News Archive... AKA The Old Blog

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Review: Frankel's 'Curse of ...'

Curse of The Werewolf
Music by Benjamin Frankel / Conducted by Carl Davis
Rating: * * * * 1/2

I’ll confess that Benjamin (street name, “Ben Jammin”) Frankel was not always a composer I had any particular fondness for. In the past few years, I’ve made multiple attempts to enjoy my copy of the compilation, Benjamin Frankel – Music for the Movies. Sadly, every new listen put me straight to sleep. Maybe it was a poor cue sequence, maybe it was a weak recording, maybe it was a bad performance, but it left me with the impression that Frankel was a bland and forgettable composer. Rest assured, this is decidedly not the case with Naxos’ new recording, Curse of the Werewolf And Other Film Music by Benjamin Frankel. How short I sold you, B. Jammin’ (his other street name)! In this compilation, we hear a Frankel who is uniformly brilliant, classy, and blisteringly dynamic – quite the opposite of my first impression, and quite a necessity for your CD library.

The complete score for Curse of the Werewolf headlines the album, and it doesn’t take long to realize that the score is a long over-looked masterpiece of the genre. This is broad and epic horror scoring, the type that’s entirely absent from the genre today. What’s perhaps the most amazing is that despite the score’s use of 12-tones scales, dissonant harmonies, and passing shades of Bartok, the music isn’t ugly or unpleasant to listen to at all. Though dissonant, the music never actually moves into grinding tone clusters, and a clear melodic line is almost always discernable. Aside from a short three-note motif threaded through the carnage and the occasional respite from a love theme, there really aren’t any major themes, but that’s hardly an issue here. Frankel’s score plays more like abstract concert music than traditional film music – it follows its own whims and harmonic developments, rather than fastidiously marking each hit with a leitmotif. That isn’t to say that there isn’t a close and meaningful relationship between the on-screen drama and the music, only that the music doesn’t take the easy route of marking of every individual action and stabbing every individual shock stinger. It plays more like a violent tempest raging above the action, thundering over the full moon as it watches over the carnal ecstasy of the beast. Not that it’s all Sturm und Drung. There are also expertly crafted subtle moments of rising suspicion and dread that build to horrific realizations – the grand dynamic statements don’t come out of nowhere, they’re earned. And the aforementioned love theme is exquisite (“Pastoral”), so perfectly orchestrated and so beautifully bittersweet that it makes me wonder how I possibly could have dismissed Frankel’s romantic writing in the past (especially as that cue was in the other Frankel compilation). The finale is by far the standout, moving from a thrilling chase that recalls Herrmann’s stunning “The Hunt” from On Dangerous Ground into a breathless assault until it finally resolves into a triumphant conclusion (once upon a time all movies, no matter how dark, got a rousing upbeat musical finish). - Paul Cote

Full review coming to the site soon...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Schwartz is with us

Coming soon from La-La Land Records...

The Dog's Master, Carlo Siliotto
An original composition from renowned film composer Carlo Siliotto (The Punisher, Fluke). Mr. Silotto re-invents Italian folk music with beautiful orchestra and vocals.

Spaceballs, John Morris
La-La Land Records proudly announces it’s 50th release – composer John Morris’ complete score to the Mel Brooks classic Spaceballs! First official score release ever! Limited Edition of 3000 units.

Tango & Cash, Harold Faltermeyer
First release ever of Harold Faltermeyer’s complete, hard-driving electronic score to the beloved 80’s actioner starring Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell. Limited Edition of 3000 units.

A Name For Evil/The Unknown, Dominic Frontiere
Premiere release of two Dominic Frontiere scores – from the 1973 horror feature A Name For Evil and The Unkown, a score for a television pilot that eventually was broadcast as an episode of The Outer Limits entitled “The Form of Things Unknown.”

For more info, visit La-La Land Records' website.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

MovieScore Media is 'Evil'

MovieScore Media presents the Ivor Novello Award-winning score from the Academy Award-nominated film...

Music Composed and Conducted by Francis Shaw

Available exclusively on iTunes.

Nominated for a 'Best Foreign Language Film' Oscar at the 2004 Academy Awards, Swedish drama Evil featured an elegant and beautifully constructed orchestral score by British veteran composer Francis Shaw. Recently, the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters acknowledge Shaw's Evil score - it received the 2006 Ivor Novello Award for 'Best Original Film Score' in competition with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Pride and Prejudice.

Evil: Original Motion Picture Score will be available exclusively from iTunes on June 27, 2006, with wider digital distribution to follow.

For soundclips and more info visit MovieScore Media's website.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Rabid collectors devour CDs

ScoreNotes recently interviewed Brian Tyler about his latest, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift and previous assignments. They've presented the interview in Real Audio and MP3 so you can use your ears instead of your eyes! Check out ScoreNotes.

In rabid collector news... As expected several of Varese's CD club releases sold out within a single day. The titles announced:

Gloria, Bill Conti (2000 copies)
The War of The Roses, David Newman (2000 copies)
An Unfinished Life, Chris Young (1000 copies - Sold Out!)
Sky Bandits, Alfi Kabiljo (1000 copies - Sold Out!)

Both An Unfinished Life (Young's rejected score) and Sky Bandits (a reissue of of the 1986 LP) sold out by Monday evening.

I went for Sky Bandits, War of The Roses and Silvestri's Romancing The Stone.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

FSM Bern-ing up wallets...

Recently released is Film Score Monthly's massive 12-disc Elmer Bernstein's Filmmusic Collection. Complete with a 136-page hardcover book, this set covers the series re-recording LPs Bernstein conducted and released in 1974-1979. The cost, a hefty $200 U.S. Available now at Screen Archives.

Composers in the news... Elizabeth Snead, of the L.A. Times writes:
"Composer Hans Zimmer just tried the new updated Pirates ride and called it “a thrill” to hear snippets of his Pirates score during it. Disney chairman Dick Cook revealed plans to update the ride again for the premiere of the third Pirates, as yet untitled, skedded for May 25, 2007."
Yes, that's right -- Disney's classic-animatronic ride "Pirates of The Caribbean" has been retrofited with characters from the films and music from Hans Zimmer's score (and perhaps a note or two from the score credited to Klaus Badelt for contractual reasons...)

By the time you read this... Varese will have announced their latest club discs and one or two of them may have sold out. The titles will be/were revealed on their website at 12AM Monday, June 26. Go get 'em!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Ottman: Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!!

Why go out in the sun this weekend when you can sit inside and check this out...
Superman Returns composer and editor John Ottman will appear this Sunday, June 25th, on KGO 810 AM. Beginning at 1 a.m. PST, the five-hour radio show will focus extensively on Superman Returns and the Superman phenomenon, including music from Ottman's score for the film and a one-hour live interview with Ottman. The interview airs at 2:05 a.m. PST. Those outside of KGO's Los Angeles to Canada coverage area can hear the broadcast live at The enhanced score CD for "Superman Returns," release date June 27th from Rhino Records, contains behind-the-scenes video footage that includes Ottman's scoring session for the film. To listen to track samples, go to Rhino Records' website.

Cinematic Sound: 06/22 show

From Erik Woods of Cinematic Sound...
June 22, 2006 Update:

The On-Demand Shows for this week are now on-line. hear the “Superman Returns and Amazing Stories" program. On the program this week we will be playing music from Steven Spielberg’s mid-80’s TV series Amazing Stories. Intrada Records is planning on releasing a 6 CD, 3 volume anthology of music from this series and on the program this week we will be playing music from the first volume. You will hear music from such composers as John Williams, James Horner, Bruce Broughton, Danny Elfman, Geroges Delerue, Billy Goldenberg, and more. Plus, we will be featuring music from John Ottman’s score to Superman Returns. Click here for playlist.

Also check out the "Suspense Thriller and Spy Films" program.

During this show we will be playing music from such films as Eye of The Needle (Rozsa), Mission: Impossible (Elfman), The Bourne Supremacy (Powell), The Tailor of Panama (Davey), Ronin (Cmiral), True Lies (Fiedel), Johnny English (Shearmur), Sneakers (Horner), and Spy Game (Gregson-Williams). Click here for playlists.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Review: Beck's 'The Sentinel'

The Sentinel
Music Composed and Produced by Christophe Beck
Disc Rating: ****

The hybrid film score is now the norm in Hollywood. Hybrid scores, of course, are the fusing of electronic elements with acoustic elements… more than just a drum loop thrown in here and there. A real hybrid score by a talented composer contains equal measures of both electronics and orchestra, living together in harmony… uh pun hopefully not intended. Christophe Beck is quickly becoming one of the best in the business at taking these two worlds and fusing them together. 2005's Elektra was one of the best examples of a great hybrid... now we have The Sentinel.

The Sentinel isn't a film that needs a memorable theme, or big orchestrations. It's The Fugitive meets In the Line of Fire meets 24 (why did Kiefer Sutherland agree to be in this film? Did someone trick him by moving him in his 24 trailer onto the Sentinel set?) In these films about a man on the run (Michael Douglas in this case), the rhythm of the score is really the most important aspect. It has to keep running, just like the protagonist. Beck accomplishes this with steady rhythmic loops and percussion, layered on top of each other, swimming around like some well-choreographed water ballet. The production on this score is top notch and often quite hip and inventive, and should be experienced through good speakers.

The acoustic instruments are a sizeable string section and brass section. For a film about the Secret Service, a lot of patriotic trumpet lines are employed, especially in tracks like "Cars and Guns."

Highlights on the album, for me, are "The Mall" which contain some rhythmically interesting string/electronic grooves (reprised again in "The Sentinel"), "Garrison's Polygraph" with some great analog synth patterns, "Fingerprints," "Assassin Down," the list goes on and on. By using new electronic elements from track to track, this album never gets boring, or too repetitive (it does sag slightly in the middle).

Granted, The Sentinel isn't for everyone. If you detest electronic grooves and effects with your orchestra, this album is not for you. This is not your typical Media Ventures hybrid score, though. Ed Shearmur is quoted as saying "It's as much a compositional idea to sit down and be tampering with audio as it is to sit in front of a piano and be writing a melody." (On the Track, Karlin & Wright, p. 374) And he's absolutely correct. A lot of care and "tampering" went into the electronic elements of this score. True, you won't go into your local Tower Records and see piano sheet music for "Theme from the Sentinel" sitting among the John Williams and James Horner offerings, but if you're interested in hearing something fresh and hip, and composed with care, you should give The Sentinel a try.

Review date: June 14, 2006 (to appear on site in next update)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Steiner: BYU's 'Dark Victory', more...

Various bits of news today...

The Independent's David Thomson on Bernard Herrmann... Read article.

From Ray Faiola, posted at Film Score Monthly's website:
Just a note to my fellow film fans that Chelsea Rialto Studios' latest classic film score release, Dark Victory, is now available for ordering from Screen Archives Entertainment.

Dark Victory features an exquisite musical score by Max Steiner and this new CD features virtually the complete score, including the song "Oh Give Me Time For Tenderness," as restored from the composer's personal acetate disc collection.

Licensed from Warner Bros. and presented by the Brigham Young University Film Music Archives, the album contains a full-color 32-page booklet with a complete production history as chronicled by renowned film historian Rudy Behlmer (Inside Warner Bros.).

To order, please visit Screen Archives.
Varese Sarabande has announced they will release John Debney's score for the CG-animated Ant Bully (starring the voice talents of Bruce Campbell!) on August 1. They are also set to release another round of Club CDs. Here's the cryptic blurb from their website:
Save the date ... it's CD Club time! To kick off the summer in CD Club style, we will announce the next four releases in our series on June 26. Don't miss the date. Some releases may drift away before the next summer night!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Intrada: new Small twofer

Intrada Announces:

The Driver/The Star Chamber
Composed and Conducted by Michael Small
Intrada Special Collection Volume 33

Intrada is proud to present another Special Collection volume dedicated to the music of Michael Small. Following Intrada's recent release of his score to Black Widow are two more thrillers from the vaults of 20th Century Fox.

The Star Chamber (1983), written and directed by Peter Hyams, tells the tale of an idealistic, albeit disillusioned, young judge Steven R. Hardin (Michael Douglas). A colleague (Hal Holbrook) persuades him to join a secret society of like-minded jurists: the Star Chamber, meting out rough justice to criminals who, they believe, have slipped from the righteous clutches of the law. Initially willing to go along, Hardin swiftly feels his integrity challenged and his doubts building — and when he balks -- finds himself a target of the robed vigilantes.

The Driver (1978, from writer/director Walter Hill), stars Ryan O’Neal as a laconic getaway specialist whose expertise is stunningly displayed in three dazzling car chases through the mean streets of downtown Los Angeles. Hot on his trail is a rogue cop (Bruce Dern), who concocts an elaborate scheme to trap the wheelman. Assisted by two mysterious women, The Driver is forced to use his wits as well as his reflexes to keep a car-length ahead of the law.

Michael Small puts his painstaking, eccentric all into both scores,producing his trademark musical juxtapositions: shivering strings, bursts of echoing brass, the synth used as no one else could manage — it's all here. In The Star Chamber, Small introduces a stately, measured judicial fanfare as the wheels of justice turn, which he then subverts as those wheels come off the rails. In The Driver, he takes a chance remark (Bruce Dern referring to Ryan O ’Neal as "a cowboy") and spins it into a lovely musical trope: a delicately countrified theme for the character of the Driver that tenderly uses keyboards with a touch of slide guitar.

While producing this album, CD producer Nick Redman discovered far more music than was utilized in the release versions of the either film. In THE STAR CHAMBER, much of the music is dialed-down to the point of almost subliminal effect. In THE DRIVER, Small's score has been trimmed to virtual non-existence.

Intrada features The Star Chamber from the original stereo elements in excellent condition, and The Driver in its original mono format.

This release is limited to 1200 units. In stock now. For cover art, track listing, and sound samples, please visit

Monday, June 19, 2006

Devil boy, death dealers and cowboys!

Here's more Marco Beltrami than you can shake a sacrificial dagger at...

The Omen
Remakes are becoming the bane of Hollywood these days. One after another after another seems to be coming out of the studio system. Rarely is the re-make ever really better than the original film, yet they mostly bring in high box office numbers on that first weekend, so they keep getting made. It's unfortunate that today's talented young composers have to find a way to score these remakes, so as to pay homage to original, yet still work with the new film and stay true to the composer's own voice. Continue reading review...

Underworld: Evolution
Vampires. Marco Beltrami has no lack of experience scoring films with vampires, what with Dracula 2000 and Blade II under his belt (though, none of them had Kate Beckinsale in skin-tight leather to provide inspiration!). Beyond vampire films, though, Beltrami seems to have been almost typecast as a horror/action horror specialist. This makes a film like Underworld: Evolution fall right up his alley. Continue reading review...

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
In principle, I have always firmly believed that a film score can eschew a Western orchestra and still carry the dramatic depth and heart that cinema demands. In practice, I rarely find scores that support this theory – more often then not, non-orchestral film scores float like generic deadweight and only serve to fuel the previous generation's argument that modern film music is dead. But every once and a while, a score comes along to prove my principle. At the moment, that score is Marco Beltrami's Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. Continue reading review...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Tyler's too 'Fast' too 'Furious'

Brian Tyler's official website has been completely redesigned top to bottom just in time for his latest, The Fast and The Furious Tokyo Drift. Speaking of which, there are five insanely exciting clips from his score also on the site. The album is due out June 27th from Varese Sarabande. Head over to the site and check out those Furious clips.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

It's Marco Beltrami week!

We've got a triple dose of Beltrami for you this week with reviews of The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Underworld Evolution and The Omen set to hit the site in the next day or two. For now, here's an advance look at The Omen...

"Goldsmith’s score to Richard Donner’s original, of course, is a classic, and is one of my favorite Jerry Goldsmith scores. It works incredibly well as an album, and it adds so much to the film- in fact, many scenes are saved because of it. The Latin-chanting choir influenced an entire generation of horror scores that followed. Perhaps if was wise, then, of Beltrami not to take the new Omen score in a new direction, or to try and mimic exactly what Goldsmith did. Beltrami is not the type of composer who deals with clichés. However, by not crafting a score as audacious as Goldsmith’s, and creating one that merely serves the film as a routine horror flick (which this film definitely is), he has made himself into a sacrificial lamb of sorts. Indeed, the critics have blasted the score in most reviews of this update. The tense moments are there. The sweet family music is still there. But there’s no choir… just little nods to what Jerry did. The result, is a score without the gravitas and fire of a typical Marco Beltrami horror score, and one that gets unfairly scrutinized against one of the most brilliant horror scores of all time."

And an excerpt from Three Burials...

"I’ve always been sort of hot and cold with Beltrami as a composer. I admire the fact that he’s managed to craft a distinct and recognizable musical voice (far more than most film composers of his generation have achieved), but something has always seemed just a bit muted and distant about his large-scale orchestral works, impressive as the best of them are. Three Burials changes that perception for me. If you’re one of the many who adamantly love his orchestral pyrotechnics from the likes of Hellboy and I, Robot, you’ll likely be disappointed with this one as it’s an entirely different animal, but if you’re like me, you’ll relish its off-kilter mingling of and heat-stroke induced hallucinations and heartfelt lyricism. Like the excellent film it accompanies (Tommy Lee Jones’ contemporary revisionist Western is very likely the best film Beltrami has scored to date), Beltrami’s score is a quirky and often brutally macabre animal, but it carries an affecting human touch throughout and is touching as it is perverse."

More soon...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Label: Perseverance Records

If you haven't heard of Perseverance Records, check out their website . This small (their word!) soundtrack label is gearing up for a big year.

Currently available: Dennis Dreith's score for the horror film Gag; due up this summer: Craig Safan's '80s cult-favorite Remo Williams - The Adventure Begins, Phillip Lambro's Crypt of The Living Dead, a re-recording of Lambro's rejected score for Chinatown and David Williams' The Prophecy.

Ordering info and more available at

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Elfman returns 'Nacho' combo

Update! With word on Nacho (see below), I emailed Richard Kraft, Danny's agent to ask whether the news was true and if he could shed some light on the subject. He replied with:

Danny Elfman has not removed his name from Nacho Libre. He elected not to take a "Music by" credit.

Danny Elfman was brought in to do a replacement score on for the film. The final mix of the movie includes about 2/3rds of the score Elfman composed with the other third comprised of music retained from the first score (composed by Beck) as well as other music. For this reason, Elfman chose not to take a "Music by" credit on the film or advertisements. Instead, he decided to take credit for the cues he composed in the End Titles to properly identify his contributions to the final film."
Last night... According to info posted at composer/orchestrator Steve Bartek's website, and at the msg board:
"Danny Elfman has taken his name off of "Nacho Libre." Apparently the studio decided to nix a few main cues they spent a lot of time on, and replaced them with music Danny didn't want to be associated with. Consequently, Elfman has withdrawn his name from the credits, though much of his score will still be intact in the film."
And you thought everything would go smoothly for this summer's film scores?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Holst: "Am I not merciful!?!" No.

While I couldn't verify the report with any online news source, word around the film music msg boards and discussion lists is that Hans Zimmer is set to do battle with the Holst Foundation and publishers J Curwen & Sons. According to one post, which cites the London paper the Daily Mail (and please allow me to copy this with a tip of the hat to 'NH'):
"Mr Zimmer admits in the CD sleeve notes that people find the pieces similar, but says he used 'the same language, the same vocabulary, if not the same syntax'. But he will resist the legal claim. His lawyer said, 'Mr Zimmer's work on Gladiator is world-renowned and is not in any sense a copy of Mars. Just listening to the two works is enough to tell any listener the claim has no merit.'"
I'm sure this has absolutely nothing to do with the Gladiator soundtrack being a huge seller and Hans Zimmer being richer than God...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Trevor Jones in da howze!

From the folks at Soncinemad:
The Soncinemad Trevor Jones symphonic concert will take place at the Teatro Monumental, Madrid, in the 1st of July, 2006, at 20:00. The spectacular 120-piece RTVE Simphony Orchestra and Choir will perform a wide selection of suites from Trevor Jones works on a total duration of 120 minutes. The orchestra and choir will be conducted by the composer himelf.

He was recently in Madrid supervising the technical details for the concert and the first orchestra rehearsals.

1. Cliffhanger
2. Merlin
3. For Roseanna
4. Aegis
5. The Last Place on Earth
6. The Last of The Mohicans
7. The Mighty
8. Fields of Freedom (Premiere Mundial)
9.The Dark Crystal
10. Encore I
11. EncoreII
12. Encore III

The tickets for Soncinemad Symphonic Concerts are now available for purchase. You can acquire the tickets for the Trevor Jones’ and Harry Gregson Williams´ two different concerts, online via, by this phone number 902-10-12-12 or through any Caixa Catalunya branch. Additionally, you can purchase the tickets from

Concert Details:
Trevor Jones Symphonic Concert (RTVE Simphony Orchestra)
Date: Saturday 1st July
Time: 20:00 P.M
Place: Teatro Monumental (Madrid)
Prices: 25-35-40-45 €
Trevor Jones in concert

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Intrada: new McKenzie album

Intrada Announces:
In From The Night / Silver Bells
Composed, Orchestrated and Conducted by Mark McKenzir

For this Signature Edition release, Intrada showcases two sensitive,beautiful scores for Hallmark Hall of Fame productions. In From The Night (2006) tells the story of a writer's carefully ordered life that is turned upside down when her 16-year-old nephew, Bobby, unexpectedly arrives at her doorstep. Bobby is an ominous creature, and the center of an ongoing family tug-of-war.

In Silver Bells (2005), Anne Heche plays a lonely widow who unexpectedly and reluctantly finds love. She takes on a 16-year old photography student who had run away from his father while visiting New York. Single father and son reunite a year later, and father falls in love with the lonely widow. Based on Luanne Rice's best selling novel, Rice wrote the novel as a love letter to the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City.

When Mark McKenzie scored these films, he latched onto the common themes of unconditional love in family life. For In From The Night, McKenzie underscores the childlike simplicity of Bobby's traumatized character and the unconditional acceptance he received from his aunt. In Silver Bells, McKenzie infuses the movie with a sense of wonderment amidst the loneliness and family conflict that surfaces around the holidays. Both are warm, orchestral scores and a perfect complement to each other.

This release is limited to 1000 copies.

In stock now. For cover art, track listing, and sound samples, please visit

Monday, June 05, 2006

Soundtrack Preview: 'The Omen'

The Devil made me do it! Beware 6/5/06! Yes, another preview. Check out five samples from Marco Beltrami's score for The Omen remake opening this Tuesday, aka 6/6/06. Beltrami, who studied under Jerry Goldsmith (quick history lesson: Goldsmith won his one and only Oscar for the original The Omen) pays homage to the master in his end title track "Omen 76/06" (referencing "Ave Satani", and "The Killer Storm" among others), and quotes Goldsmith's serene "The Piper Dreams" theme from the original The Omen in "The Adoption" and "The Nanny's Noose". Don't think that Marco rests on the emotional resonance of the original's material (unlike say, that upcoming caped crusader score) to get the job done. True to form, Beltrami unleashes highly entertaining thrills worthy of the Son of Satan in cues like "Ambassador Gets Fired", "Dogs In The Cemetery" and "Alter of Sacrifice". Strangely enough, the signature sound of the original score, the chorus, is not a major feature of Beltrami's score. He does utilize a light choir, but the chorus only appears in the end title track. Enjoy the clips. It's all for you, Damien!

1. The Omen Main Titles
2. A Cross To Bear
3. Dogs In The Cemetery
4. Alter Of Sacrifice
5. Omen 76/06

Links: Purchase The Omen / Varese Sarabande Records

Previous previews: Cars / X-Men: The Last Stand

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's hard out here for a OST pimp

It's summer. The air is gettin' hot (even here in Canada - believe that), the ladies are wearing less and above the A/C din you've got... Zimmer's The Da Vinci Code booming!? My friend, what are you thinking? Deep, liturgical basses, cellos and mournful female vocals do not cut it when the grass needs to be cut. Retreating from the heat and cruising the food court at the mall listening to Morricone's Lolita is not recommended.

While there's some interesting soundtrack material out there -- the orchestral thrills of Caine Davidson's An American Haunting (horror score for jiggling furniture, not mammaries!), Naxos' re-recording of Benjamin Frankel's Hammer Horror Curse of The Werewolf (time to get those hairy backs waxed, guys) and the insistent throb of Cinematic Underground's Brick (to go along with those, ahem, other throbs you feel at the beach?) - none of it manages to match the moods and colours of our sweltering surroundings.

The problem is that summer just isn't good for film music, despite being the season when most of the year's favorites are released. There's just too much going on to underline it all with percolating synths, bombast or soaring choirs (unless there was an Elfman Spider-Man score being released, of course).

This will be the hardest summer yet, since 1989, for this soundtrack fan. True confession: I'm listening to less and less film music when not listening to film music, these days. I think for a lot of people who approach this genre through emotional connections -- and I'm not talking about nerds and dweebs who love Star Wars, Star Trek or Joss Whedon's [insert cancelled title here]. And I'm certainly not talking about people who squirrel away duplicate copies of Varese Club discs because they expect to sell it for Starlog subscription money. I'm talking about the people who love movies implicitly, who have always felt that there was the right soundtrack for any moment. An exciting score can perk you up, or, if you're wallowing in misery, a good emotionally gutting score can let you simmer in sadness. But I've found other, non-OST music satisfying these emotional needs, and doing it better. And, since it's summer, I don't have to listen to it with the windows rolled up. Yes, you know what I'm talking about. Next time you see a sweaty nerd suffering inside his Corolla, windows rolled up with the sun broiling him in his Family Guy t-shirt, he may just be soaked in sweat and soaking in "Kyrie For The Magdalene". Dude, take the summer off. Those soundtracks will be there in September! - Ryan Keaveney