Latest reviews of new albums:
Escape from Tomorrow
  • Composed by Abel Korzeniowski
  • Sugar Free Music / 2013 / 22m

After the showing of Escape from Tomorrow at Sundance, most viewers had two reactions – first, “how did this film get made?”  Second, “this will never be shown again.”  The film takes place in and was shot entirely at Walt Disney World in Florida, without Disney’s permission, and depicts a rather less-than-magical day for one particular family.  Abel Korzeniowski’s score has to tread a fine line between pastiche of the kind of happy music heard in shows and parades around Disney’s various theme parks, while adding a darker dramatic undercurrent and at times outright horror.  The composer treads this line well, with a score that reflects the competing forces.  It opens with a beautiful John Barry-like theme in “Gates of Tomorrow” and the sweet, lyrical sound continues through “Fantasy Girl” before things take a distinctly darker turn in “Fireworks”.

The two sides of the coin are both at play in “Magic Kingdom, Part 1” with the lovely main theme turning round a much darker corner.  Things take an abrupt turn into considerably darker territory in “Mystery Man”, a pretty oppressive combination of electronics and piercing strings; the mood continues in the more mysterious, but equally jarring, “Lost in Caves”, before a brief return to the romantic strings in “Magic Kingdom, Part 2”.  “The Grand Finale” sounds like it comes from a 1950s melodrama, with its rolling piano line and sweeping strings and ravishing melody, before the album ends with the Sherman Brothers pastiche “Imaginate!” – I can’t say I’m much of a fan of any of any cynical attempt to poke fun at what is meant to be innocent and magical fun for children and I’m afraid the song is a million miles from the quality of any of the genuine ones.  The very brief album is generally entertaining but when you take the couple of nightmarish cues in the middle and the song away, you only end up with about 15 minutes, and nice as they are, frankly they’re not nearly as good as any of the things they pastiche.

Rating: *** | |

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  1. Erik Woods (Reply) on Sunday 24 March, 2013 at 21:40

    This rating is far too low for the best score of the year so far!


  2. orion_mk3 (Reply) on Thursday 28 March, 2013 at 14:48

    Korzeniowski is an exciting up-and-comer, but I agree that there are sections of the score that really drag it down. Then again, after reading the reviews, I don’t think I’d like the movie much either, despite the pains the filmmakers went through.