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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  • Composed by Trevor Rabin
  • Walt Disney Records download / 2010 / 43:25

Disney attempts to recapture the success of its National Treasure movies with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, made by the same producer (Jerry Bruckheimer) and director (Jon Turteltaub) and with the same star (Nicolas Cage).  This time Cage is playing a sorcerer and – believe it or not – he has an apprentice.  Having not seen the film, I can only hazard a completely wild stab in the dark as to whether the forces of good ultimately prevail over the forces of evil – your guess is just as good as mine.  Anyway, Trevor Rabin is on board to provide the music; the National Treasure scores are amongst his most entertaining.  This is pretty much more of the same thing, but never quite comes together so well, primarily due to the lack of particularly memorable themes.

Rabin’s music is almost always pretty cheap-sounding (he’s pretty much the only guy left writing the kind of score that Media Ventures would provide to action films in the 1990s) and a bit naff, but he’s perfectly capable of coming up with some good tunes which generally make his better albums what they are.  The album’s opening cue is interesting, to say the least.  If you’ve ever wondered what Paul Dukas’s most famous work would sound like if reorchestrated by a four-year-old and mixed in with the little jig theme from Pirates of the Caribbean then (a) you’re really very odd, but (b) your Christmas has come early.  It’s absolutely bizarre, the sort of thing that an elementary school pupil would probably be embarrassed to write.  What’s even stranger is that the “synth demo” of the piece which is provided as the album’s final track sounds no more cheap (and no more synthetic) than the final version.  Despite that horrific start (and end), there are some decent pieces in between (one action track, “Morgana Fight”, is fantastic) and taken as a whole this download-only release is not that bad, but I can’t see many choosing to listen to it over Rabin’s previous scores for the director.  Oh, and the cover design… words fail me.  ** 1/2

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