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L. Hubbard (Cardiff)
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Thor: The Dark World - OST
Thor: The Dark World - OST
Price: £15.23

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A orchestral/choral powerhouse - the CD is more epic than the score within the film, and perhaps the best action score of 2013, 11 Nov 2013
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Thor: The Dark World is the latest instalment in the Marvel franchise. Composer Brian Tyler has taken over the reins from Patrick Doyle who composed what I thought was a really fantastic score for the first film Thor. Many people were disappointed when it was revealed Doyle would not be scoring TTDW, but I have to say at the outset that Tyler has exceeded my expectations and surpassed Doyle's score in terms of quality. The score to TTWD is huge and epic, with the sort of orchestral and choral power that you don't hear often in Hollywood these days.

The opening track "Thor: The Dark World" tells you all you need to know about the album. You are treated to one of the best variations of the main Thor theme just before the 30 second mark. I love a good theme, and this is one of the best I have heard in a long time. It's only 9 notes long, but it's epic, memorable. Underpinned by choral chanting, your neighbours will think the apocalypse has arrived. If you aren't hooked after this, you really need your ears testing. Reprises of the theme are common across the album, but my favourites were in `Escaping the Realm" (Track 8), where a choir joins the brass for the most epic rendition of the theme on the album. There are also slower versions of this in the second track "Lokasenna" with a solo female vocalist performing the main theme and in Journey To Asgard (Track 16).

The second main theme is that of Loki, introduced in "The Trial of Loki" (Track 6), which is more brooding and sinister. Whilst it isn't as memorable or as bombastic as Thor's theme, it is nonetheless highly effective. There's also another theme for Asgard (Track 3), which I have to confess I didn't notice in the film until the end credits. Nonetheless this theme is performed by the brass section, with choir and a great string ostinato dancing underneath the main melody line. This theme isn't reprised anywhere else though which is a shame.

The recording quality is sublime. The orchestral, choral and percussive parts of the score are perfectly mixed, and sounds huge in a way that's difficult to describe. Having seen the film, I should say that the score as heard on album is significantly better. The main reason being that the epic choir, which is highly prominent on the album is strangely lacking in the film. Like all of Tyler's albums, the running time is lengthy, running in at over 70 minutes and I consider to be good value for money. I would have said most of the strongest material is present within the first third of the album, however the quality is consistently high throughout. The tracks are also not in chronological order within the film, but that didn't bother me.

Overall, this is my favourite superhero score for as long as I can remember. The main reason being the main theme for Thor is extremely catchy and memorable. That 9 note theme just oozes style and power and despite appearing regularly across the album, never gets tired. The orchestration is epic, with a large emphasis on the brass and choir meaning your neighbours are going to be in for a treat. This is music to blast out loud. For fans of Brian Tyler, this is probably his best score since he first appeared on the scene for his stunning score to Children of Dune. After his work on Iron Man 3, and now this epic score for TTDW, I can only hope that Marvel decide that it's time for some musical continuity for their films and get Tyler onside for the other films and for The Avengers sequels. In some ways I dislike writing reviews like this because it's almost too positive, no album can be that good. But after several listens, I really can't find anything to criticise. If you find yourself on this page and managed to navigate to the end of this somewhat lengthy ramble, don't hesitate to buy this score. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed, and if you liked the score within the film, the version on CD/MP3 is substantially better. Enjoy what is probably the best action album of 2013!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2013 11:03 AM GMT


Ender's Game
Ender's Game
Price: £14.56

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun action romp by Jablonsky that's inspired by his work to Transformers. Fits nicely into the guilty pleasure category., 28 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Ender's Game (Audio CD)
Steve Jablonsky is back for what I think is one of his best scores in quite a while. I'll put my cards on the table at the outset - if you didn't like his previous work for any of the Transformers films this album will not be for you. I liked the Transformers scores for what they were, which was essentially a good action romp that was easy to listen to. Some people would class Jablonsky's music as a "guilty pleasure" - easy on the ears but not that musically complex. Exactly the same can be said for Ender's Game. Jablonsky uses his usual orchestral pallet with synths and a male choir right out of Transformers. Don't say I didn't warn you!

There are 21 tracks in total so I won't go into every one. "The Battle Room" (Track 5) contains some decent writing for choir, strings and solo violin. Not particularly complex but the harmonies sound great. Whilst most the album is of higher pace, "Ender Quits" (Track 12) is a welcome change of pace, and at nearly 6 minutes 30, is the longest track on the album. It's sombre and reflective, and one of my favourites on the album. The track "Final Test" (Track 17) is almost note for note the same as "It's Our Fight" from Transformers Dark of The Moon. The similarities are so poorly hidden it's actually quite funny, but for people that have a life, you probably wouldn't notice or even care. The best track off the album is a tie between the opening "Ender's War", which contains a good rendition of the main theme and a nice viola solo towards the end. Conversely, the final track incorporates the main theme and turns epic up to the max with strings, percussion and choir to give the final minute a superb climax to the album.

The sound quality is great and is well produced as you would expect. Running in at 70 minutes this is above average for a soundtrack release, and whilst some of the tracks sound similar at times (e.g. Dragons Army is pretty much the same as the final track minus the choir), I didn't think the album dragged or outstayed its welcome.

Overall, Jablonsky has produced a decent album here that is yet again in the guilty pleasure category. Those of you who disliked his previous efforts for the Transformers franchise will find no solace in this album. These sorts of albums are not intellectually challenging and it is exceptionally easy to be musically snobbish about Ender's Game. Some people think this sort of music is highly generic and should be confined to the bin. However, that would be doing it a disservice- there is plenty of enjoyable material. It isn't a classic, but I thought it was a fun romp for most of the running time and fits firmly into the 4* category.


Sony ICD-PX312 - Digital voice recorder - flash 2 GB - MP3 - black
Sony ICD-PX312 - Digital voice recorder - flash 2 GB - MP3 - black
Offered by MAGIC BOUTIQUE
Price: £50.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great clarity of recordings, simple and quick to use and easy to transfer to your PC, 10 Sep 2013
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I got this after realising I was incapable of writing down decent notes from lectures and meetings, and voila this baby has solved my issues. Out the box it's really simple to use. You can be up and ready to go within less than a minute, and transferring files back to your computer are a doddle. There's different quality settings that you can use (lower quality = less space used on the recorder). In all honesty, unless you are planning on using it for recording for days at a time the best quality will suffice for most people and you will still have plenty of storage remaining. It comes with instructions of how to get a better recording quality when you are in a room (and has the option to attach a microphone if needed - this is not included however). It does exactly what you want from a voice recorder without needing a PhD to understand how to use it.


Rush
Rush
Price: £8.91

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great orchestral/electronic/rock hybrid by Zimmer that I hope doesn't fly under the radar, 10 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Rush (Audio CD)
The Ron Howard/Hans Zimmer collaborations are some of the best in modern cinema in my opinion. Zimmer's scores for The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and hidden gem Frost / Nixon have produced music that brings out something different in the composer compared to his usual offerings. Rush is no exception, and alongside Zimmer's usual offerings there's quite a lot of writing for the electric guitar, which isn't something Zimmer has used much in the past couple of decade or so.

The album sounds very well produced and lasts just over an hour.There are 24 tracks in total, so I won't mention every one. The main theme is introduced in the opening track "1976", which is pretty good, but it is fairly short and did remind me of the start of the Lannister theme from Game of Thrones by fellow Remote Control composer Ramin Djawadi. There are several reprisals of this across the album, but one of my favourites was in "Inferno" (Track 18) with a really nice string/synth rendition, but perhaps the longest and most fleshed out version was in the longest track on the album "Lost but Won". It's the longest track on the album and definitely the highlight of the album. This theme is also present in the final track "My Best Enemy" (Track 24), with additional choral backing before the chequered flag ends proceedings.

Of the electric guitar based tracks, there's a really cool electric guitar theme introduced in "Stopwatch" (Track 4) that is reprised in "Watkins Glen" (Track 12) which were my favourites, but this is just personal preference.

There's not much to dislike, unless you have such an aversion to electric guitars that it makes you ill. I won't lie, I don't have much of a fondness for them, but on this album I thought it worked well (probably helped because there were no vocals over the top). I won't pass comment on the 4 vocal tracks, by Dave Edmunds, Mud, Thin Lizzy and David Bowie. Most of these artists were before my time, and after listening to them once I won't be doing so again, but each to their own! The only other thing is the time of the release - it's approaching the start of September at the time of writing, and this really does sound like a soundtrack for driving with the windows down over the summer.

*Update for the review, this is the first time in ages that I've actually seen the film with the accompanying soundtrack (usually I just get the soundtracks without seeing the film). To start with, Rush is an incredible film - I knew nothing of the story before seeing it, and it's simply inspirational. As for the Zimmer's score - it was effective within the film, but my overriding opinion was that large portions were simply inaudible due to the sound effects (the sound of the engines in the cinema were pretty amazing though). Some tracks are different on the album compared to the film, for example the strings followed by the short electric guitar theme in "Stopwatch" was not presented like that within the film. "Lost but Won" is the main track that starts the opening credits, and it's worth hanging around when the credits roll just for that.

Overall, this is fantastic release that has one of the best orchestral/electronic/rock fusions that I have heard for some time (apart from the brilliant album for Pacific Rim Soundtrack from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures). This isn't the most complex score ever created, but it sounds great and has some great action tracks and slower material that I think fans of Zimmer will love. If you liked the music within the film, or want another Zimmer standalone album, I strongly recommend it. Within the film, the score was not that audible at times, and this soundtrack release shows that behind the sound of the engines, Zimmer's score was roaring.


Doctor Who: Series 7
Doctor Who: Series 7
Price: £13.78

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably the best Doctor Who soundtrack to date - the quality and diversity of the music is unparalleled in British TV, 9 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Doctor Who: Series 7 (Audio CD)
The soundtrack to Doctor Who Series 7 is here, and what a corker it is. Soundtrack label Silva Screen have once again released an exceptional album, and this ranks amounst the best, if not the best release to date of Murray Gold's material. There's 74 tracks on the album spread over nearly two and half hours so I won't go into every track. In fact, whilst I was listening to the album, I'm not sure it would be appropriate to think about it on a track by track basis. It's difficult to describe, but this album does take you on a journey (I hate that expression because it is horribly cliché) but it is true. All the themes and best music from the past few series are on the album, and there's the new material for Clara. There's music from all the episodes of Series 7 (apart from the Christmas special). Stylistically it is diverse, and ranges from quiet piano, to strings brass and choir. Almost every mood is encapsulated across the album.

There's some nice references to previous themes - "A Secret He Will Take To His Grave" (Track 33, CD2) contains a slow version of fan favourite "This is Gallifrey" from the soundtrack to Series 3. There's also references to the Cybermen theme, the Doctor's theme, the Ponds, Clara, the list goes on. The thing that I got from the album was how many themes there are - it's staggering, and the way Gold weaves them around across tracks is masterful.

The soundtrack is well mixed and sounds good to me - a previous reviewer commented that some tracks were too quiet. This is partly true - Goodbye Pond (Track 20, CD1) is one of my favourites on the album. It starts off with some quiet string writing, but in the second half once the brass kicks in the volume ramps up. This is an absolute corker and really is one of the highlights of the album. Trenzalore (Track 34 CD2) it did sound quiet to me, so turn the volume up a bit.

My only criticism of the album would be whilst there is a lot of material present, it doesn't always flow that well, and I think this is due to the sheer number of tracks and their variable running time. Fewer tracks in more of a suite form (similar to what they do for the Doctor Who Proms) would have been perfect, but this is only a small gripe. Some people may dislike the fact that there's no tracks from the Christmas special, but to counter that, sometimes they release the Christmas soundtracks independently of the others, and secondly, I don't think there would have been room to have added any more material unless they added a third CD. This might have made it too pricey to be viable.

The CDs come within a cardboard sleeve, which I am not a massive fan of, but that's just personal preference. On the upside, I think the album art is the best to date and on the inside there's a really good strip of the Doctor, Amy and the Daleks. There's also a great accompanying CD booklet that tells you what tracks are featured in each episode (and the album goes in chronological order for simplicity). There's a couple of pages written by Murray Gold about the soundtrack for those of you who are interested in these things. Again the artwork within this booklet is really nice.

Once again label Silva Screen have released a stunning product. Two CDs for close to the price of one is great value for money, and at a running time of close to two and half hours, they have filled the CDs to the brim. Whilst Murray Gold's music continues to divide people in the show, there is no running away from the fact that they are popular soundtracks. I think this release is stronger than last year's material. The inclusion of so many themes on the album shows what an amazing talent he is, and the scope of the vast musical tapestry he has created for the show. If you liked his previous releases, don't hesitate to get this soundtrack - sensational.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2014 2:42 AM BST


Hannibal - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [2013]
Hannibal - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [2013]
Dvd ~ Mads Mikkelsen
Price: £14.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hannibal is the best US TV show I have seen in years. It has a brilliant story arc executed with style, gore and great acting, 5 Sep 2013
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Hannibal is show that decides to explore a previously unseen world of Lecter, specifically, before he was caught and incarcerated in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. The name of the show Hannibal does not refer to the events within the book of the same name, and instead is based on characters in Harris' first book Red Dragon, but should be seen a prequel to Red Dragon. In my opinion would have made a considerably more interesting story than Harris' awful origins story/screenplay for the book and film Hannibal Rising. Hannibal is a show that holds nothing back, and is one of the best shows to come out of the states in years.

The visual style of the show is wonderful - at times the colour is a little dull and dour, and other times is saturated (as is the case when there are scenes of blood and other assortments of limbs and organs). One of the themes of the show that is amazingly portrayed is that of mental illness. Will Graham's abilities to see inside the minds of the psychopaths the FBI are trying to catch is masterfully portrayed as a gift and a curse. As the story develops over the series, this becomes increasingly important, and it is a fascinating depiction of the human mind, specifically how it can be used, manipulated and broken.

There are 13 episodes in total and these are a mixture of independent stories and those as part of a larger plot arc. The editing and scripts are exceptionally tight - scenes never drag on, and there's very little in the way of superfluous dialogue. I should say that on second viewing, you notice a lot of things that you missed the first time. Bits of dialogue and symbolism that on first viewing seemed unimportant stand out when watching it back.

Having clearly missed the ads for Just Eat, the food Hannibal serves his always homecooked and fresh, but not exactly as he describes to his guests (a bit like the 100% pure beef in those supermarket ready meals that might not have contained as much beef as advertised). His food looks exquisite, but I haven't been swayed into having a friend for dinner. Anyway, I digress. Needless to say eating while you are watching some of the dinner scenes with Hannibal is ill advised.

A quick note on the Blu Ray version that I bought - the sound is excellent, but the picture can appear a bit grainy at times. I'm not entirely sure if this reflects the way it was filmed, or whether the transfer to Blu Ray could have been better. I don't have the DVD version to compare. Regarding what a previous reviewer said, there are only two special features on the UK version, so it just depends whether you want to wait longer for it to be delivered from the states for those extra featurettes.

Hannibal is a masterclass in tension and chills. The dialogue, the stylistic design for each of the crimes and the rather unpleasant but exceptionally effective soundtrack means you are never far from the edge of your seat. The quality of the stories are generally excellent, and the quality of the acting is sublime. The depiction of Hannibal by Mads Mikkelsen is the best on screen version of the character that I have seen. Thankfully, it has been commissioned for a second series. Whilst the end of series can act as a cliffhanger, had the show been canceled, it would have functioned perfectly as a standalone story. Regardless, I can't recommend this series highly enough and can't wait for season 2.


Dream Cinema
Dream Cinema
Price: £23.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Larry Groupe is sensational and Dream House is a compilation of some great standalone orchestral / choral music, 26 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Dream Cinema (Audio CD)
Having been a huge fan of the most epic hidden gem Excelsius, Larry Groupe is back with Dream House, a compilation of orchestral/choral tracks that have been labeled as trailer music. I've listened to a lot of music by big trailer groups Two Steps From Hell and Immediate Music, Dream Cinema is not trailer music from a stylistic point of view.

Because of the nature of the CD (all of the tracks are unique and there's no thematic continuity across the album) I won't go into huge detail on all 16 the tracks separately. However, you can break down the tracks into different moods. "The Ultimate Cause" (Track 3) is almost near a carbon copy of Shore's Nazgul theme from Lord of the Rings, even down to the tempo, melody and chord progression. This is enjoyable, but the similarities were too close for my liking. This choral apocalyptic sound is also found in the sensational "Judgement Suite" (Track 8) and could be my favourite track on the album. If you blast this out loud, the neighbours will think the four horsemen have arrived!

There's also a lighter grouping of tracks which feature a light guitar and string accompaniment in "Corazon De Sevilla" (Track 2) and Elegance In Bloom (Track 8). There's a heroic style of tone in tracks such as "There Are Heroes Among Us" (Track 1) and "Where Dreams Are Made" (Track 14).

All the tracks are of the highest quality and the recording/mix is great.

Overall, If you are a fan of Groupe you will love this album, but don't be fooled into thinking this will have the grandiose scale of Excelsius, because it doesn't live up to that height. Nor should you get the album if you are expecting trailer style epic music with a slow build and a crescendo at the end. These tracks are not like this, but then that's not how they were written. I hope Groupe continues to write music like this, and gets a break with a major film because he is one of the most underused composers in the industry. Dream Cinema is a dream to listen to, and I hope you enjoy it!


Elysium
Elysium
Price: £15.74

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ryan Amon has composed a stunning score for Elysium that's full of character and style and makes for a fantastic listen, 26 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Elysium (Audio CD)
Composer Ryan Amon, a name I must confess I have never heard before has burst on to the scene with his score to the last summer blockbuster of 2013, Elysium. The score uses mainly the orchestra and a whole host of electronics and synths. There's some epic percussive sections at points, and occasional uses of choir and vocal soloists. This is one of the best, if not the best summer score of 2013 in my opinion.

The album runs at just over 70 minutes and has 29 tracks so forgive me for not going into every track in depth. The album is largely comprised of action tracks, some of my favourites were the outstanding "You Have No Idea" (Track 12) . There are nods to the Zimmer school of action scoring, "Zero Injuries Sustained" (Track 10) sounds like something you would have heard off any of Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. "Heading to Elysium" (Track 18) is fantastic and as it heads towards the climax theres some great string writing and light backing from the choir. There is some dull material present - "Darkness" (Track 5) has getting on for 4 minutes of repetitive percussion loops and ambient textures for pretty much the whole track, the same can be said of "The Raven" (Track 13). There are also some rather unpleasant sounding grinding synths in "A Political Sickness", and whilst it might work in the film, on album it doesn't make for a good listen.

This album has one of the strongest ends to a score album that I can remember for some time. The final three tracks that close the album, "Breaking a Promise" (Track 27), "Elysium" (Track 28) and "New Heaven, New Earth" are sensational, and of a generally slower pace than the preceding tracks, and was a welcome change of pace and style. Lisa Gerrard style vocals are delivered in "Breaking a Promise", that is a different version of "I don't Want to Die" (Track 15). "New Heaven, New Earth" starts off with percussion and a bit of ethnic flavour followed by a section that you will either love or hate, where there's a progressive increase in the string now being played. Screechy is the only word I can use to describe it, but it does work within the track.

The sound of the album is superb and the mixing is fantastic. The orchestral brass sections really pack a punch, and the electronic and orchestral sections where combined sound fantastic (even though some of the electronics weren't to my taste).

Overall, this is solid score release from Amon. There are some cracking action tracks here, but occasionally the album is let down by the more electronic tracks that seem to just be endless drones without a huge amount of development. I was going to take a star off for that, but after several repeat listens I have to say the music has grown on me, and whilst I might not like every track, I do think Amon has tried to do something a bit different here beyond your typical summer soundtrack. I hope Amon is a name we will hear again in the future - the guy has talent, and although I can't put my finger on exactly what, has a bit of extra musical spark that gives his music character. Despite some flaws, it is none the less a 5* score to my ears. Enjoy!


Dark Souls - Limited Edition (PS3)
Dark Souls - Limited Edition (PS3)
Offered by smeikalbooks
Price: £15.02

5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Souls exists because Demons Souls was far too easy...., 21 Aug 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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Lets be honest, we all knew the predecessor to dark souls, Demons Souls, was far too easy. The problem was you simply died too infrequently, the enemies far too easy, and the bosses were a pushover. There are several things that the developer has done for this second instalment to improve things a bit. Firstly, the magic bar is gone, and you can only use spells a limited number of times. After all, if you are in a tight spot and need to heal, or wait to recharge your fire bolt, or whatever your choice of spell is, this simply makes the game too easy. The game is remarkable because despite being a vast world, there are no loading screens. The world is seamless, and this is a remarkable achievement. Also, you can relax when the loading screen is on, and of course, having this 15 second break makes the game far to easy. The central nexus is gone, and instead you recoup your life and spell quote at bonfires scattered sparingly around the world.

Like Demons Souls, you upgrade yourself, your armour and abilities using the souls of the enemies you kill. When you die, these souls are lost and you need to reach your previous location alive to get them back. If you die on the way back - say goodbye to your hard earned currency.

In the quite likely event that you exhausted your prozac supply and emptied your alcohol stash when playing Demons Souls, you will need to stock up with all the medication you can muster for this second instalment. The game is mentally exhausting - you will lose count within the first hour of how many times you die. You will lose count of the amount of souls you let slip out of your grasp when you fail to reach the last point at which you died. You will, nonetheless be utterly hooked, because no matter how you die, it will always be your fault, which means you always know how and why. And when you know why, you might just have a bit of a chance of getting a few steps further before reaching your next resting place. It's a game that many will hate because, like it's predecessor, is fiendishly difficult even on the first play through, to the point where you lose your will to live, and ironically your soul as well. It's a game that tries desperately hard for you to fail at every second, and has that smug look when yet again, you see the "You Have Died" message.

The controls are at times clunky, and not the most responsive. You can blame that when you die, but the fact is, it's just another part of the game you have to get used to. Also, when surrounded by multiple enemies, the target lock on is sometimes temperamental and doesn't select the closest enemy to target.

This limited edition has a soundtrack CD which is pretty good (but not the sort of music you'd get your friends round to listen to), and a booklet of artwork that the game was based on. Nice stuff but not essential. This sort of game is a classic. Fiendishly difficult, amazingly challenging, and somewhat repetitive at times, this will be one of the most frustrating games of your gaming life to date. But that satisfaction when you beat a boss, or make it alive to a new part of the world is what makes the game so rewarding. If however, you are prone to depression, anxiety, and get frustrated easily by failure, get something else. For anyone else, attempt Dark Souls if you dare...


Planes / O.S.T.
Planes / O.S.T.
Price: £17.17

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The score to Planes is a fun blast, and shows the best of composer Mancina, 17 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Planes / O.S.T. (Audio CD)
The score to planes is written by composer Mark Mancina, perhaps better known for his work on 90s films Twister and Speed. I have always liked him as a composer, and after a long dry spell regarding assignments and releases, this score, and the wonderful fantasy score for the game SORCERY last year shows no doubt he is still a fantastic composer. Planes is a largely orchestral score with some great writing for strings/brass/woodwind sections with the occasional choir thrown in for good measure.

You get about 45 minutes of Mancina's material, and it is superb. The score part of the album starts with "Planes" (Track 4), with a brass rendition of the Planes main theme with percussive elements and stings adding to the latter part of the track. This main theme is reprised often across the album in various guises. "Dusty Soars" is a favourite, as is the brilliant "1st Place" with hints of the main theme and choir towards the latter part of the track. There's an Indian/Bollywood influence to "Dusty & Ishani" (Track 13), but much of the album has a similar style.

Many of the score tracks are short - the longest is "Running on Fumes" (Track 15) running in at 3 minutes 11 seconds, and this is one of, if not the best track on the album. This is perhaps my only criticism, because the tracks are short there isn't much chance for much development within each track.

The sound quality is great as you would expect, and the strings and brass sections are mixed particularly well.

Regarding the 5 vocal tracks, Nothing Can Stop Me Now (Track 1), "You Don't Stop - NYC" (Track 2), Fly (Track 3), "Love Machine" (Track 27) and "Ein Crop Duster Can Race" (Track 28) , these were not my favourite tracks off the album. To be clear, I listen to mainly classical/film scores and thus I don't think these tracks were included on the album with someone like me in mind. Love Machine, which was a fairly tame Spanish style song and was passable, and the pop/rocks Nothing Can Stop Me Now/Fly were nothing to write home about. Kids might enjoy the sing song nature of Ein Crop Duster, but for anyone over the age of 5 this song has the potential to be harmful to your mental health. You Don't Stop was ghastly - I have never been a fan of r&b rap style tracks, and this seems very out of place on the album. There's no explicit lyrics so you won't need to worry about turning the volume down for the kids - but perhaps better still, bypass the track completely. For anyone who is buying the album for Mancina's material, if you avoid these 5 tracks your world will be a better place.

As a side note, I got the CD rather than MP3 version, and upon arrival the CD casing pretty much fell to bits as I took the CD out (it was securely packaged and within the original cellophane wrap). Not sure if this is a manufacturing issue or if I was just unlucky with my copy. The CD played fine though.

Overall, this album isn't the best score that I've ever heard, but it had a great theme and was an enjoyable listen. I hope Mancina gets more scoring assignments in the future because the guy is talented, and if you liked the score within the film, or like Mancina's previous work, you can't go wrong with getting the album. A solid 4*s from me.


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