I first discovered Philippe Rombi a few years ago when I heard his score for SWIMMING POOL. I was attracted to his music for its melodic and infectious nature and likeness to the music of composers such as Georges Delerue and Michel Legrand. He has the ability to work on any type of film and compose a score which is enriching and supportive to it. His style is melodic and, by turns, grandiose, intimate or effectively emotive. Since hearing SWIMMING POOL and discovering other scores such as LOVE ME IF YOU DARE, the luxurious and haunting ANGEL and the marvelously delicate and poignant music for RICKY, my initial feeling about the composer has not altered but has been confirmed with each and every assignment. My respect for his music and distinctive style has grown and I look forward to every new release of his music.
LA NOUVELLE GUERRE DES BOUTONS is a superb score. Rombi has created a soundtrack that literally ticks all the boxes. It is intimate, highly emotional, romantic but also boisterous, comedic and exciting. The disc begins with the “Main Title” or “Generique Debut” where the composer commences with solo horn to which is added subtle and delicate use of woods and strings, creating a delightful and slightly melancholy piece which becomes the core of Rhombi’s soundtrack. I love the way in which the Maestro combines woods with strings and punctuates both elements with delicate and pensive piano which is itself lightly augmented by pizzicato commas and full stops. This opening for the score has a wistful and playful air about it, conjuring up summer days and rolling countryside. In many ways it evokes memories of some of James Horner’s work such as COCOON and the lighter more romantic moments from THE ROCKETEER. It’s a wholesome and carefree sound that garners much appreciation from the listener.
Philippe Rombi has risen to the challenge on this particular assignment – more so than on others he has been involved with – it is an exuberant score containing tinges of pathos and some of the most elegant and emotive tone poems I have heard in a while. I was particularly impressed and drawn to track 6 “Paul et Simone” which is a short but affecting composition; a fragile piece relying on subtle and light nuances performed on piano and woods, underlined and held together by strings and made further tantalizing by delicate placing of barely heard chimes. Track 7 “Les Longeverne Contre-Attaquent/Le Premier Bouton” is one of the more lengthy cues on the disc and begins with a fanfare which develops into a full-blown proud theme performed by strings and brass. The beginning soon fades away and the composition settles into some wonderfully clever writing and orchestration with the emphasis on utilization of pizzicato which is masterfully employed to create an atmosphere of humour and mischief with just a touch of apprehension. The cue ends with a crescendo where the composer combines the strings and brass with a children’s choir, bringing the cue to a triumphant conclusion. Overall this is a wonderful score to have in one’s collection and is a gem of a soundtrack from a composer who will return again and again to entertain us with more delights and enthral us with his mesmerizing music. Packaged marvellously by MUSIC BOX RECORDS with many stills, eye-arresting cover art and informative notes. Highly recommended.