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January/February 2019
2/23/19 The Cloverfield Paradox   (Bear McCreary)
All New Review
Buy it... if the aggressive yet tonal portions of 10 Cloverfield Lane impressed you, for Bear McCreary has expanded that personality into an extremely intelligent and surprisingly accessible fantasy score with a fabulously engaging narrative.
Avoid it... if you prefer simplistic constructs in your film music, this entry containing multiple layers in each major identity to accentuate the story's paradoxes; it will take you a while to unravel these appropriately parallel lines.
2/15/19 Max & Me   (Mark McKenzie)
All New Review
Buy it... if you have no qualms about potently inspiring music of a pious heart, the tender and solemn beauty of this work extending from Mark McKenzie's similar masterpiece, The Greatest Miracle.
Avoid it... if you cannot accept the absolute, tonal simplicity of McKenzie's approach to these religiously-oriented scores, the music rendered so accessibly that it may function as nothing more than sickeningly sweet sonic wallpaper for you.
2/7/19 First Man   (Justin Hurwitz)
All New Review
Buy it... only if you connected with Justin Hurwitz's mostly ambient, introspective score in context and are therefore prepared for the somber and sparse atmosphere he brings to the film's highly personal drama.
Avoid it... if you expect the score to raise the dramatic appeal of the film, the music instead serving in a secondary role as an underplayed bystander outside of a few fully symphonic cues of a derivative nature.
2/1/19 The Mummy Returns   (Alan Silvestri)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you seek one of the few adventure scores that can compete with John Debney's Cutthroat Island in terms of adventuresome spirit, sustained tonality, and noisy bombast.
Avoid it... if you demand thematic continuity in the scores of this franchise, none of which exists amongst the shared instrumental stereotypes exercised in each entry.
1/26/19 The Mummy   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you don't mind hearing orchestras wielded like blunt instruments for exotic and noisy action romps, this one clobbering you with narratively inconsistent but overwhelmingly spirited force.
Avoid it... if you expect either the consistent sophistication or prevailing personality in style that Jerry Goldsmith's better adventure scores exhibit, a fantastic 30-minute consolidation necessary here to trim down the tedious album presentations.
1/16/19 On Deadly Ground   (Basil Poledouris)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on the 2018 expanded product if you are an avid Basil Poledouris collector and enjoy his trademark synthetic rhythms under raw brass themes.
Avoid it... if you agree that Poledouris' action writing style doesn't receive due treatment from undersized ensembles and poor mixing, both of which plague this score.
1/7/19 Waterworld   (James Newton Howard)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on especially the 2017 2-CD set if you normally fall victim to guilty pleasure fantasy scores with generic but well rendered action ideas for orchestra, chorus, and synthetic percussive tones.
Avoid it... if you prefer more originality in your other-worldly blockbuster romps, this one taking blatant inspiration from Hugo Friedhofer and Jerry Goldsmith.
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