This is a score that has always intrigued me; I was aware of it but had never heard anything from it or indeed seen any clips from the movie. When Digitmovies announced its release a buzz went around all the discussion boards and soundtrack web sites. So another Nicolai to add to ones collection, and one that has been anticipated and hyped considerably. I however do have certain reservations about the score, ok they are not all bad, and before you read on remember that a review is a personal opinion of the reviewer who’s tastes and perceptions maybe completely different from yours. The CD opens with the central theme from the movie, which is a very pleasant and easygoing affair Nicolai employing many of the musical trademarks that we associate with Italian crime, thriller and Giallo movies. Harpsichord introduces the theme which itself acts as a support to a laid back flute solo percussion is added to the mix as we hear a, dare I say typical sounding style of theme that could so easily be Morricone, Micalizzi or even Ferrio. The percussion is subtle and unobtrusive and harpsichord embellishes this further to create a pleasing backing to a enjoyable but a fairly unmemorable theme that is taken up by the string section to give it its full working along with piano and more pronounced punctuation form harpsichord. Track 2 is a mainly un musical affair, short stabs of notation being the substance and mainstay of the cue, not saying that this is an awful track or one that is un listenable, because that is not so, but its just a track that is again so typical of Italian scoring and the Italian film music sound, snippets of piano, underlined with menacing but kind of quiet and creepy strings open the composition, punctuated by one note stabs or interjections on harpsichord, moaning muted trumpet is added every so often, and random bass guitar sound can be heard being dropped in here and there for effect. Yes this is a highly atmospheric piece that I am sure works very well within the context of the movie, but as a stand alone listening experience it leaves one a little non plus. But this is sometimes the problem with film music CD reviews, do we judge it or review as a score with the movie or as a CD listening experience away from the images it was intended to support and enhance. For example a composer could write lots of themes upbeat tracks and great little tunes with amazing hooks, but would they fit the movie or sell the CD?
I am not in anyway saying that Nicolai has produced a bad or un-original work for this project, what I am stating is that it is not that different or removed from anything else he has written to be called remarkable or outstanding, and in certain cases a few of the tracks did begin to grind upon my hearing and become hard to get into. Tracks that are interesting however are cues numbers. 1,4,7,10,13,16 and 18 which all recall the main theme at some point and also include a pleasant secondary theme that raises its head at times during the proceedings. So a satisfying and fairly good work by the composer, but certainly not a blow you away brilliant or groundbreaking one.