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Composed by
JOHN FRIZZELL

Rating
**

Album running time
73:55

Tracks
1: The Discovery (1:51)
2: Falling Apart (1:55)
3: The Arctic Warrior (1:37)
4: The Deal (3:16)
5: The Antonia Graza (3:18)
6: Welcome Aboard (1:53)
7: How's It Going Up There (:56)
8: Falling Through (:55)
9: Touring the Ship (2:14)
10: The Marie Celeste (1:36)
11: I Saw a Little Girl (1:45)
12: No Unexpected Guests (2:12)
13: Bullet Holes (1:08)
14: Carina di Capitano (:52)
15: Katie Appears (1:47)
16: Meeting the Captain (2:44)
17: The Bodies (1:23)
18: Francesca Appears (1:29)
19: The Freezer (1:10)
20: Finding Gold (1:10)
21: Work to Do (1:53)
22: Santos Dies (1:21)
23: My Little Box (4:09)
24: Go to Hell (1:55)
25: Bon Appetite (1:58)
26: Katie's Dolls (1:22)
27: The Ballroom Reverts (1:37)
28: Francesca's Theme (1:00)
29: Epps Meets Katie (1:44)
30: Survivor (1:12)
31: Katie Disappears (1:14)
32: The Fight (2:33)
33: Repairs (1:29)
34: Underwater (1:59)
35: Greer's Body (:59)
36: Murphy's Body (1:19)
37: I Guess It's Over (5:33)
38: The Graza Explodes (:39)
39: The Souls Ascend (3:24)

Performed by
UNNAMED ORCHESTRA
Conducted by
NICK INGMAN
Vocals
DESSISLAVA STEFANOVA

Orchestrated by
ANDREW KINNEY
FRANK BENNETT

Engineered by
RICK WINQUEST
Edited by
TOMMY LOCKETT
Produced by
JOHN FRIZZELL

Released by
VAR»SE SARABANDE
Serial number
VSD-6419

Artwork copyright (c) 2002 Warner Bros.; review copyright (c) 2003 James Southall


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GHOST SHIP

Completely empty
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL

As you know, I hate to go on and on about the same thing time after time, I really do; but one of my great bugbears, my bÍte noir I suppose, is film music albums that are the wrong length. We get half an hour of Spartacus but we get an hour and a quarter of Ghost Ship. Ain't life strange.

Anyway, I usually say for albums of this length that there's a decent half-hour album waiting to burst out. In fact, I have a hotkey set up to save me typing it so often. But I'm not sure even that's true here. John Frizzell has never quite burst through onto the scene as some probably expected him to. His biggest film has probably been Dante's Peak, the reasonable Pierce Brosnan-starring volcano picture, but little else leaps out from his filmography. Recently he's scored a few of these cheap horror films; this one stars none other than Juliana Marguiles and Ron Eldard, former ER co-stars, along with Gabriel Byrne, who's never in bad films, obviously.

The music is a mixture of things. The opening cue, "The Discovery", is a fairly vague, generic James Horner-style brooding opening; "Falling Apart" is a generic horror movie strings piece; but things look up in the muscular "The Arctic Warrior". Later on, "I Saw A Little Girl" is a lovely piece. In the grand finale, "The Souls Ascend", you wonder whether you've stepped into a Marc Shaiman comedy score by mistake; there's enough schmaltz in those three minutes to last a lifetime. It's lovely though. Main trouble is, virtually all of the cues are very short - there's a whopping 39 of them on the album, and most pass so quickly you've barely even noticed they're there.

The orchestrations are disappointing: what is probably a huge London orchestra is made to sound really quite small and weedy. Just as there's a knack for making a small ensemble sound big by using clever orchestration, so there's a knack for making a big ensemble sound small by using poor orchestration.

I'm not really sure who's going to buy this, and less sure still who might listen to it. It's so generic and so damned long, you need some endurance to see it through. Film music at its most anonymous.

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