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The Darkest Hour
  • Composed by Tyler Bates
  • Lakeshore Records / 2012 / 50:08

Aliens attack earth by using the power supply in The Darkest Hour.  The inconvenience of not being able to watch television in this nightmare scenario is hard to imagine, but at least my electric toothbrush holds its charge for a couple of weeks, so I’d still have minty fresh breath every morning for that period.  The musical accompaniment for this exciting enterprise comes from Tyler Bates – his fourth new film score of 2011 (and he’s done some television work too).  It is largely electronic and I can’t help but wonder whether someone attacked the power supply during either its composition or recording (possibly both).

Bleep!  Squeeeeeee…dit!  BAM!  Never before has it been so easy to write out how a film score sounds.  Apart from that highly-descriptive effort, perhaps the other best way I could describe it is as a collection of noises – some of which occur at the same time, others occur at different times.  I suppose some people might call it music, but then some people call McDonald’s a restaurant.  I was widely pilloried earlier in the year when I not only found some redeeming features in this composer’s Conan the Barbarian, I actually quite enjoyed it.  Redeeming features are notable by their absence in The Darkest Hour, easily the most unimpressive film score album I’ve heard in a very long time.  It might work wonders as accompaniment to the film, but the only thing it works away from it is my patience.  The darkest hour, indeed.  NO STARS

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  1. elfenthalsmith (Reply) on Sunday 11 December, 2011 at 21:24

    Sitting through the 50 minutes of this album must not have been easy. You have my sympathy.

  2. orion_mk3 (Reply) on Monday 12 December, 2011 at 01:17

    Hard to believe that Timur Bekmambetov, whether as producer or director, was until recently soliciting scores from Danny Elfman. Pretty big quality gap from that to Tyler Bates…

  3. Rodney (Reply) on Monday 12 December, 2011 at 12:53

    Wow, no stars! What a rare occassion. By the way, why no review of Deathly Hallows Part 2??? (Sorry to nag, but having read your reviews of the other HP scores, I need closure!)

  4. Edmund Meinerts (Reply) on Monday 12 December, 2011 at 12:53

    Hee hee, epic. Reviews like this are why I keep coming back to your site, James. 🙂