Latest reviews of new albums:
There Be Dragons: Secretos de Pasion
  • Composed by Robert Folk
  • Varèse Sarabande / 2012 / 52:18

Roland Joffé’s latest, There Be Dragons, is set in the Spanish Civil War and stars Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley and Dougray Scott.  I learned this from the IMDB.  But check this out – also learned from the IMDB – it has a character in it called Father Lazaro and he is played by an actor called Rusty Lemorande.  Rusty Lemorande!  I wish I was called Rusty Lemorande.  The film’s original release featured a score by Stephen Warbeck, but for the US it was re-cut and re-scored (a process that led to a total box office take of $975,000 – evidently it was worthwhile).  I’ve never heard the Warbeck score – but now Robert Folk’s replacement has been released by Varèse Sarabande – and it’s a real corker.  Old-school, thematic, passionate – it’s fabulous stuff, the most purely enjoyable score album I’ve heard in a while.

The two main themes are both fantastic.  There’s an epic sweep to the main theme (actually, to the whole score) – massed orchestral forces are joined by a guitar and the effect is glorious.  It’s that guitar which really adds the colour to the score and elevates it to a higher level; and so much passion runs throughout it.  The love theme – introduced in the appropriately-titled “Romance” – is another winner, again with an old-fashioned pomp to it.  Throw in the action music – and there is loads of action music, Folk giving the orchestra and choir a real workout – and you end up with a wonderful album which is bound to appeal to those who like scores like Cutthroat Island and Independence Day.  The only minor flaw which stops it being on that level is that literally everything is made to sound big and important – as early as the sixth of 28 tracks is something called “Love and War Finale” and just about all 28 of the tracks actually sound like they’re a finale to something – but I’m sure that most won’t be overly concerned with that.  What a wonderful surprise and true joy this album is.  **** 1/2 |

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  1. Antineutrino (Reply) on Sunday 11 March, 2012 at 11:32

    The music itself is great (a clear contender for any best of 2012 lists). Unfortunately this is once again a film music album without any dynamics.

  2. christopher (Reply) on Tuesday 29 January, 2013 at 06:39

    I’m just hearing this for the first time, and I’m really liking it! I totally agree with what you said about the guitar. What a cool effect. Every time it comes in it improves the score. The awesomeness of it all does get a little overbearing, but that’s a small price to pay for so much awesomeness.