- Composed by John Frizzell
- Varese Sarabande 302 066 986/ 2009 / 47:48
It’s been a while since John Frizzell scored something as high-profile as Whiteout. The film hasn’t been terribly well-received, but still, it stars Kate Beckinsale, which is all I need to know. She’s trying to hunt down a murderer in Alaska. One reason I like this film (well, apart from Beckinsale) despite having never seen it is that it’s the first time I can ever remember a score produced by Hans Zimmer and composed by one of his underlings (in this case Atli Orvarsson) being rejected and replaced by a score by someone who doesn’t fall into that category. I don’t know who it was that saw the light – but whoever you are, have a drink on me. Frizzell’s score might be no masterpiece, but there’s a level of craft and attention to detail in it which makes it more than worth a listen. For instance, his use of an electric cello to accompany the cold, white landscape is inspired.
But the score’s most notable feature is its action music, of which there is a surprising amount. It’s nothing groundbreaking – it’s just well-written, exciting music. It’s not high art or anything – of course not – but it is most entertaining. Best of all, Frizzell knows when to dial things back – so we don’t get hit by an unlistenable onslaught, he doesn’t over-orchestrate everything, instead he keeps things in check and goes just as far as he needs to and no further. It’s a shame that doing something is now considered praiseworthy (one might hope it should be a pretty basic skill of any film composer) – but we are where we are. As I said, it’s not going to pull up any trees, but it’s a professional and entertaining release and I thoroughly enjoy listening to it. ***