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Dictionary.com says: "Pulse - a throb of life, emotion, etc"; movie-wave.net says - false advertising
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2006 Lakeshore Records; review copyright (c) 2006 James Southall
Since attracting rather a lot of attention, and some well-earned praise, from the film scoring community after writing an effective score for John Frankenheimer's enjoyable thriller Ronin (and replacing no lesser figure than Jerry Goldsmith on the film), it seemed that Elia Cmiral was destined for big things. Unfortunately things haven't worked out, with his music for the disastrous Battlefield Earth being every bit as bad as everything else about the film and his career seemingly never really recovering. To see his name attached to a new movie is something of a surprise - but sadly the movie again seems to be one which plunges the depths, with the Wes Craven-scripted Pulse attracting the kind of vicious reviews which don't actually get dished out all that often.
The music is typical modern horror music, a kind of sub-Christopher Young or Marco Beltrami effort which growls along for a while, the orchestra delivering an exercise in not really doing anything, with the occasional punctuation from a sudden loud bang or, best of all, some electronic drum loops. Needless to say, just occasionally there's a little tender piano solo. The reason that horror films are virtually all scored this way today is because it's an effective approach, but like most of the rest of them, Pulse just doesn't work on CD. Why is Christopher Young the only one who seems able to write this sort of thing in a way which does work on CD? One of life's mysteries, I guess.
One thing in the album's favour is that having the film's title emblazoned on the front cover might just prompt your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/dog/cat/goldfish to check your pulse if they find you lying prostrate while listening to the CD - there has to be a chance that it will have slowed down to nothing. Another is that it allows me to marvel once again at the vague physical resemblance between Elia Cmiral and Liam Neeson. But I'm afraid the positives run out after that and I'm not sure that's really enough to recommend a purchase. Honestly, couldn't someone either acknowledge that these things shouldn't be put out on CD - or try to find a different way of doing them?