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|1. Main Title|
|2. 20 Items|
|3. Wolfe Pack|
|4. Crystal Balls|
|5. Mirror Message|
|7. Hog Chase Part 1|
|8. Hog Chase Part 2|
|9. I Don’t Remember|
|10. Tomorrow’s Headlines|
|11. Future Tense|
|12. Fait Accompli|
|13. The Finger|
|14. Rachel’s Party|
Fresh from that disaster, Ben Affleck went on to make "Paycheck", a sci-fi thriller about a scientist whose memory is erased to destroy the secrets he knows. Also crawling from the wreckage of Gigli was composer John Powell, who scored the soundtracks for both Affleck films. But while Ben seems to be struggling to refloat his career, Powell has come up with a pretty potent all-action score.
A full, brass-heavy orchestral sound is infused with a futuristic feel, swooshed around with synthesizers, bleeps and insistent drum loops. The result is edgy and contemporary, yet also knowingly, lovingly retro. Powell is paying tribute to the cheesiest, glossiest action music from the 1970s and 1980s (think Kojak, Magnum, the original Charlie's Angels), and sounds like he's having a fun time.
A memorable, surging main theme drives the action relentlessly forward. "Imposter" reprises it on a delicate, ghostly piano, allowing us to catch our breaths and building suspense. The closing sequence, "Rachel's Party", transforms it one last time with a decorous string quartet as the credits roll. Sure, the score may not be subtle or complex, but one memorable theme is still better than most soundtracks.
The dazzling centerpiece of the score is the two roistering "Hog Chase" sequences. With their scampering strings, funky trumpet riffs, and shimmering synths, they are superbly elaborate tracks, full of false endings and dizzying variations. Its gloriously frenzied man-on-the-run music which rivals any great action score you care to name.
Reviews of the film "Paycheck" have been underwhelming, which is a pity. Muscular, vital, engaging, this is more-than-decent popcorn music and it deserves a hearing. With that in mind, Powell should give any film starring Affleck or Lopez a mile-wide berth from now on. --Jack Smith
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Ironically, it is John Powell how has stepped forward to take the place of Trevor Rabin during his conspicuous absence (I don't believe a score of his has been released in 2 years)
I do admit to downloading ESCAPE FROM THE EMBASSY from the BOURNE IDENTITY soundtrack, finding that music to be quite muscular and intense, and coherent.
Now, after the wonderful ITALIAN JOB, John Powell again shows me why film-score buffs should pay attention to him. PAYCHECK is a rip-snorting action score, full of style and complexity. It has a snazzy snyle that is more muscular and driving than THE ITALIAN JOB. It ranges from intense, lush action music, groovy industrial rhythms, and busy, complex underscore.
20 ITEMS and WOLFE PACK highlight the beginning of the score, pseudo-action pieces with some irresistable rythms. The next three tracks are sufficiant statements of the established style. I especially recommend 20 ITEMS if you simply want a swift boot in the arse.
The two HOG CHASE tracks catapult the themes and styles heard in WOLFE PACK and 20 ITEMS into pulsating, soaring action music.
The score then slows down before the lengthy FUTURE TENSE, another action piece that is less over-the-top and more serious that the HOG CHASES. FAIT ACCOMPLI (rough-French translation of "done deal" or "mission accomplished") provides the finale for the score, building in its last minuite to a frenetic action cue. RACHEL'S PARTY provides a reflective and soft interpretation of the theme, and I found it kind of out-of-place amidst the other tracks, but still pleasant.
This score is for anyone who liked the ITALIAN JOB or simply wants to hear a competent action score with ultra-cool rythms and a distinct personality.
Basically, it's very much a very boombastic action score, with a few cues given during the course of the score enough time for the listener to breathe.
Some of the highlights include tracks 7 & 8, the "Hog Chase" cues. Part 2 (Track 8) most certainly gives a "Bondian" kind of feel to the overall remix of "Rachel's Theme" (Track 14). Powell basically gives a David Arnold feeling with the "Hog Chase" cues.
"Future Tense", track 11, is a "suite" of sorts, basically remixing tracks 2, 3, 4 and 7 (among others) into it's own cue, and it works out well. "Fait Accompli", the track that follows it, is more slower-paced, and works very well.
Of course, we get "The Finger" (track 13), which is the shortest cue on the entire score (:33).
The score wraps up with "Rachel's Party". A slow-paced version of the theme that dominates almost every cue before it. However, I think the placement for this track is odd, it should be a bit earlier in the score.
Also, tracks 5 and 6 should've actually been one full track (as track 5 ends, it continues onto track 6), and can be jarring to some people, especially people who listen to the tracks in random order.
Overall, if you want a very good action score with enough cues to keep your toes tapping, John Powell's "Paycheck" is for you. It most certainly compensates for the sub-par movie it's scored for.