Latest reviews of new albums:
  • i_sell_deadComposed by Jeff Grace
  • moviescore media MMS-09016 / 2009 / 44:15

A tongue-in-cheek horror film from director Glenn McQuaid, I Sell the Dead stars Dominic Monaghan (perhaps best known for his role in Hetty Wainthrop Investigates) as a grave-robber who recounts his various adventures to a priest in the hours before he is due to be executed. MovieScore Media has developed a good relationship with composer Jeff Grace, previously releasing his creative (generally small-scale) scores for The Roost, Joshua and The Last Winter.  This new score is completely different – it’s still creative, but everything is on a much larger scale.  Grace has taken the comic nature of some of the film as his inspiration and delivered a score which offers a few tips of the hat to some horror music greats of the past (particularly Bernard Herrmann!)

This is mostly big, orchestral music which sometimes sounds like it could come from a Hitchcock films, at other times like it could be from some hitherto-undiscovered John Williams horror score from the late 1970s – and when the whistling kicks in (and a couple of other times too) maybe it’s even by Ennio Morricone!?  And the remarkable thing is that, for all this, Grace pulls it off without directly quoting anyone – and more remarkably still, for all the different influences, the album flows perfectly.  The crisp orchestration is beautifully-done, brought out nicely by the performance and recording.  This is a really impressive album, with enjoyable music which is simply delightful to hear.  Whether the brass is pounding, the strings are shimmering or the soloist is whistling – it’s witty and entertaining.  Highly recommended!  ****

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