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September/October 2016
10/25/16 Something Wicked This Way Comes   (Georges Delerue/James Horner)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on Intrada Records' 2009 release of James Horner's competent replacement score if you desire the adequately whimsical, often unconventional choral and symphonic blend heard in the film.
Avoid it... on that album if you seek the better primary theme for the boys in the film, in which case Georges Delerue's otherwise darker rejected score will more effectively appeal to your romantic sensibilities, especially as heard on the composer's 1989 re-recording of 12 minutes from this work.
10/13/16 The Monkey King 2   (Christopher Young)
All New Review
Buy it... if you adore the rowdy, exotic personality of Christopher Young's enthusiastic The Monkey King score and await a really impressive sibling to that career highlight.
Avoid it... if you've never been truly comfortable with Young's disconnected thematic tapestry in that score, a circumstance that, along with lengthier and challenging ambient passages, becomes more problematic in this sequel.
10/8/16 The Monkey King   (Christopher Young)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if the massively bombastic and tonally accessible mode of Christopher Young has been key to your enjoyment of his prior classic scores, this one unashamedly extroverted in its rotation between attractive character suites.
Avoid it... if your enjoyment of any humongous adventure and fantasy score requires a cohesive musical narrative based upon strong, interwoven, central themes, a formula not possible in the impressionistic way Young was asked to score this film.
9/24/16 Filmtracks celebrates its 20th anniversary
Back in the infancy of this site, one disgruntled visitor submitted the first piece of invaluable feedback regarding my soundtrack reviews: "If assholes had wings, this place would be an airport." The validity of that statement still remains in question two decades later, though both wise men and foolish trolls have postulated that, if anything, Filmtracks has become a thriving international hub for asshole activity during that time, complete with the worst security screening of its users ever seen at an airport. Read more...
9/17/16 Stagecoach   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you are as enthused about Jerry Goldsmith's more pastoral and folksy Western style of the 1960's as you are his robust action themes for the same genre.
Avoid it... if a Goldsmith Western largely absent his trademark brass themes and dominated by conversational underscore for jaw harp, harmonica, and banjo doesn't warrant a tough choice between the score's several albums.
9/11/16 Breakheart Pass   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if ten minutes of an outstanding Jerry Goldsmith Western theme is worth the cost of acquiring a rare album for an otherwise surprisingly generic suspense score.
Avoid it... if you have never been able to appreciate Goldsmith's similarly prominent Western themes in his many other efforts in the genre, because Breakheart Pass really offers nothing else of interest.
9/4/16 Rio Conchos   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the 2013 Intrada album featuring Jerry Goldsmith's own re-recording of most of the score if you seek an early glimpse at the composer's darker, folksy Western style in pristine digital sound.
Avoid it... on that re-recording if you are a Goldsmith purist interested instead in a superior presentation of the original recording on the rare Film Score Monthly or Kritzerland products, regardless of how badly aged the sound may be.
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