Latest reviews of new albums:
Wild Isles

It’s been a long time coming – so long that I assumed it wasn’t going to happen – but one of my favourite musical partnerships has finally been reformed, with George Fenton making the return to BBC natural history documentaries. It’s been 12 years since the last one (the incredible Frozen Planet) and it’s fair to say that these years have been somewhat barren, musically – there have been some great exceptions, but I still remember the shudder I experienced when I watched Planet Earth II with its jaw-dropping visuals being accompanied by crass trailer-style music that couldn’t have been less graceful.


Eiffel is a fictionalised romantic drama about Gustave Eiffel, whose name became synonymous with one of the great landmarks of the world, the Gustave Bridge. The French film was released in 2021 but despite featuring music by one of the world’s leading film composers it didn’t receive any sort of album release at the time, now arriving (irritatingly on CD only) in Japan. (If you thought buying American CD releases was expensive…)

February round-up

February is the month of love, hosting as it does St Valentine’s Day, the traditional festival of romance that bolsters the incomes of florists and chocolatiers the world over. Of course it is not just an opportunity to express our feelings for all those people we love, but also to all the new film music released during the month. Today I will be looking back at four of the month’s releases, featuring new music by Christophe Beck, John Debney, Andrew Morgan Smith and Lorne Balfe.

Beyond the Screen

Trailblazing composer Rachel Portman managed to build a hugely successful career in film music in an era when it was even more dominated by men than it is today, become the first female composer to win an Oscar in the process. Her trademark style of charming melodies has graced so many films over the years, and it’s interesting that her career really took off around the same time that the great Georges Delerue left us – his is undoubtedly the film music that hers most resembles, as if she was picking up the mantle from him.


Set during WWI, a group of soldiers holed up in a German bunker find themselves with a supernatural presence gradually turning them against each other. The horror film hasn’t got great reviews but one thing everyone comments on is its fantastic score, by Andrew Morgan Smith. The composer says director Adrian Langley asked him to write a 1940s-type horror score and while personally I think it’s a bit more 1980s/90s, he left no stone unturned in delivering thrills and spills.

The 13 Lords of the Shogun

A Japanese tv historical drama, The 13 Lords of the Shogun ran throughout 2022. With 48 episodes – each lasting 45 minutes – it’s quite the viewing commitment. I’ve absolutely no idea what it’s about or what it’s like – typical of the deep level of research I commit while writing this drivel – other […]

January round-up

If you cast your mind back five days, you will return to the month of January, traditionally occurring early in the year. Of course, this statement only holds true at the time I’m writing this post, and will not be true again until 6 January 2024, which just goes to show the fleeting nature of […]


A gripping, intense thriller directed by Romain Gavras, Athena is the sort of political cinema which sets minds and bodies stirring and was once far more common than today, from filmmakers like ‎Gillo Pontecorvo and Costa-Gavras. And, well, that’s the second time I’ve used the name Gavras: the apple certainly didn’t fall far from the […]

Off the beaten track, vol. 1

One way a website like this can add value to the world is by pointing out hidden gems that might otherwise have passed people by. In this new series, I’ll round up a handful of such albums that have come to my attention. I’ll focus on stuff I like – there seems little point in […]

Oscar bait round-up

It’s that time of year again when everyone gives awards to each other (except the Grammys, whose very clear eligibility window runs from the third Sunday following Passover plus 75 days except in years where there’s a general election in Belgium in which case you have to add on the fourth largest prime number less […]

Avatar: The Way of Water

The spectacle of Avatar: The Way of Water is incredible – HFR blah blah, light plot blah blah – it’s an intense feast for eyes and ears, so immersive and with by far the best effects I’ve ever seen in a movie. Never, ever bet against James Cameron. Anyone who didn’t like the first one […]

Prancer: A Christmas Tale

If this website serves any useful purpose at all, then surely that is to highlight music to people that they may like but hadn’t considered hearing, or weren’t aware of. All of us film music nerds have our lists of composers who we think – if only fate had intervened in a slightly different way, […]


Human beings are fickle creatures – I should know, I am one! Our opinions can be fluid, change over time. Being a hobbyist reviewer of film music, I occasionally look back at old reviews I wrote (usually to remind myself whether I liked something or not as I consider listening to it again) – sometimes […]

The Fabelmans

Everything about the collaboration between Steven Spielberg and John Williams is extraordinary, really, including the numbers – fifty years (!) after their first film together comes their 29th (!) and their 31st collaboration overall. This time Spielberg finally makes the film he’s been musing for decades, about himself (though I’m sure many of his previous […]

Overwhelm the Sky

I often write about the music for films I haven’t seen (which some people take great objection to – I’ll take up that debate another time). Being the dedicated professional that I am, I usually research some movies at great length in a bid to be as informed as possible and capable of capturing the […]

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