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CD: Shifty (2008)
Review Rating:   Excellent
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Silva Screen
Catalog #:
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April 20, 2009

Tracks / Album Length:

14 tracks / (34:16)


Composer: Molly Nyman, Harry Escott

Special Notes:

Available as a downloadable MP3 album from iTunes and MovieScore Media
Comments :    

Since their feature film debut, 2005’s brutal Hard Candy, Molly Nyman and Harry Escott have written several scores, and Shifty is a smooth assimilation of acoustic, techno, and a bit of seventies soft rock. The title theme is a gorgeous ‘wordless ballad’ using soft dual vocals, piano accents, acoustic guitar, and skittering drums. More importantly, the duo have integrated all the main sounds they’ll later isolated in subsequent theme variations, making the score and album fairly uniform.

Each cue, however, is big on transitions, and even the first theme variation, “Busting My Ghaand,” worms its way through a chintzy percussion intro and piano, and later processed strings that saw their way up and evaporate into darkness. “Charming Glen” is a slightly tragic variation performed mainly by piano, with chamber strings initially entwined in that sawing motif. Strings and coarse vibrato are active ingredients in several cues, as are electronic pulses and beats dryly emerging from expansive pits, such as the all-percussion rumble “CataclystMic,” with rap vocals and peripheral chorus, and a title refrain that’s chopped into a six-beat syllables.

The downside is the album’s brevity and the shortness of some of the better cues, but Silva’s CD features a beautifully engineered score with solid bass for the percussion and electronic components, and the close-miked acoustic instruments really shine in the title theme, as well as the electro-acoustic collage finale, “Play the Tape.”

An album guaranteed to get a lot of replay.


© 2009 Mark R. Hasan

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