Monday, March 22, 2010

Even More New Albums

Those who know me may have already guessed that I'm disgusted with the House's vote on "Obamacare". Since there's nothing I can do about it other than hope that those who voted for it are utterly destroyed in the November elections, I'll post about something that makes me happier.

I've recently purchased even more mp3 albums from Both are from lesser-known but very talented composers.

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince:
The sixth Harry Potter score and the third written by someone other than John Williams. Although Williams' "Hedwig's Theme" is iconic and instantly recognizable, I felt that the rest of his music for Harry Potter was fairly mediocre. Even then, I was reluctant when Patrick Doyle was chosen to score Goblet of Fire. However, I ended up liking Doyle's score a lot more than Williams'. It was grandiose and much more appropriate for the later Harry Potter stories. Order of the Phoenix was scored by Nicholas Hooper, whose style is distinct from both Williams and Doyle, but is still very good. My particular favorite is his "Death of Sirius", which was played while Sirius Black and the various Death Eaters fought. Hooper was also chosen to score Half-Blood Prince, which is more ominous and pensive than Doyle's Goblet of Fire or Hooper's own Order of the Phoenix.

My only real complaint about Half-Blood Prince's score is the same as my complaint about Order of the Phoenix's; the tracks are horribly out of order. The second track, "In Noctem", appears to be the music played near the end of the movie, when the locations and activities of the relevant characters are established immediately prior to the movie's climax. Although this is a common practice for movie scores, it never ceases to annoy me. Not only do I listen to movie scores to enjoy the music, but also to relive the movie. It's jarring to hear the music played out of order in comparison to the movie. Some of Williams' scores are worse: one track in Jurassic Park mixes music from the movie's opening scene with music heard after the first T-rex attack, about an hour into the movie.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein:
Speaking of Patrick Doyle; I have been looking for the score to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for quite a while. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) is apparently the most faithful cinematic adaptation of the original novel (although with some extensive modifications to the story near the end). Unfortunately, it's yet another R-rated movie that I haven't seen. However, I was impressed with the samples I heard on and was dismayed to find that the score had been discontinued for several years. Well, thanks to's mp3 service, many CDs that have been discontinued are now available for download.

Like Doyle's score for Goblet of Fire, Frankenstein is big, with "The Creation" being the highlight of the album. During the score's more thoughtful moments, though, the music could easily be confused for a classical work.

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