A romantic comedy with Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston (and Martin Sheen!), Love Happens was described by Robert Abele in the LA Times as “hopelessly cliched” – a fact enforced by a sentence in this album’s liner notes – “…they realise that in order to move forward, they need to let go of the past.” Who’d have thought!? One thing I certainly wouldn’t expect, reading the above, is that the music for this film would be composed by Christopher Young. But the master of horror left his pumpkins to one side for a while in order to tackle something different (and has since gone on to score When in Rome). Of course, it’s not the first time he’s worked in this genre, but it’s still a nice change of pace compared with the generally heavy music he’s been writing in the last few years.
The La-La Land Records blurb for the release describes it as a “breathtakingly beautiful orchestral score” but, while an orchestra is virtually ever-present, it generally sits subtly behind a variety of soloists (piano, bass, and especially guitar). The music is really lovely, sprightly and catchy and happy and tuneful – while this genre might not inspire film composers to be at their most creative, it does frequently inspire them to write very pleasant music and this score is clearly no exception. There’s one darker track (“Mind Noise”, which is actually so much darker, it’s not hard to imagine it in one of Young’s signature horror scores) – otherwise it’s summertime all the way. It’s sure to appeal to all fans of Young’s lighter music. The album has just over 45 minutes of score followed by about 20 minutes of “bonus tracks” – it’s not made clear why these are bonus tracks (they sound just like the rest of the score) but maybe it’s an attempt to provide the best possible album (the first 45 minutes) and then present the rest of the score as the bonus tracks, for those who want that – if so, then major applause from me, since that’s the perfect way of producing a soundtrack album these days, if you ask me. ***