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CD: Tamara Drewe (2010)

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Silva Screen
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September 20, 2010

Tracks / Album Length:

19 tracks / (48:07)



Alexandre Desplat


Special Notes:

8-page colour booklet with liner notes by director Stephen Frears and song composers Benjamin Todd and Nathan Cooper.

Comments :    

Rather than opting for multiple themes, Alexandre Desplat’s singular effort focuses on the causal effects stemming from the film’s eponymous character as she returns to a sleepy English village, and the rippling chaos it creates among eccentric characters.

To capture all that energy, he created a kinetic musical motor with an unstoppable tempo. Centered on an elliptical motif, Desplat uses marimba, vibes, fluttering flutes, and wooden taps, and the compact pattern allows Desplat to keep spiraling up and down, affecting the tempo of scenes as well as conveying a sense of news, gossip and rumours flowing from cottages to homes and farms.

Some of the chord progressions – notably the breathy ascending flutes in “Biggest Shagging” – are Barryesque, and whether deliberate or unconscious, they add to the comedy/drama’s fixation on quirky British archetypes.

Desplat’s handful of variations manage to break up what could’ve been a rather monotonous album experience. “Dogs and Cows” is a great mélange of a bossa nova beat with timpani and marimba dominating the small orchestra, and “Beth’s Monologue” is filled with shimmering, woody tones, string accompaniment, and harmonics that sometimes recall Maurice Jarre’s quirky theme structure.

Most of the cues hover around 2 mins., and while there are longer thematic explorations, the short variations ten to offer more inventive material. Silva’s album is crisply mastered and although the liner notes state three source songs at the CD’s end, the first song, “Where Are You Now?” seems to have been replaced with the first + second score cues with a quick fadout. (The downloadable album features all 3 songs, so perhaps it’s merely an issue with early review copies.)


© 2010 Mark R. Hasan

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