In these days of film music being purveyed by varying methods and also via different musical mediums such as samples, or synthetics as well as symphonic and acoustic, I get a little frustrated that certain composers who are so talented get overlooked, Theodore Shapiro is one such uber talented composer arranger, his inventive music has graced many a movie in recent years and he has also worked on a multitude of genres. With each project his musical prowess in my opinion has grown and he is a composer who I think is capable of anything no matter what genre of film, whatever the scenarios are etc. BOMBSHELL is probably one of his most inventive scores, and one that I will say here and now I enjoyed immensely. I love the way in which the composer creates atmospheres and layers of moods via his use of both upbeat percussion and female voices that are underlined and supported by strings and infectious sounding backing tracks. Certainly one to check out and add to the collection, the same can be said for LAST CHRISTMAS although its billed as having a soundtrack by Wham and George Michael, the actual score is by Shapiro, it’s a subtle and light work, which contains lots of melancholy and is overflowing with touching and emotive interludes, these may not be memorable but are definitely entertaining and work well in the movie and away from it.
Listening to the score is in my opinion a carefree and uncomplicated task, the music washes over you, and just gives pleasure. Shapiro, is a talented composer and an artist that really needs to be recognised more fully for his accomplishments in the field of film scoring. I for one loved his CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS and also liked the film (probably a bit too much, but that’s another story). His score was a parody of everything that was remotely comic book hero, but it also had to it a lushness and a commanding aura, containing great themes, that were rich and vibrantly affecting. It was a kind of SUPERMAN, meets BATMAN meets a glitzy show tune. Very entertaining.
But then there is his dark and atmospheric score for DESTROYER, tense and sinister, but at the same time beautifully emotive. Plus, one of my favourites by the composer, A SIMPLE FAVOR, which contains some inventive compositions and equally quirky orchestrations. So, Shapiro, is in effect a consummate and Chameleon like composer, providing so many styles and differing sounds for each of his projects.
His score for the GHOSTBUSTERS re-boot is a score that is filled with a sound and style that is highly charged and contains some sublime musical moments. Especially in cues such as THE GARRET ATTACK, in which the composer utilises choir alongside rasping brass and pounding percussion. Shapiro is in my opinion an unsung hero of film music, and I hope in 2020 this will change.
So back to one of his recent scores BOMBSHELL, It is a soundtrack that has to it a very appealing sound and also a style that is highly original, the composers combination of voices and instrumental pieces is stunning and is wonderfully affective, there is to this work a simplicity but at the same time a more complex persona that lingers in the background, the attractive, entertaining, inventive and quirky orchestrations too shine throughout the scores running time. Shapiro, inventing, experimenting and establishing his own musical fingerprint and placing it firmly upon the movie. I love the freshness and the vitality of the score with its expressive energy and melodic content. The track PROBLEMS WITH WOMEN is particularly entertaining, the composer making use of percussive elements to create an up-tempo background to which he adds a near comedic sound which is purveyed by pizzicato.
But for me it is the use of human voice or at least sounds made by it within the score, again simple but so affective, saxophone too features that punctuates and embellishes on several cues. This is a score that is highly recommended, it has to it the E factor, E standing for Entertaining.