music.
His style is heard in “Tara’s Chamber” and to hear the vocal chorus employed in “Tara’s Chamber” reminds me of his work on “Batman”. Ominous with a dab of playfulness, a beautiful track on this soundtrack!
For the fourth track “Meet Dad”, the soundtrack captures the playfulness and eccentric style of Professor Bomba, albeit a short :34 second track.
The fifth track “Moonnhaven Parade” is a beautiful track that utilizes harp and guitar with gentleness, while the short track “Alarms” utilizes strings to the track’s efficacy. And once again, for the more magical track “The Selection”, a beautiful track that also captures the Elfman style!
“Ambush” is much more fiercer than “Pursuit”, a track that manages to blend in acoustic guitar with strings and percussion to create the sense of danger.
While the ninth track “Tara’s Gift” is moving and sad with strings that capture the death of Queen Tara with emotion and sadness and captures M.K.’s transformation to a shrunken version of herself.
The 10th track “Small”, similar to “Leafmen” is upbeat and has that Irish style and transitions to the moody “Girls Meets Boy” with a sense of pending danger. While the 11th track “Rings of Knowledge” is a track that utilizes the flute, oboes, clarinets and strings. A beautiful and whimsical track!
For the 13th track “Antlers”, Elfman creates a dreamy track in which the musicians produce magic and beautiful balance with strings, vocals and more! But the gentleness of “Antlers”, easily transitions to a more threatening track with “Kidnapped”.
The 15th track titled “In the House” is another “in pursuit” style of track. Ominous tones with an overcoming surge of energy as one is being pursued and the use of strings and flute is brilliantly used on this track. The 16th track “Many Leaves” is under track that use the woodwind instruments rather nicely. But as much as I enjoyed the track, it’s much too short and next thing you know, the next song, the 17th track titled “Escape” returns to the more ominous and darker sounds with fast strings creating the sounds of pending danger.
The 18th track “False Star” is a song that brings hope, with the magical vocal arrangement that blends nicely with the instruments. A magical and beautiful track on this soundtrack!
For the climactic confrontation, the 19th track “Epic Final Confrontation” starts out gentle but then transitions to a more distressed and action-driven style that Danny Elfman always manages to pull off magnificently.
The 20th track “Return” is a song of hope, beauty and calm. Great use of strings and brass and fine use of guitar in the transition. And the final 21st track “Epic Finale” is a beautiful Flamenco style that combines the Irish style of music that is heard in “Leafmen” and “Small” for the final track. Upbeat and a fascinating track overall.
“Epic: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Music by Danny Elfman” comes with an eight page booklet with images from the film and production credits.
Overall, “Epic: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Music by Danny Elfman” is another magnificent soundtrack that Danny Elfman fans will enjoy!
Whimsical, adventurous, enjoyable and recommended!
“Stuck in Love: The Writers Playlist” is an enjoyable compilation of independent music and a soundtrack offering a solid variety of catchy, free flowing, smooth to heavy hitting music to compliment Josh Boone’s film! Recommended!
Image is courtesy of © 2012 Madison Gate Records, Inc.
TITLE: Stuck in Love: The Writers Playlist
LABEL: Varese Sarabande
RELEASE DATE: June 11, 2013
- Nosebleed (Score)
- At Your Door by Nathaniel Walcott and Mike Mogis featuring Big Harp
- Peeping Tom (Score)
- You Are Your Mother’s Child by Conor OBerst
- American Man by Rio Bravo
- Polkadot by Like Pioneers
- Rusty Tucks Kate In (Score)
- Will You Be By Me by Wallpaper Airplanes
- Goodbye (Score)
- I Won’t Love You Any Less by Nat and Alex Wolff
- Between the Bars by Elliott Smith
- Bill Gets Dressed (Score)
- The Calendar Hunt Itslef by Bright Eyes
- Bill Tells Sam the Truth (Score)
- A Mountain, A Peak by Bill Ricchini
- Erica at the Door (Score)
- Somersaults in Spring by Friends of Gemini
Original soundtrack to the 2013 motion picture. The Stuck In Love score was composed, arranged, performed and produced by Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott (from Bright Eyes). The pop tracks on the soundtrack include three new songs: ‘At Your Door’ by Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott featuring Big Harp, ‘Somersaults In Spring’ by Friends Of Gemini (Mike Mogis, Nathaniel Walcott and Corina Figueroa Escamilla) and ‘You Are Your Mother’s Child’ by Conor Oberst. Other artists featured include Bright Eyes, Elliott Smith, Nat & Alex Wolff, Wallpaper Airplanes, Like Pioneers, Rio Bravo and Bill Ricchini.
In July 2013, the American independent drama “Stuck in Love” directed by Josh Boone is scheduled for a limited theatrical release.
The film stars Jennifer Connelly, Greg Kinnear, Kristin Bell, Lily Collins, Logan Lerman and Nat Wolff and a soundtrack with a score composed and performed by Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott (both composed the score for the 2008 film “Lovely, Still”).
The film revolves around the complications with a family which include a successful novelist named Bill (Kinnear), his ex-wife Erica (Connelly), his daughter in college (Collins) and their teenage son.
With his ex-wife marrying a younger man, the novelist becomes obsessed with on spying on his wife and her new husband, while he tries to keep cool that his daughter Sam’s first novel has been accepted for publication (without his help). But despite Sam’s success, she was deeply wounded by her mother’s affair and it prevents her from finding love (and pursuing one-night stands) and also wanting to do anything with her mother. But her classmate Lou (Lerman) tries to have a relationship with her, which she is not ready to have anything to do with him.
Meanwhile, Rusty (Wolff) is a romantic and a falls for Kate (Liana Liberato) who is dating an abusive boyfriend, which he wants to save her from.
With the theme of a family with dysfunctional problems and people, you expect a soundtrack that captures mystery, love, pain and chaos.
And with the soundtrack for “Stuck in Love: The Writers Playlist” (to be released on CD and vinyl on June 11th), you get a good balance of music from the original score composed and performed by Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott. But also artists and bands such as Big Harp, Conor Oberst, Rio Bravo, Like Pioneers, Wallpaper Airplanes, Nat & Alex Wolff, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Bill Ricchini and Friends of Gemini.
“My pipe dream was to have Bright Eyes, my favorite band, score the film,” said the film’s writer/director Josh Boone. Music supervisors Andy Ross and Laura Katz reached out to them. “Not only did they make that happen, bringing the great Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott on board, but Conor Oberst generously contributed an original song that fit so perfectly into the fabric of the film that I still get goosebumps every time I hear it.”
“Music played an important role in the writing and making of Stuck in Love,” said Boone. Most of the songs that are in the film were written into the script. Boone had created mix CDs for each of the cast members and gave them the CDs to use as inspiration. “I often saw them listening to their iPods between takes.”
“Music is one of the most powerful tools a filmmaker can use to evoke emotion,” Boone explained. “I am forever indebted to the great musicians who lent us theirs to help bring this film to life.”
Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott’s compositions for “Nosebeleed” (and their other tracks on the album) is dreamy, American heartland with it’s electric guitar with ethereal synth and leads into the first major vocal track “At Your Door” by Nathaniel Walcott and Mike Mogis featuring Big Harp. A rock track featuring great balance between its male and female vocalist. Catchy, upbeat and enjoyable.
While the songs have its fair share of slow/mid-tempo, mellow tracks such as Elliot Smith’s “Between the Bars”, Bill Ricchini’s “A Mountain, A Peak” and the acoustic track “You Are Your Mother’s Child” by Conor Oberst, there are upbeat tracks such as the rock track “Polkadot” by Like Pioneers and “Will You Be By Me” by Wallpaper Airplanes.
One of my favorite tracks on the album was “The Calendar Hung Itself…” by Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst’s band along with Mike Mogis and Nathaniel Walcott). I absolutely loved the musical arrangement and vocals and track that definitely stood out in the album.
And the final track is also one of my favorites on the album, “Somersaults in Spring” performed by Friends of Gemini. Love the arrangement and the dreamy, smooth vocals.
Overall, “Stuck in Love: The Writers Playlist” is an enjoyable compilation of independent music and a soundtrack offering a solid variety of catchy, free flowing, smooth to heavy hitting music to compliment Josh Boone’s film! Recommended!
AKB48′s fourth full-length album “1830m” is simply fantastic! A wonderful album featuring 30 tracks on two CD’s and more! The best AKB48 album so far! Highly recommended!
Image is courtesy of © 2012 King Records
TITLE: 1830m (Theater Edition)
LABEL: King Records
DURATION: Disc 1: 1:12:07, Disc 2: 57:41
RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2012
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3. ミニスカートの妖精 – AKB48 (伊豆田莉奈, サイード横田絵玲奈, 平田梨奈)
7. 恋愛総選挙 – AKB48 (YM7)
11. ロマンスかくれんぼ – 大森美優
17. GIVE ME FIVE!
- Hate – AKB48 (Team A)
2. プラスティックの唇 – 篠田麻里子
3. 思い出のほとんど – AKB48 (高橋みなみ, 前田敦子)
4. 家出の夜 – AKB48 (Team K)
5. スキャンダラスに行こう! – AKB48 (小嶋陽菜, 大島優子)
6. ノーカン – AKB48 (Team B)
7. アボガドじゃね~し… – AKB48 (渡辺麻友, 指原莉乃)
8. 直角Sunshine – AKB48 (Team 4)
9. 僕たちは 今 話し合うべきなんだ – AKB48 (板野友美, 柏木由紀)
10. さくらんぼと孤独 – AKB48 (Team 研究生)
11. いつか見た海の底 – AKB48 (Up-and-coming girls)
12. 青空よ 寂しくないか? – AKB48 (AKB48 + SKE48 + NMB48 + HKT48)
13. 桜の花びら ~前田敦子 solo ver.~ – 前田敦子
When it comes to highly anticipated albums, AKB4′s “1830m” is an album that fans have waited for.
The group’s fourth album, “1830m” features first time studio recordings, previous singles (from their 20th single “Sakura no Ki ni Naro” to their 25th single “Give Me Five!”) and also songs that will feature #1 ace center Atsuko Maeda one final time on an AKB48 album before she graduates from the group (her final day is on August 27th).
“1830m” which is “(1,830 meters) is the distance from AKB48 theater in Akihabara to Tokyo Dome, where AKB48 is set to perform on August 24-26 but also marks the first stadium where the group performed at.
The album debuted at #1 on the Oricon Album Music Charts and a million units were shipped to retailers.
There are two versions of the album that have been released. The first features a box set which comes with two CD’s with 17 tracks and a DVD with short choreography clips and multiple angles for “Everyday, Katyusha”, “Flying Get”, “Kaze wa Fuiteiru” and “Ue Kara Mariko”. The second version is a theater edition which features 17 tracks on the first CD and 13 tracks on the second CD and comes with no DVD but comes with nine photo printouts with members on both sides.
The version I am reviewing is the theater edition which come with the 10 double sided printout photos plus an insert which is 16-pages with lyrics and production credits. Front cover features the AKB48 top 9 members of senbatsu, back cover features the remaining 12 members of senbatsu, while Atsuko Maeda’s solo photo is featured on the back of the insert booklet.
The first disc kicks off with the track “First Rabbit”, a catchy upbeat pop song from the group that was never released as a single. The song is used for the documentary “DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 Show must go on” and one of my favorite tracks on the album. The song is about being the first rabbit to search for their own dream and no matter how many times one is hurt, you grow up and you may shed tears and you may be hurt but never give up your dream.
The second track “Ougon Center” (which translates to “Golden Center”) and is performed by the research students ala Team Kenkyuusei (which include Team 4 members). A modern dance track with a disco synth vibe and do I hear the Morning Musume “ooh ooh”? An inspirational song of one aiming for the center position and how there is always room for one to improve and beat one’s rivals and do what is possible to become center and for their fans to make her their #1 oshimen.
The third track “Miniskirt no Yosei” (which translates to “Miniskirted Fairy”) is performed by Rina Izuta, Erena Saeed Yokota and Rina Hirata and is a originally a song by Team A 6th Stage and performed by the Zenza girls (Anna Mori, Miyu Takeuchi and Haruka Shimada). So, this album version is a pretty cool onstage track from members that some may not be familiar with. A very cute, sweet pop song. Almost like a magical girl song about how one with the miniskirt can transform into a fairy and do their best during an audition and if they succeed, they can become a star.
The fourth track “Ue Kara Mariko” is the 24th single from AKB48 and a pretty cool tribute by Akimoto Yasushi for AKB48′s eldest member but also a fan favorite who is known as the 1.5 generation member because she got in by fan write-ins who voted the cafe staff member to become the next member of AKB48. It is said that Mariko had to learn 12 songs in four days and also the choreography and if she could do it, she would become a member of AKB48 and sure enough, she accomplished that feat.
So, in many ways, Mariko winning the Janken Taikai is a wonderful testament for the member who worked hard to get where she is. And as for the single, the song revolves around an older girl named Mariko and how she is a tease. Always teasing as if she wants to be kissed, but is it a joke or is she serious? A fun, upbeat song and while I’m not sure if Mariko is in fact “sadistic” or a “tease” as the lyrics show, it’s a fun upbeat track that Mariko Shinoda fans will surely enjoy.
The fifth track is another Team Kenkyuusei track titled “Anti” featuring an upbeat, catchy pop track from the four young ladies. The song is about not giving up and how one must go through the pain and become stronger and endure the insults made by anti’s.
The Sixth track “Lemon no Toshigoro” (which translates to “Lemon Puberty”) is performed by up-and-coming AKB48 members Marina Kobayashi, Wakana Natori, Yukari Sasaki and Tomu Muto. A sweet ballad that was originally sung by the Zenza girls for AKB48 Team K 6th Stage. The song is about one wanting to give an unripe lemon and give it to someone, because love is like a lemon and one can’t go straight, they must go the long way (the oval shape of a lemon).
The seventh track is titled “Ren’ai Sosenkyou” (which translates to “General Election of Love”) by YM7 (performed by Aki Takajo, Tomomi Kasai, Mika Komori and Sumire Sato). A song that I really enjoy on the first disc. For those not familiar with YM7, “Weekly Young Jump” and “Young Magazine” chose 7 AKB48 members to form YJ7 and YM7 and they participated in a battle. In the end, YM7 won and so the winners got to perform this song for the album. The song is about a love election and who do people want to date and who is the most popular in the poll.
The eighth track is “Yasai Uranai” (Vegetable Fortune Telling) and is fun pop track performed by the Yasai Sisters (which translates to “Sisters of Vegetables”), a campaign for Kagome’s vegetable juice in which AKB48 members dress up as vegetables. Similar to the “Yasai Sisters” song, it’s about vegetables and how people resemble vegetables. One may have a personality of a tomato but can have a shape like a cabbage and a carrot mixed in.
The ninth track is AKB48′s 20th summer single “Everday, Katyusha” (which translates to “Everyday, headband”) and is a song about going with a friend to the beach and as the girl removes her headband (that she wears everyday), you see her release her hair into the wind. A fun pop song!
The tenth track “Hashire! Penguin” which translates to “Run! Penguin” was originally supposed to be the main single release but was changed to be a coupling song to be sung by Team 4 for the theater edition of “Ue Kara Mariko”.
The single is an upbeat idol son about one having to compete with others for one’s affection. But that person is unable to break the ice and it seems hopeless. And the song refers to a penguin, to make a move and not be useless.
The eleventh track is performed by Miyu Omori and is titled “Romance Kakurenbo” (which translates to “Romance Hide-and-seek”). Omori is an up-and-coming member of AKB48, daughter of retired Yomiuri Giants baseball player Takeshi Omori. A gentle track that has a classic style for its arrangement and a lovely ballad. The song is about one secretly in love and as much as she loves that person, she keeps her feelings hidden and it’s painful for her.
The 12th track is tilted “Tsubomitachi” (which translates to “Buds”) and is upbeat pop track performed by Team 4 and Kenkyuusei. The song was featured in the “Kaze wa Fuiteiru” (Theater Edition) and is song about one wanting to be recognized. As the other flower buds around her start to blossom, she asks to please make her look forward to the future and remember her name, even though she may not be well-known right now.
The 13th track was exclusive to the theater edition of “GIVE ME FIVE!” and is titled “Yungu ya Furoito no Baii” (which translates to “A Case for Jung or Freud”). The track is a slow-tempo ballad about a person who dreams of the person they love who is shouting for them, but the person is unable to hear them because of the wind. So, she asks the question if when Jung or Freud fell in love, what kind of dreams did they dream?
I actually found the song quite fascinating lyrically because for one, I would never imagine a song incorporating neurologists Carl Jung or Sigmund Freud. But because the song is about observing dreams, what Freud and Jung did for a living, it was interesting but also intelligent songwriting that you just don’t see psychoanalysis mixed with an idol pop song. It never happens! So, I found that quite intriguing. But overall, “Yungu ya Furoito no Baii” was a beautiful, melodic track. And loved how everyone sung in unison for this track!
“Flying Get” is the 14th track on the album and is an upbeat pop/dance 22nd single from AKB48 that revolves around one being at the beach and wanting to “Flying Get” to obtain ones feelings, capture their heart and sensing one’s feelings beforehand. Pretty much a song about one wanting to make a move towards the person they like and the person debating with themselves if they can do it or if they will stay silent. A fun song that compliments the group quite well!
The 15th track and 23rd AKB48 single, “Kaze wa Fuiteiru” is a positive song of how people in despair, should have hope, should search for the light. Also, a song about rebuilding for the future and for one to continue living. How love and hope will continue and that the wind will continue to blow into the future.
My first time listening to the song and I was instantly hooked. The melody was captivating and I loved the harmony among the various members performing the song. But the positive message of hope is what I enjoyed most about this song.
The 16th track on the album and AKB48′s 20th single is “Sakura no Ki ni Narou”, a slow, melancholic track that can be interpreted in several ways. But with the lyrics, I tend to see it as a song about a departed parent or friend in spirit, who has seen their friend or child graduate and grow older. Remembering the past when the departed was with the person in their school uniform, graduation. But that spirit now has a cherry blossom tree in their place (note: In Japan, sometimes to celebrate one’s life of departed love one, a tree is planted) and in the context of this song, a cherry blossom tree is put into the place as a memory of that departed one. And that spirit which is now the sakura tree hopes that person will come back to the area to visit them and that even if the petals will fall, the branches will be extending out like arms. And no matter what happens, if one is trouble, that eternal cherry blossom tree will always be there.
This song is so touching and once you watch the music video, you will be captivated by the song. Which I will go into detail much more later in this review.
The 17th track and AKB48′s 25th CD single is “GIVE ME FIVE!” is am upbeat pop/rock track that is enhanced by brass instruments. The single is pretty much a graduation song that deals with friends preparing to say goodbye, but instead of a goodbye forever, they decide to give each other a high five. And move forward for a better tomorrow.
At first, the song took a while for me to get used to because of its musical style. But having seen the group perform this on television and seeing the music video, “Give Me Five!” has quickly become one of my favorite and most listened to AKB48 songs. Catchy and addictive!
For the second disc, I was pretty amazed by the songs presented.
“Hate” is performed by Team A and is a catchy, head bopping pop track that I absolutely love and aside from the six released singles featured on “1830m”, this track is my favorite song on the entire album. The song is about a person that is lying and the person they are in a relationship is wanting to separate them and wishes they never met that person. But as much as she wants to hate that person,that person knows they are iin love.
The second single is a solo track sung by Mariko Shinoda titled “Plastic no Kuchibiru” (which translates to “Plastic Lips”) and is a fantastic solo track for Mariko and it just makes me so happy to listen to, because it’s Mariko and no one else and it’s wonderful dance track!
The third track “Omoide no Hotondo” (which translates to “Most Memories”) is a song that is often performed by best friends Minami Takahashi and Atsuko Maeda, original members of AKB48 and a song that will signify their friendship together through AKB48. A lovely ballad!
The song is about the memories two friends have shared together, talking on the phone for hours and having that person by your side. But before they knew it, the future has come and now their time together has come to an end and you want that person to know that you are grateful for being there.
The fourth track is “Iede no Yoru” (which translates to “Night of Running Away from Home”) and is performed by Team K. I was actually expecting a more upbeat dance track that Team K is known for but it’s a upbeat pop track. The song is actually about a rebellious youth running away from home, not knowing where they want to go, for no true purpose but to get away. And now that person wants to search for love.
The fifth track is the sexy upbeat “Scandalous ni Ikou” (which translates to “Go Scandalous”) performed by Haruna Kojima and Yuko Oshima. The sixth track is “No Kan” (which means “No Count”) and is an upbeat synth pop track performed by Team B. A song about two people wanting to live scandalously. Experience things because you only live once.
The seventh track is “Abogado Ja ne Shi…” (which translates to “Not Abogado, Though”) and is a cute idol pop track performed by Mayu Watanabe and Rino Sashihara. The eighth track is “Chokkaku Sunshine” (which translates to “Right Angle Sunshine”) performed by Team 4. And I like this track a lot. Love the harmony with this team!
The eighth track is “Bokutachi wa Ima Hanashiau Beki Nan Da” (which translates to “We Should Discuss it Now”) and is a beautiful ballad performed by Tomomi Itano and Yuki Kashiwagi. A song about two classmates who are in love but are not communicating with each other in class. And that person wants the other to know the real her. No more holding on to feelings. They should be talking. The ninth track is “Sakuranbo to Kodoku” (which translates to “Cherry Fruit and Solitude”) and is a mid-tempo track performed by Team Kenkyuusei.
The ninth track is “Itsuka Mita Umi no Soko” (which translates to Sea Bottom Seen Once”) and is a track that features a few of the Team 4 and SKE48 members and also Mayu Watanabe. A pretty cool upbeat pop track that was quite interesting to see on this disc.
The tenth track titled “Aozora yo Sabishikunai Ka?” (which translates to “Aren’t You Lonely, Blue Sky?”) and performed by AKB48+SKE48+NMB48+HKT48 and is the only track featuring the members of multiple groups. A beautifully sung ballad.
The final track is “Sakura no Hanabira” (Atsuko Maeda Solo Ver.) and a song that translates to “Sakura no Hanabira” and is AKB48′s debut single and a graduation song that is fitting for graduating member Atsuko Maeda. Just a beautiful track that will no doubt bring Acchan fans to tears.
The song s a graduation song and remembering times with friends….times when they fought, cried or felt troubled. But through happy and sad times, they were never alone. And now, one pursues their own future, with wings on their backs. Each time the cherry blossom petals bloom, someone is praying or hope’s bell rings. The stair to adulthood is in front of their very eyes.
Overall, AKB48′s “1830m” (Theater Edition) is a fantastic album. Yes, the regular edition comes with four more commercial tie-in tracks, DVD and photos but the theater edition is also fantastic. Although, I tend to purchase CD+DVD versions, for this album, you are still getting quite a bit for your money for this much cheaper theater edition. Two CD’s full of wonderful music including AKB48′s chart-topping hits and I have literally listened to this album dozens of times already. It’s that good!
If you are an AKB48 fan who has the budget only for the theater edition, just know that this album is wonderful and I highly recommend it!
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“The Dark Knight Rises: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is a pretty exciting Hans Zimmer soundtrack that complimented the film amazingly well but listening to the soundtrack several times now, I started to feel that it was a bit too redundant for my taste and had only three tracks that I personally enjoyed and listened to most of the time. Still, this was a good soundtrack but in my opinion, not as good as its previous two soundtracks for “Batman Begins” or “The Dark Knight”.
Image is courtesy of © 2012 Madison Gate Records, Inc.
TITLE: The Dark Knight Rises: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
LABEL: WaterTower Music
RELEASE DATE: July 17, 2012
A Storm Is Coming 1 of 15 0:37
On Thin Ice 2 of 15 2:55
Gotham’s Reckoning 3 of 15 4:08
Mind If I Cut In? 4 of 15 3:27
Underground Army 5 of 15 3:12
Born In Darkness 6 of 15 1:57
The Fire Rises 7 of 15 5:33
Nothing Out There 8 of 15 2:51
Despair 9 of 15 3:14
Fear Will Find You 10 of 15 3:08
Why Do We Fail? 11 of 15 2:03
Death By Exile 12 of 15 0:23
Imagine The Fire 13 of 15 7:25
Necessary Evil 14 of 15 3:16
Rise 15 of 15 7:16
Composer Hans Zimmer is known for amazing scores for films such as “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”, “The Lion King”, “Kunf Fu Panda”, “The Last Samurai”, “The Da Vinci Code” and many Hollywood blockbuster films. Also, known for his collaboration with Christopher Nolan for “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”.
With the release of “The Dark Knight Rises: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”, I must admit that I’m actually torn. I felt that in the previous soundtracks, the collaboration with James Newton Howard led to wonderful music, this time around, “The Dark Knight” is a soundtrack that becomes too overly banal with the synth.
While tracks such as “Imagine the Fire” does stick out for its energy and you can feel the fluctuating degrees of rise and chaos with the synth and drums combined. Interestingly, this track is its longest song in the entire soundtrack at over seven minutes long, along with its concluding track “Rise”.
While the soundtrack features 15 tracks, there are tracks that are only less than a minute long. From its intro “A Storm is Coming” that is a 37-second transition to “On Thin Ice”, we get a breathy, dark track of “Death by Exile” which is a transition to “Imagine the Fire”.
There are tracks that fit the mood of the film perfectly such as “Underground Army” with its low synth keys and the exciting “The Fire Rises” featuring a slow transitions with frenetic Taikou-style drum playing.
Bane’s appearance can be heard with the use of chants and the theme of “The Dark Knight Rises” is prominent throughout the tracks. There is really hardly any deviating from a certain musical style that Zimmer stays consistent with throughout the soundtrack and this may be good for others, while I like to hear things varied a bit. There was a bit of an over-reliance of synth and percussion, which are the prevailing instruments in this soundtrack but I felt the balance that James Newton Howard would bring to previous soundtracks were more exciting and less redundant.
It’s important to note that if you buy the CD version of “The Dark Knight Rises: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”, you get a link to three tracks “Bombers Over Ibiza (Junkie XL Remix)”, “No Stone Unturned” and “Rise from the Darkness”, while the Deluxe Digital version includes “The Shadows Betray You” and “The End”.
Overall, “The Dark Knight Rises: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is a pretty exciting Hans Zimmer soundtrack that complimented the film amazingly well but listening to the soundtrack several times now, I started to feel that it was a bit too redundant for my taste and had only three tracks that I personally enjoyed and listened to most of the time. Still, this was a good soundtrack but in my opinion, not as good as its previous two soundtracks for “Batman Begins” or “The Dark Knight”.
James Horner’s “The Amazing Spider-Man: Music from the Original Soundtrack” is not a soundtrack in which one track will stand out, but it is a soundtrack that is enjoyable when listened as a whole. Beautiful music, wonderful piano playing and an emotional soundtrack worth recommending!
Image is courtesy of © 2012 Madison Gate Records, Inc.
TITLE: The Amazing Spider-Man: Music from the Original Soundtrack
LABEL: Sony Classical
RELEASE DATE: July 3, 2012
Main Title – Young Peter 1 of 20 4:55
Becoming Spider-Man 2 of 20 4:17
Playing Basketball 3 of 20 1:22
Hunting for Information 4 of 20
The Briefcase 5 of 20 3:15
The Spider Room – Rumble in the Subway 6 of 20 3:20
Secrets 7 of 20 2:30
The Equation 8 of 20 4:23
The Ganali Device 9 of 20 2:29
Ben’s Death 10 of 20 5:42
Metamorphosis 11 of 20 3:04
Rooftop Kiss 12 of 20 2:35
The Bridge 13 of 20 5:15
Peter’s Suspicions 14 of 20 3:02
Making a Silk Trap 15 of 20 2:52
Lizard at School! 16 of 20 2:58
Saving New York 17 of 20 7:52
Oscorp Tower 18 of 20 3:23
“I can’t see you anymore” 19 of 20 6:51
Promises – Spider-Man End Titles 20 of 20 4:53
While composer Danny Elfman was known for the work on the previous Spider-Man films, for “The Amazing Spider-Man”, with the reboot of the series and taking things onto a new direction.
From the look of Spider-Man, the talent, the overall feel of the superhero film but also its music.
So, what best than to feature of the most successful film composers out there to give a new musical feel for Marvel’s iconic character.
James Horner, known for his music on “Titanic”, “Avatar”, “Braveheart”, “Troy”, “The Karate Kid”, “A Beautiful Mind”, to name a few, had a pretty big task and that is to create a new style that was different from Danny Elfman’s work.
While the soundtrack was not as memorable, there are tracks that captivate you.
“Becoming Spider-Man” is an uplifting track with a good balance of orchestration and vocalists. A song that showcases a young, naive Peter Parker.
“Playing Basketball” is another track that showcases the meek Peter Parker, with its playful use of horns.
Then you have the more haunting or emotional melodies such as “Secrets”, the darker “Ben’s Death and the transitioning movements in “Metamorphosis”.
And then you have tracks that captivate you, such as the wonderful “The Ganali Device” which showcases James Horners piano playing,.
But you will also have the action-driven sequence upbeat tracks such as “The Bridge”, “Lizard at School!”, “Saving New York” (which was an effective style of James Horner to use the piano in such a way).
For the most part, James Horner is a master in creating beautiful music, emotional music. From his orchestral direction, his use of piano, voice utilization, the music for “The Amazing Spider-Man is original and manages to be different than Elfman’s “Spider-Man” compositions.
Similar to the film, the soundtrack for “The Amazing Spider-Man” is emotional and he builds upon each track that it begins to grow on you and you find yourself enjoying the soundtrack even more.
But I have to say that this is one of the most original soundtracks when it comes to how the piano is utilized. But at the same time, aiming for beauty, aiming for emotion, there is not a score that found that sticks out, a track that I found memorable.
If anything, “The Amazing Spider-Man: Music from the Original Soundtrack” is one of those soundtracks that you may want to listen to it as a whole, rather than listening to tracks independently. It’s a different style of soundtrack, especially compared to other soundtracks that feature a heroic character which John Williams and Danny Elfman are both known for. In fact, it’s a bit different compared to other James Horner soundtracks as well.
In some way, I found a similarity to his older film “A Dangerous Mind” that featured beautiful music, but not one song that stood out. And a soundtrack that I enjoyed as a whole, rather than listening to individual tracks.
But “The Amazing Spider-Man: Music from the Original Soundtrack” is a rewarding soundtrack, one that I found enjoyable to listen to. I’m glad that James Horner was able to create a musical score different from other composers and aim for something outside of the box rather than sticking to an old formula used in superhero films.
“The Amazing Spider-Man: Music from the Original Soundtrack” is recommended!
A beautiful balance of Italian classic romantic tracks to operatic tracks by Fabio Armiliato, Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is complimentary to his latest film but also to hopeless romantics who are passionate for Italian music.
Image is courtesy of © 2012 Madison Gate Records, Inc.
TITLE: To Rome with Love: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
LABEL: Sony Classical
RELEASE DATE: June 19, 2012
Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) 1 of 18 3:37 Domenico Modugno
Amada Mia, Amore Mio 2 of 18 3:22 Starlight Orchestra
Arrivederci Roma 3 of 18 1:03 Alfredo Messina
Ciribiribin 4 of 18 2:18 Angelo DiPippo
E Lucevan Le Stelle [From "Tosca"] 5 of 18 1:42 Fabio Armiliato
Nessun Dorma [From "Turandot"] 6 of 18 2:30 Fabio Armiliato
Mio Dolce Sogno 7 of 18 3:30 Butch Baldassari;Jeff Taylor;Jack Jezzro
Non Dimenticar Le Mie Parole 8 of 18 3:13 Emilio Livi;Trio Lescano
Libiamo Ne’lieti Calici [From "La Traviata"] 9 of 18 1:57 Angelo DiPippo
Amor Ti Vieta [From "Fedora"] 10 of 18 1:50 Fabio Armiliato
Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) 11 of 18 2:48 Angelo DiPippo
Studio 99 12 of 18 3:01 Adam Hamilton
Three Times Bossa 13 of 18 3:24 Mop Mop
When Your Lover Has Gone 14 of 18 3:27 Eddie Condon & His Orchestra
Son Qua, Son Qua [From Pagliacci] 15 of 18 2:38 Fabio Armiliato, Chorus & Orchestra
Vesti La Giubba [From "Pagliacci"] 16 of 18 3:47 Fabio Armiliato & Orchestra
Duetto E Finale [From "Pagliacci"] 17 of 18 2:34 Fabio Armiliato & Orchestra
Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) 18 of 18 2:28 Steven Bernstein’s Neapolitan Orchestra
For Woody Allen fans, one of the biggest treats when watching his films are the soundtracks.
While many films are jazz inspired and features Woody Allen and his band performing the songs, in the last ten years, we have seen Woody Allen taking his film outside of the U.S. with his last films “Midnight in Paris” being shot in France, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” in Spain and several films shot in Britain.
But this time, Allen received the opportunity from distributors from Rome to shoot a film in Rome and for the director who admired foreign films and had wanted to become a “foreign film director”, what a great experience would it be for Allen.
A film with four stories, about a worker who gains fame, an architect who returns to the place he grew up, a young couple on their honeymoon and a funeral director who loves to sing in the shower, “To Rome with Love” stars Woody Allen, Antonio Albanese, Fabio Armiliato, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page and many more.
The music for the soundtrack definitely has the Italian feel of utilizing opera, popular 50′s Italian music and also a bit of modern music as well.
The soundtrack kicks off with the popular Domenico Modugno 1958 hit song “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” which sets up the romantic mood for the film.
But the next song was an interesting transition as it goes to a remake of Paolo Zavallone (aka El Pasador) and a remake of his 1978 hit “Amada Mia, Amore Mio” redone by The Starlite Orchestra. While the song incorporates the disco style of music that I grew up listening to as a child (which brought back memories of listening to disco versions of Beethoven and Mozart), the song is quite fun with the deep male vocal singing “Amada Mia, Amore Mio”.
The soundtrack then transitions back to two romantic Italian instrumentals. “Arrivederci Roma” by Alredo Messina and “Ciribiribin” by Angelo DiPippo. And you also get a few more instrumentals including DiPippo’s jazz version of “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)” and “Libiamo ne’lieti Calici (from “La Traviata”). Also, a bossna nova instrumental by Mop Mop titled “Three Times Bossa” and ending with Steven Bernstein’s Neapolitan Orchestra’s version of ”Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)”. And also the inclusion of the the somewhat out of place, synth pop instrumental “Studio 99″ by Adam Hamilton.
As as the film is romantic to its core with instrumentals as part of one half of the soundtrack, you also get the gifted funeral director in the shower, played by ”the best Chénier of our time”, Fabio Armiliato. A good number of opera tracks such as “E Lucevan Le Stelle [From "Tosca"]“, “Nessun Dorma [From "Turandot"]” and opera tracks from “Fedora” and “Pagliacci” to round out the soundtrack.
You do get a little of the Woody Allen style of music that fans are familiar with the inclusion of “When Your Lover Has Gone” by American Eddie Condon & His Orchestra and the track “When Your Lover Has Gone”. You also get the ’40s “Non Dimenticar Le Mie Parole” by Emilio Livi and the Trio Lescano.
Overall, a beautiful balance of Italian classic romantic tracks to operatic tracks by Fabio Armiliato, Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is complimentary to his latest film but also to hopeless romantics who are passionate for Italian music.
If you enjoyed the film and are passionate for different genres of Italian music, especially classic tracks to opera, definitely give “To Rome with Love: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” a chance!
“Prometheus: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is fascinating, experimental sci-fi music by Marc Streitenfeld, but there is nothing about the soundtrack that stands out, nor are there any standalone music that just will grab you, captivate you like on other major sci-fi films. But as a collective, all tracks work rather well for the film or for listening for long duration for its mood and emotional transition.
Image is courtesy of © 2012 TWentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
TITLE: Prometheus: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
LABEL: Sony Classics
RELEASE DATE: June 12, 2012
- A Planet 1 of 25 2:38
- Going In 2 of 25 2:04
- Engineers 3 of 25 2:29
- Life 4 of 25 2:31
- Weyland 5 of 25 2:04
- Discovery 6 of 25 2:33
- Not Human 7 of 25 1:50
- Too Close 8 of 25 3:21
- Try Harder 9 of 25 2:04
- David 10 of 25 3:01
- Hammerpede 11 of 25 2:43
- We Were Right 12 of 25 2:43
- Earth 13 of 25 2:35
- Infected 14 of 25 1:56
- Hyper Sleep 15 of 25 2:01
- Small Beginnings 16 of 25 2:11
- Hello Mommy 17 of 25 2:04
- Friend From The Past 18 of 25 1:15
- Dazed 19 of 25 4:29
- Space Jockey 20 of 25 1:30
- Collision 21 of 25 3:05
- Debris 22 of 25 0:44
- Planting The Seed 23 of 25 1:35
- Invitation 24 of 25 2:17
- Birth 25 of 25 1:25
Composer Marc Streitenfeld may not be a well-known name, but the young composer is making a name for himself.
With the music he composed in 2011 for “The Grey” and in previous films such as “Robin Hood”, “Body of Lies” and “American Gangster”, Streitenfeld is now taking on his first sci-fi film, “Prometheus”.
Directed by Ridley Scott and starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green and Charlize Theron.
The context of the film is about discovery. Discovery of a star map which would lead to the crew of the scientific vessel Prometheus and coming in contact with alien life on an artificial structure.
So for the film, Streitenfeld’s music had to encompass the feeling of journey, adventure, hope but also the unknown.
The soundtrack’s music starts off with a sense of eerie ambiance and discovery, experimental noises are on loop on tracks such as “Going In” and “Engineers”.
But by the time you reach the eighth track “Too Close”, those looping digital noises become more stronger and the sound of hope and discovery transforms to pending doom. Listening to a track such as “Hammerpede” and “Hello Mommy” gives us the idea of machinery and dread with chaotic synth brass and percussion intensifying towards the end of the track.
And while the tracks are generated by synth strings with experimental noises, the transition from calm to distressed music is how I felt about the music soundtrack by “Prometheus”. A calm and slow build-up to the unknown leading to sheer terror.
“Prometheus” may not have a a track that I can even call memorable, the music in “Prometheus” is a soundtrack that is best listening to as a whole. The soundtrack echoes the buildup of the film’s storyline, setting the mood but not necessarily wanting to compete with the visuals onscreen.
Whereas comparing to other sci-fi films, John Williams employs a soundtrack that identifies with good vs. evil, you will always know when by the sound of the music when you are watching the Empire or the Rebels. Or even sci-fi soundtracks such as “Star Trek” or its many TV series employ songs that you can identify with that series or film. For “Prometheus”, it’s a soundtrack that has tracks that don’t stand out on its own. While “Life” is a track that probably sets the theme for the film, it didn’t captivate my attention for all that long.
The soundtrack is more or less a combination of music that focuses on the crew’s journey and discovery of the unknown and of course, leading up to the more tragic moments of the film and the horrors and surprise that lie ahead.
Overall, “Prometheus: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” is fascinating, experimental sci-fi music by Marc Streitenfeld, but there is nothing about the soundtrack that stands out, nor are there standalone music that just grabs you like other sci-fi films. But as a collective, all tracks work rather well for the film or for listening for long duration for its mood and emotional transition.
A”MIB 3: Music by Danny Elfman” is 54 minutes of energetic music, taking some the old and making something new. Recommended.
Image is courtesy of © 2012 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
TITLE: MIB3: Music by Danny Elfman
LABEL: Sony Classics
RELEASE DATE: May 22, 2012
- Men in Black 3 – Main Titles 5:54
- Spiky Bulba 2:18
- The Set-Up 3:36
- Headquarters 2:00
- Regret 3:03
- Wrong 1:02
- Not Funny 1:48
- Big Trouble 1:15
- Out on a Limb 2:00
- Time Jump 1:14
- Bad Fortune 1:14
- Forget Me Not 1:28
- Into the Past 1:38
- Griffin Steps Up 1:42
- True Story 0:41
- The Prize-Monocycles 3:56
- Boris Meets Boris 1:27
- Under the Bridge 5:52
- The Mission Begins 5:28
- Mission Accomplished 3:08
- A Close One 1:34
- Men in Black 3 – Main Title Revisited 1:33
While Danny Elfman will always be remembered as being the founder and lead vocalist/musician of the band “Oingo Boingo”, Elfman will also be known as one of the legendary composers of Hollywood.
Award winning composer Danny Elfman is best known for his film collaboration with Tim Burton, from the early beginnings of writing the score for “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” (“Batman” films, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Big Fish”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Corpse Bride”, “Alice in Wonderland”, and most recently with “Dark Shadows”) and later on with films such as , he has scored many hit films and collaborated with many other filmmakers as well as creating the score for TV shows including “The Simpsons” and “Desperate Housewives”.
Outside of Elfman’s collaborations with Burton, many are familiar with his compositions on “Spider-Man 2″, “Terminator Salvation”, “Notorious”, “Real Steel”, “Charlotte’s Web” to name a few.
And in 2012, after the music composed for “Dark Shadows”, Elfman returns with another soundtrack for the third “Men in Black” film titled “MIB3: Music by Danny Elfman”.
“Men in Black 3″ is directed by Barry Sonnefeld with Steven Spielberg as the executive producer. The sci-fi comedy film stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin. And since its release in May 2012, the film has earned over $510 million in the box office.
Suffice to say, the film has been a major success, but in terms of its music, director Barry Sonnnefeld felt Elfman brought another dimension to the film.
Sonnenfeld said about Elfman in regards to his score for MIB3, “His score for Men in Black was everything I hoped it would be. He made MIB feel big and muscular. His score for MIB3 is even more. Danny has creatively taken the familiar and made it new and unique. He uses the perfect themes from teh first movie, and make them new, hip, energetic and emotional.”
The third soundtrack takes elements from the music he created in the first two films but now, with so much experience in creating music for film, there is also a maturity in his music. With that being said, it also becomes a caveat for those expecting something new musically.
And this is where things get a bit muddled in terms of continuing film series. It’s a given that elements of a previous film will make it into the sequel or prequel, we have seen John Williams do that many times through his career,
May it be “Star Wars”, “Indiana Jones”, “Jurassic Park”, the music is a tremendous part of the film, music that people remember and want to hear over and over again. As for the “Men in Black” films, I’m not sure if I remember Elfman’s music as much as I’ve remembered Will Smith’s “Men in Black”.
While Elfman’s main theme and closing themes are remembered, “Men in Black” is a film that had soundtracks which promoted the artists involved. Will Smith, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Alicia Keys, Destiny’s Child, etc.
This changed with the second film’s soundtrack which mostly promoted Danny Elfman’s music and now with the third film, another soundtrack featuring all Danny Elfman’s music and no, Pitbull fans, “Back in Time” is not included in this soundtrack.
But when it comes to Danny Elfman’s music, there are soundtracks that he has created, similar to John Williams music, that you can’t forget. With “Men in Black 3″, there is no doubt that the music that fans of the film will remember are the “Main Titles”.
But once you get beyond that, the music for “MIB3″ is quite enjoyable and pleasant. Yes, you get the blend of orchestral and synthesized music
From tracks such as “Main Titles”, “Spiky Bulba”, “Not Funny, “Big Trouble”, “Griffin Steps Up”, “The Prize-Monocycles” and “The Mission Begins” which features the Danny Elfman type of music that people are familiar with (especially in Tim Burton films).
But you also have tracks such as “Headquarters” which beautifully balances the orchestra and Elfman’s mastery on synth, but also a touch of electric guitar and even a touch of Latin percussion (which I am glad both are not overused).
But it’s tracks such as “Griffin Steps Up” that I most admire. Each of the tracks retain the Elfman magic but what it all comes down to is one’s appreciate of the music for the film. There is no worries of too much synth, nor are there pop/rock tracks that take people out of the music. If anything, “MIB 3: Music by Danny Elfman” is 54 minutes of energetic music, taking some the old and making something new.
While “Men in Black 3″, in my opinion, may not be the best in Danny Elfman’s tremendous musical oeuvre, it’s still a wonderful soundtrack which fans of the film will truly enjoy.
“MIB3: Music by Danny Elfman” is recommended.
Another wonderful music collaboration between composer Danny Elfman and filmmaker Tim Burton. A soundtrack that is dark, eery with its powerful strings and haunting melodies, for those who have enjoyed Elfman’s music, especially his darker style of music over the years, will surely enjoy “Dark Shadows: Original Score”.
Image is courtesy of © 2012 WaterTower Music, 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522. Motion Picture Artwork © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. Motion Picture Photography © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. – - U.S., Canada, Bahamas & Bermuda © 2012 Village Roadshow Films (BVI) Limited – - All Other Territories
TITLE: Dark Shadows: Original Score
LABEL: WaterTower Music
RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2012
- Dark Shadows Prologue (Uncut)
- Vicki Enters Collinwood
- Deadly Handshake
- Shadows (Reprise)
- Is It Her?
- Barnabas Comes Home
- Vicki’s Nightmare
- Hypno Music
- Killing Dr. Hoffman
- Dumping the Body
- Roger Departs
- Burn Baby Burn/In-Tombed
- Lava Lamp
- The Angry Mob
- House of Blood
- Final Confrontation
- Widows’ Hill (Finale)
- The End? (Uncut)
- More the End?
- We Will End You!
While Danny Elfman will always be remembered as being the founder and lead vocalist/musician of the band “Oingo Boingo”, Elfman will also be known as one of the legendary composers of Hollywood.
Having developed a working relationship with filmmaker Tim Burton with writing the score for “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure”, the collaboration would further blossom the following year as Elfman would score the first major “Batman” film.
Since then, he has scored many hit films and collaborated with many other filmmakers as well as creating the score for TV shows including “The Simpsons”. But it’s the collaboration with Tim Burton, which we hear their unique collaboration take effect in a fantasy, adventure or dark, brooding musical formation. May it be “Edward Scissorhands”, “Sleepy Hollow”, “Big Fish”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Corpse Bride” or “Alice in Wonderland”, the working relationship between both men have worked in cinema and musical harmony.
And now both Danny Elfman and Tim Burton will work again for the upcoming film “Dark Shadows”, a fantasy comedy film based on the popular gothic soap opera which aired on television back in 1996 through 1971.
The film stars Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins (a 200-year-old vampire) and Michelle Pfeiffer as his cousin Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, the matriarch of the Collins family.
For those not familiar with the “Dark Shadows” storyline, back in 1752, the Collins family move from England to North America where the son, Barnabas is a wealthy playboy living in Collinsport, Maine and is the master of the Collinwood Manor. The witch, Angelique Bouchard is deeply in love with him but Barnabas breaks her heart.
In return for breaking her heart, she turns Barnabas into a vampire and buries him alive.
That is until he is discovered and freed fro his coffin in modern times and finds out that the people who live in his mansion are quite dysfunctional and carry with them, dark secrets of their own.
For the original score of “Dark Shadows”, the music is produced by Danny Elfman and orchestrations were done with Steve Bartek, Edgardo Simone and David Slonaker. The orchestra leader is Thomas Bowes and conductor is Rick Wentworth. The film also features the Metro Voices Choir and the Cardinal Vaughan School Choir.
The soundtrack features 21 tracks and opens with the longest track on the album, “Dark Shadows – Prologue” which captures the dark and ominous style with organs and beautiful strings as we hear the choir. In many ways, it’s just as powerful as his original work on “Batman” with the use of strings and choir to reinforce that darker style which Elfman is known for.
And the brooding, choir and strings combination continues in other tracks which sound quite haunting on tracks such as “Resurrection”, “Vicki Enters Collinwood” and “Deadly Handshake”.
But then you hear a change in style as the short “Shadows Reprise” benefits from a digital touch of synth with the strings. And “House of Blood” utilizes screeching wings with haunted melodies.
There are also several tracks that are under a minute long such as “Is It Her”, “Hypno Music”, “Dumping the Body”.
But while the soundtrack is focused on the strings and choir and most tracks are dark in presentation, there one track is not as dark which was “Lava Lamp” which utilizes a xylophone and a woodwind instrument.
But for the majority of the tracks, especially for the later tracks, the soundtrack features plenty of tracks that are strings-driven with haunting melodies and choir-driven harmonies.
Once again, for those who are familiar with Danny Elfman’s work, this gothic style tends to prevail throughout the entire album and unlike another gothic soundtrack such as “The Corpse Bride” which allowed for satire, the orchestrations for “Dark Shadow” are primarily ominous and dark but yet keeping consistent with the the theme of the film and the dark secrets that surround the characters.
Overall, “Dark Shadows: Original Score” shows us why Danny Elfman is often the right person to take on these more ominous soundtracks. He manages to incorporate an enchanting, dark and eery side to his music, but yet manages to be one of the most versatile composers in the world for cinema.
If you enjoy Danny Elfman’s darker style of music, you will enjoy “Dark Shadows: Original Score”.
“Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage” is an album with diverse music, featuring a balance of beautiful instrumental and vocal tracks, but if anything, a wonderful accompaniment to those who have purchased the “Titanic: Collector’s Anniversary Edition” album or for those wanting music that is fresh, enjoyable and different from the original versions.
TITLE: TITANIC: AN EPIC MUSICAL VOYAGE
LABEL: BUYSOUNDTRAX Records
RELEASE DATE: April 2, 2012
|1.||My Heart Will Go On (Vocal Version) – Titanic (James Horner, Will Jennings / performed by Zoe Poledouris Roche)||5:06|
|2.||Never An Absolution/Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave – Titanic (James Horner / vocals by Kristi Holden)||5:33|
|3.||Southampton/Take Her to Sea, Mr. Murdoch – Titanic (James Horner / vocals by Kristi Holden)||5:07|
|4.||Third Class Steerage – Titanic (traditional, performed by Joohyun Park)||3:47|
|5.||Rose – Titanic (James Horner / vocls by Kristi Holden)||2:56|
|6.||Titanic Trot – Time Tunnel Pilot (“Rendezvous with Yesterday”) (John Williams)||3:47|
|7.||The Portrait (Piano Sketch) – Titanic (James Horner / solo piano by Dan Redfeld)||4:45|
|8.||Doing the Latest Rag – Titanic: A New Musical (Maury Yeston / vocals by Tom Schmid, Eric Bradley, Scott Dicken, Fletcher Sheridan)||3:24|
|9.||No Moon – Titanic: A New Musical (Maury Yeston / vocals by Michael Lichtenauer)||3:02|
|10.||Theme from SOS Titanic – S.O.S. Titanic (Howard Blake)||2:33|
|11.||We’ll Meet Tomorrow – Titanic: A New Musical (Maurey Yeston / vocals by Greg Whipple, Christina Harding, Fletcher Sheridan, Michael Lichenauer)||2:45|
|12.||Nearer, My God, to Thee (Traditional, arranged by Steven Ganci)||5:46|
|13.||Suite from Raise the Titanic – Raise The Titanic (John Barry)||6:18|
|14.||Hymn to the Sea – Titanic (James Horner / vocals by Kristi Holden)||6:25|
|15.||My Heart Will Go On (Vocalise) – Titanic (James Horner / vocals by Kristi Holden)||5:51|
|16.||BONUS TRACK: Raise the Titanic|
On April 10th, it will be the 100th Anniversary of the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic.
And to celebrate the anniversary, BUYSOUNDTRAX Records will be releasing an album featuring a collection of new recordings performed by the White Star Chamber Orchestra and chorus conducted by Dan Redfeld. The digital version will be released on April 2nd, while the album release featuring extensive liner notes from the music of the production will be released on April 10th. The first 100 copies purchased from the BUYSOUNDTRAX website will be autographed by Music Director Dan Redfeld and vocalist Zoe Poledouris Roche.
“We’ve taken these film scores and re-imagined them into a different kind of compilation album,” said the album’s producer, Ford A. Thaxton. “This is a very different take on it. We wanted to do something that would have a timeless quality to it.”
The album features versions of music composed by James Horner for the film “Titanic”, including Zoe Poledouris Roche’s version of “My Heart Will Go On”. Also, included on this album is a version of Howard Blake’s “S.O.S. Titanic”, a version of John Barry’s “Raise the Titanic”, a version of John Williams “The Titanic Trot” from the TV series “The Time Tunnel” and selections from Maury Yeston’s Tony winning musical “Titanic”. Also, included are two historical tracks, an arrangement of traditional Irish music (by Joohyun Park) including “Nearer, My God, To Thee”, the song that was reported to have been performed by a band during the sinking of the Titanic.
Dan Redfeld was chosen to compose the music for this album. Redfeld said, “I’m not sure I know what the attraction was,” he said. “It’s the fact that it was the grandest ship in the world and it hits an iceberg and sinks and 1500 people go down. It’s the whole series of little events that lead to this massive catastrophe. It’s the people who stayed at their posts, particularly the stokers under the ship who kept the ship lit and the band playing on until the last moments. I don’t know if that kind of character exists anymore. There is just such incredible drama about it and I think it’s what gets to people about it. The epic-ness of the disaster, for a composer, evokes passionate music.”
Having listened to the recently released “Titanic: Collector’s Anniversary Edition”, I can easily say that the “Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage” soundtrack is a wonderful and fresh take on the music of James Horner but also the music of other composers and musicians. As Redfeld mentioned, a major disaster such as the sinking of the Titanic can evoke passionate music and rather cover the music that James Horner and others have done, they chose to do their own re-imagining of the music. And for some, they may enjoy the versions presented in this album over the original.
I enjoyed listening to “Southampton/Take Her to Sea, Mr. Murdoch”, “Rose” and even the Vocalise version of “My Heart Will Go On”. Actress and Looner vocalist Zoe Peledouris Roche’s version of “My Heart Will Go On” was an interesting and different take on the Celine Dion classic.
I absolutely love the musical songs such as “We’ll Meet Tomorrow” and “Doing the Latest Rag” and I have never watched the original musicals, so it was quite entertaining to hear this music and other tracks from the musical.
Overall, “Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage” is an album with diverse music, featuring a balance of beautiful instrumental and vocal tracks, but if anything, a wonderful accompaniment to those who have purchased the “Titanic: Collector’s Anniversary Edition” album or for those wanting music that is fresh, enjoyable and different from the original versions.
“Titanic: An Epic Musical Voyage” is recommended!