Soundtracks

Spectre [OST] (CD)

Renowned film composer Thomas Newman's soundtrack for the latest Bond flick ebbs and flows with nuanced atmospheres and vibrant crescendos. Tracks like "Donna Lucia" are slow and mysterious, allowing tension to build until it boils over on the movements of "Snow Plane," which doesn't need its filmic hero to generate suspense as its sixteenth-note beats and strings send your pulse racing. The best part? Mexican percussion group Tambuco joins Newman's orchestra to give opener "Los Muertos Vivos Estan" its syncopated underpinning the whole soundtrack some levity with the lively "Day of the Dead." Moody and thrilling, the soundtrack is another exercise in excellence by Newman.

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The Light Princess [Original Cast Recording] (CD)

A major hit for the National Theater since it opened in 2013, Tori Amos' The Light Princess finally releases a cast recording. Based on the Scottish fairytale of the same name, the music elevates the fantasy to painfully human levels of grief and beauty. Sublime!

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Amy [OST] (CD)

The critically acclaimed documentary Amy showed in heartbreaking detail the rise and tragic downfall of Amy Winehouse, who was easily one of the most talented vocalists of her generation. To satiate fans who sadly will never see a third Amy Winehouse album, the Amy soundtrack corrals various live and rare tracks by Winehouse along with Antonio Pinto’s moving score. With another artist, this could feel gratuitous or like grasping at straws, but not so here. Winehouse’s variations on her songs often reveal new shades. A downtempo version of Back to Black’s “Unholy War” supersedes the original, its morose intensity better fitting the lyrics’ torch-song devotion. Triumphant live versions of “Rehab” and “Love Is a Losing Game” show an artist at the height of her powers. “Like Smoke” is the single that could have been, and its demo version is a nice window into the song’s development before adding Nas’ rap. Though nothing could fill the place in fans’ hearts where Amy once was, the Amy soundtrack is a worthy keepsake and companion to the superb documentary.

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Lost Themes (CD)

John Carpenter, known mostly for directing movies such as HalloweenEscape From New York and Big Trouble In Little China is releasing his first ever solo album (not accompanying a film). That’s right, not only is the man a landmark director he is also a pioneer in the minimalist synth genre. In collaboration with his son Cody (of the band Ludrium) and his godson Daniel Davies (who composed the songs for I, FrankensteinLost Themes is an excellent portrayal of Carpenter’s damn near trademark sound that we as moviegoers have unknowingly heard for decades. Without a celluloid backdrop with which to re-purpose these cinematic hypnotic synthesizers or erupting guitars, Carpenter’s compositions take on a narrative life of their own. The nine-track opus starts strong with the menacing “Vortex.” A track which immediately stands alongside any contemporary electronic musician out there today. It is not until you get to “Mystery” that the out and out epic horror feel of the work jumps out. “Night,” the final track on the album, is an atmospheric epilogue that fades out of view as somberly as the imaginary pictures that have danced in your head.

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Marvel Guardians Of The Galaxy Cosmic Mix Vol. 1 - Music From The Animated TV Series  [OST] (CD)

Though the soundtrack to the film was an essential mix of dad rock catered perfectly for budding ears, the soundtrack to the cartoon series proves to be as successful as the ultimate dream mix tape. Featuring hits from Thin Lizzy, Joe Walsh, Three Dog Night, Cameo, Queen, Peaches and Herb...*phew* just buy it. So many hits!

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