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CD: Meet Dave (2008)
Review Rating:   Very Good
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Varese Sarabande

Catalog #:

302 066 906 2

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July 1, 2008

Tracks / Album Length:

27 tracks / (42:54)


Composer: John Debney

Special Notes:

Comments :    

The comedic mediocrity of Eddie Murphy's career continues with Meet Dave, although John Debney's score manages to evoke an excellent balance of light comedy with action/adventure, mostly through the use of a decent-sized orchestra.

Debney's score is larded with stylistic nods to a number of genre conventions, and in cues like “Dave's System Check,” the emphasis is on adventure instead of humour, with a compact heroic theme evoking James Horner's Star Trek theme. Woven into the fabric are some chorals, notably in “Addressing the Crew,” and ”The Battle Begins,” and a warm Spielbergian veneer in “I am Dave Ming Chang,” with sweeping, warm strings, solo military trumpet, and snare drum. “Saving Earth” is a more formal action cue, with desperation goosed with synth percussion and chorals, while synths and electric guitar kick start the album's final cue, “Blast Off and Return.”

Although often married to onscreen actions and reactions, Debney's comedic cues are less predictable and overt, and comprise the album's highlights. The Dave theme is very soothing, and woodwinds in cues like “Gina's Painting” evoke warm emotions without veering into heavy sentimentality.

At 42 mins., it's a tight score, and many cues are a few hairs over a minute, but fans of Debney's large orchestral writing should appreciate his deft light touches between more standard action cues which spruce up the album's diversity, and give it a more firm narrative drive.



© 2008 Mark R. Hasan

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