Latest reviews of new albums:
Walk of Shame
  • Composed by John Debney
  • Lakeshore Records / 2014 / 31m

A highbrow arthouse movie expected to strongly compete for the Palme d’Or, I can’t help but think it is somehow fitting that Walk of Shame is being released so soon after the death of Alain Resnais.  Elizabeth Banks stars as a news reporter hoping to land a big job at a tv network but on the day of her interview she finds herself stranded in Los Angeles without any money, telephone or identification, which requires her to spend the next 100 minutes contemplating the writings of Goethe.  Or something like that.  The score comes from the versatile John Debney, and expecting the standard strings/guitars/general plinky-plonky romcom score I was surprised by the opening track’s rather harder rock-influenced nature.  Not really my cup of tea so much, but at least something different.

But then tracks two through eighteen ditch that for the most part and go back to the standard stuff.  It’s mostly pretty pleasant – gentle synths, guitars, bass and percussion, occasional interludes from (possibly sampled) strings and winds – all very tuneful, of course, but the trouble is the tunes just aren’t particularly memorable, which is the one thing that tends to separate the wheat from the chaff with these scores (this genre is surely the most difficult for a composer to write truly interesting music for).  I like it best when it does become a little more “heavy” – there are occasional techno moments, at least offering a distinguishing feature and perhaps a reason to return to the score ahead of other similar ones; but the majority of it just enters through one ear and immediately exits through the other one.  Another hindrance to the listening experience is that most of the tracks are very short and even then are generally made up of two or three even shorter ones edited together.  It’s almost certainly perfectly fine in the film but I’m not really sure what audience would be that fond of the album.

Rating: ** | |

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