Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros: Solo Music by Alexander Ebert

By: Brendan

I was impressed to learn that Alexander Ebert, frontman of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, is responsible for the gorgeous score for All is Lost. J.C. Chandor directs Robert Redford in the lost-at-sea drama, due out on DVD on February 11th.

Buy All is Lost soundtrack @ Amazon

Ebert has also released some solo material, including “Truth” featuring the RZA. You can stream the song below and download a free, legal mp3 here.

Hear the Oblivion Movie Theme by M83 & Susanne Sundfor!

I haven’t seen the new Tom Cruise sci-fi blockbuster, Oblivion, yet, but I have heard and love its soaring theme by M83. The song features vocals by Norwegian singer, Susanne Sundfør. You can stream the song below…

Buy Soundtrack @ Amazon

Soundtrack: Hitchcock

The soundtrack to the new Anthony Hopkins biopic, Hitchcock, is pretty much what you would expect from composer Danny Elfman. His Hitchcock film score is effectively evocative of Bernard Herrmann’s original Psycho score, but has enough of Elfman’s signature whimsy to keep it fresh. It’s not my favorite of Elfman’s work – that remains Edward Scissorhands – but I like it a lot. It’s both suspenseful and playful, which is both expected and welcomed. My favorite track is the finale “Funeral March for a Marionette.” The original by French composer Charles Gounod was used as the theme to The Alfred Hitchcock Show. Elfman puts a fun spin on it, which is true of the entire soundtrack.



Soundtrack: Skyfall

Guest Post By: Brendan

Thomas Newman is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Sam Mendes – I noticed his American Beauty score featured heavily in the recent documentary Inventing David Geffen. My favorite of their collaborations is Road to Perdition, a gorgeous and delicate piano-driven suite. Newman’s composition for Mendes’ latest film, Skyfall, is a different beast – a heavily synthesized score which features few delicate moments.

The tragic character of “Severine” provides a brief respite in a score which otherwise pummells you into submission. It is a glorious, 78-second string arrangement, conjuring memories of my favorite Bond music – John Barry’s instrumental “We Have All The Time In The World.”

Skyfall is otherwise a surprisingly forgettable score, though I did enjoy the “Shanghai Drive” theme, its reprisal in the album’s concluding track, “Adrenaline,” and the percussive energy of “Silhouette.” Monty Norman’s original theme is incorporated particularly well in “Breadcrumbs.”

Adele’s “Skyfall” was oddly not included in the US release of the film’s soundtrack.


Soundtrack: Titanic Anniversary Edition

Guest Post By: Brendan

The 1997 soundtrack to James Cameron’s Titanic became the highest-selling primarily orchestral soundtrack ever. A remastered “Anniversary Edition” of the soundtrack has been released to coincide with this week’s Titanic 3D movie release. Two versions of the Titanic: Anniversary Edition are now available: the 2-disc package contains James Horner’s original score (including Celine Dion’s smash “My Heart Will Go On”) accompanied by a previously unreleased disc of music recorded for Titanic by chamber music ensemble I Salonisti, while the 4-disc Collector’s Edition also includes a remastered Back to Titanic (the second volume of Horner’s orchestral score) and a disc of public domain songs from the Titanic period.

In the 1990’s, I was an avid collector of Film music, and a cornerstone of my collection was composer James Horner. Horner’s work was amazing and his prolific mid-90s film score catalogue included Legends Of The Fall, Apollo 13, Braveheart, the underrated and sublime To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday and, of course, Titanic.

The music of Titanic remains impressive. Horner made an inspired choice to emulate the music of Enya by using the angelic vocals of Norwegian singer Sissel, resulting in a heartbreaking nostalgic sound. Some of the more remarkable tracks include “Never an Absolution” and “Unable to Stay, Unwilling to Leave.”

The previously unreleased I Salonisti album is a pleasant set predominantly comprised of violin waltzes arranged and produced by John Altman. I first became aware of Altman from his gorgeous suite of music on the Beautiful Thing soundtrack, which features several Mamas & Papas hits along with solo work by Mama Cass. My favorite track on the I Salonisti album is “Blue Danube.” Unfortunately, the rest of the disc doesn’t rise above pleasant background music for me.

The review copy from Sony was the 2-disc edition, but I’ve heard Back to Titanic before. I actually enjoyed Back to Titanic more than its predecessor, perhaps due to the increased Irish influence. “An Irish Party in Third Class” and “Jack Dawson’s Luck” both include sets of traditional Irish music, while Maire Brennan’s voice and Eileen Ivers’ fiddle respectively appear on “Come Josephine In My Flying Machine” and “Nearer My God to Thee.” The beautiful solo piano track, “The Portrait,” is also featured.

I have not yet heard Popular Music From the Titanic Era from the 4-disc edition, but any album that promotes the music of John McCormack is good in my book.

James Horner was interviewed about his Titanic work in a recent Classic FM podcast.

Buy 2-Disc Titanic Anniversary Edition

Buy 4-Disc Titanic Collector’s Edition

Titanic (Music from the Motion Picture) [Collector's Anniversary Edition] - James Horner