Soundtracks are a lot more than movie music...
...or so I'm ready to argue as a 30 year devotee of this sorely under appreciated genre. So, in an effort to do my part, each week
I'll be making recommendations of soundtracks current and vintage, make a fuss over long awaited soundtrack scores finally getting
a well deserved release, and in general, make some noise about this often overlooked category. Beyond my long experience as a
listener and as a pianist and songwriter, both of which I've put to use in writing a quarterly soundtrack column for the Chicago
Tribune, I can only offer my recommendations. You'll discern my taste soon enough and upfront I'd like to make it clear that I'll
focus most heavily on SCORE soundtracks. In the end, all criticism is subjective but if I can point a listener toward a little heard
soundtrack or strongly advise you to either ORDER IMMEDIATELY or SKIP ALTOGETHER, all the better.
Just a quick recommendation this time out...
Part of the enormous charm of Henry Selick's latest stop motion animation
film Coraline can be pointed directly at the score of French composer Bruno
Coulais. Though Coulais' music sounds more than a bit like it was inspired
by Danny Elfman, his melodies are much more delicate and there are odd
thematic twists and turns in the score that give it fresh voice. Coulais, who
before this score, was most familiar to soundtrack enthusiasts (and perhaps
the public at large) for his Oscar nominated work on The Chorus, uses a
female vocalist and children's chorus on several of the tracks, adding both
whimsy and innocence to his score. One quibble: though I like the original
peppy song by They Might Be Giants, its inclusion in the soundtrack
completely jars the listener. I suggest downloading it separately. Favorite
cues from Coraline would include the End Credits, Dreaming, Exploration,
and Ghost Children.
Don't forget to check out previous soundtrack recommendations by visiting
Next Recommendation: TBA
The soundtrack cover and composer