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.

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.

BUY @ AMAZON

Muruch’s Classic Albums Appreciation Club: Week 29

Granted, Van Halen’s 1984 has more nostalgic value than timeless artistic merit as the band’s heavy use of synths keeps the music firmly dated in the early 1980s. Yet despite all the electro-80s flourishes, 1984 is still a mostly solid rock album. And pop-rock hits “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher” are just as catchy and enjoyable now as when I first heard them. Now for one of my all-time favorite soundtracks…

This week’s classic album is…Footloose Soundtrack.

To recap the procedure here: At the beginning of each week, I’ll post brief thoughts on the previous week’s listening experience along with the coming week’s classic album selection. Then sometime in the week that follows, we’ll all take the time to listen to the album from beginning to end with no distractions. It can be as simple as just getting away from the computer to listen alone or you can make an event of it with candles, beverages and friends. Whatever format you play the album in or the manner in which you listen, just give the music your full and undivided attention.

Feel free to comment or email your opinions of our selections and recommendations for classic albums (from any decade, including this one).

Soundtrack: Water for Elephants

I have not seen the new film, Water for Elephants, which is based on Sara Gruen’s novel. However, I have greatly enjoyed listening to the movie’s soundtrack. The original score by composer James Newton Howard is a lovely collection of instrumentals both serene and dramatic. The rest of the album features Depression-era jazz and blues, the centerpiece of which is Bessie Smith’s guttural rendering of “I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl.”

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John Barry

Occasional Muruch writer Brendan was pulled out of the shadows again by the death of composer John Barry. I (Vic) would count Barry’s beautiful theme from Somewhere In Time as one of my all-time favorite instrumentals. Brendan’s thoughts on Barry’s work follow…

One of my favorite composers of film music died this week. Career retrospectives are easy to find, so I’ve decided to post a chronology of my favorite John Barry music.

The James Bond theme is perhaps one of the most recognizable pieces of music ever composed and I heard it many times in reruns of Bond movies on Irish television growing up. I also remember a Guinness TV commercial from the mid-nineties, which used “All the Time in the World” to great effect.

The first time I really noticed Barry’s music, perhaps sadly, was in The Specialist. His score for the film was sublime, and the track “Did You Call Me?” made it onto my 1999 mixtape, pretentiously titled Life: A Soundtrack.

Barry’s jazz-infused score for Playing By Heart: enhanced the emotional resonance of that underrated movie – the track “Remembering Chet” being a standout.

Then, at the dawning of the new millennium, I discovered Somewhere In Time. It was that rare trifecta in which book, movie adaptation and soundtrack all excel expectation. Barry’s score washed over me and has become one of my favorite albums. On a related note, the Jim Bajor CD of the same name, featuring a piano version of the movie theme, is also highly recommended.

In recent years, I’ve rediscovered some of Barry’s other work – his groundbreaking Midnight Cowboy soundtrack, his wonderful score for Dances With Wolves, and just this weekend, we watched Born Free for the first time.

His last score was for the 2001 film, Enigma.

John Barry died on January 30th, 2011 at aged 77.

Buy John Barry Music @ Amazon