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Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Composed by Theodore Shapiro
  • La-La Land LLLCD 1139 / 2010 / 44:22

Based on a series of books which are apparently very famous in America, Diary of a Wimpy Kid tells the tale of a middle school boy who is picked on and has to face the various trials of life.  It was received pretty well when released earlier in the year.  The score was by Theodore Shapiro, evidently fed up of constantly scoring serious adult dramas and he fancied something a little more lighthearted for a change.  While I wouldn’t say Shapiro has a particularly recognisable sound (in fairness I haven’t heard a large proportion of his work), it’s certainly the case that he has a certain “brand” to his music – these comedies he scores one after the other all offer different challenges of course, but those which allow him to operate within a more emotional musical environment (even though that emotion is inevitably rather slushy most of the time) do allow him to show off his skills.

This score has a pretty large number of good tunes – there’s a main theme which is never developed particularly well, but is very attractive whenever it appears; and many other nice tunes which come and go.  The score’s (or at least, the album’s) problem is that they come and go rather quickly.  There are 44 minutes of music here which is made up of 34 very different tracks.  Now, having a large number of very short tracks isn’t necessarily a problem (look at most albums of Bernard Herrmann music, or indeed Thomas Newman) but in a madcap comedy score like this (I hear little homages to Nino Rota, Danny Elfman, Jerry Goldsmith, no doubt some others), it does tend to mean lots of ideas come out but never really have chance to go anywhere.  However – it’s still an enjoyable album, as are just about all the other ones I’ve heard featuring his music.  But it would be quite nice if he could flex his musical muscles on a different type of film.  ***

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