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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday September 16, 2019 

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PERFECT STORM, THE: SOUNDTRACK

"Talk about setting yourself a challenge. I can only assume James Horner empathised so strongly with the plight of the fishermen battling the Perfect Storm, that he decided to stack the odds against himself and see if he could still make it home with a rousing score. What other explanation could there be for the inanity of his soundtrack’s incessantly repeated motif, and its sheer brilliance in every other respect?

Comprising the first four notes of the major scale in a six-note circular pattern that rolls around and around . . . and around and around . . . until seasickness seems like the apotheosis of stability in comparison, Horner underpins the score with a theme that has less emotional impact than your average Spice Girls chorus.

Not that there is a dearth of powerful melodies; its just that they’re constantly followed by wave after wave of the sickly six-noter. Yet Horner is defiant in the face of his self-imposed handicap. He may have a built a palace on the flimsiest of foundations; it may be a trifle shaky; but there’s no overlooking the gems inside.

In fact, they even sparkle at the front gates. The opening guitars of Coming Home From The Sea glitter invitingly as they beckon in lush, romantic strings of the noble, heroic style that Horner does so well. The violins veer for a moment to an ominous edge, with underlying piano rumble foreshadowing the drama to come, and then the big surprise, thundering drums, a flourish of brass and yes, lightning flashes of wailing electric guitar.

No-one coaxes a richer sound from an orchestra than Horner, and as the tension mounts and the action cues unfold, he combines these elements brilliantly with his typically dense and engaging string and woodwind arrangements.

John Mellencamp wraps things up with a simple song, based around our old six-note friend in the guise of a pop riff. He does OK with what he’s given, but it’s uninspiring to say the least.

Nevertheless, mediocre pop song, incredibly annoying motif and all, I’m recommending this soundtrack. It almost sunk under its six-note rolling wave, but there’s enough buoyancy in the diverse instrumental colours, and those noble, heroic phrases to keep us swimming in emotion."
Brad Green

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REVIEWS

TITLE: Perfect Storm (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

ID: SK89282
Sony

COMPOSER: James Horner

PRODUCER: James Horner, Simon Rhodes

FEATURED ARTISTS: John Mellencamp

TRACKS: 10







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