CATEGORY: WORDS: Joshua Kelhoffer


You can’t get the physical CD until May 29th, but you can get Danny Elfman’s Men In Black 3 score as a digital download. If you would allow to be completely honest, I think this score is yet another example of how Elfman’s career has descended into mediocrity. Once a master of distinctive, gothic compositions, his modern work is now pedestrian, bland, and pretty much sounds like every other modern film score, as the conventional, thematically carrying film score becomes a thing of the past. Plus, the new MIB theme just doesn’t work for me. But, on the bright side, one of the best cues from the first film makes a reprise and there are a few tracks here and there that are rather good.

Prometheus isn’t available in stores or on Amazon until June 12th, but you can download it from iTunes. As with Men In Black 3, I spent a good hour or so listening to this score this past Saturday. Considering the relation, drawing comparisons to Jerry Goldsmith’s Alien is unavoidable, but I tried to give it a fresh, honest listen. For those who might be wondering, does it hold up to Goldsmith’s score? No, it doesn’t. Prometheus is at a major disadvantage. The bulk of modern day film scores just aren’t as tonal and distinctive as older scores. Trends are different, and modern day filmmakers  (and a lot of audience members, as well) seemingly prefer scores to be dialed back, more as an aspect of the sound design than a prominent ingredient of storytelling. Which is a shame. Film score really can make or break a movie for me. In many ways, it could the heart of the story and can be attributed to making a film not just a film, but an experience.

But rants aside, I’m half & half on this score. Marc Streitenfeild caught my ear several years back with his score to Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. It wasn’t the greatest score ever, even sounding like a close cousin to Jablonsky’s Transformers, but many of his compositions (such as “Merry Men” and “Fate Has Smiled Upon Us This Day”) get multiple plays on my iPod on a weekly basis. Now, Goldsmith and Alien fans alike will notice a few quotes from Alien here and there, most prominently in “Friend From the Past,” but this score is mostly  Zimmer-esque. But that doesn’t mean the score was bad. In deed, there are the ominous, low key tracks such as “A Planet,” “Going In,”  and”Life,” which had great atmosphere. There are few action beats here and there. But there is a downside! Many of the tracks are a bit too low key. As an album, it is worth listening to once, but I’m not sure if it’s an album worth keeping.

La La Land Records

Once again, “Triple L” proves to be a John Williams fan’s best friend. Limited to 2000 copies, Jane Eyre is a remastered edition of the original Capital/EMI album.

Next up is one of two video game scores. For those wondering what happened to Mark Mancina, look no further than Sorcery. I’ve not played the game, but I’ve loved many of Mancina’s action scores, so naturally I foresee this purchase in the near future.

And the last title of the evening is Starhawk. From the PlaySation game, this album is limited to 3000 copies.

But wait, there’s more! Celebrating the label’s 9 years and 200 albums, Cinematic Sound has put together a wonderful tribute, with music from Zulu Dawn, 1941, Batman Forever, Die Hard, Commando, and more!

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