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CD: Call, The (2013)
Review Rating:   Very Good  
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March 12, 2013

Tracks / Album Length:

22 tracks / (61:09)



John Debney


Special Notes:

Available digitally and on CD.

Comments :    

Following the unique audio design inherent to Brad Anderson’s films, John Debney delves into a smooth amalgam of electronic and orchestral sounds, with traditional scoring elements largely subjugated by sometimes abrasive industrial sounds. It’s a unique score within Debney’s canon because he’s written several large scale orchestral works which exploit the snarling sounds from masses of brass and percussion.

The Call has a central theme – a soft, sparsely articulated keyboard piece – but much of the score’s propelled by synthetic percussion textures. “Intruder” is mostly pulses and mounting distortion, and “Casey Calls Jordan” features industrial sounds blended with brass and synth chords in the cue’s denouement.

Other tracks feature reverberations, processed chimes and bell rings, sustained chords, and circular pulse patterns (“Shovel Kill” is unusually mean, in spite of its brevity), but there are clear moments when Debney was allowed to build long aural material because of Anderson’s patented visual design. Most of the director’s films feature moments where sound is more vital to capturing a mood or effect than dialogue or the use of straight reaction shots, and Debney’s score functions as score and sometimes sound design, with a mapped dramatic path (as evidenced by the sometimes brief reappearance of the score’s tender keyboard theme in cues like “Leah’s Body is Recovered” and “Finding the Hiding Hole”).

Debney’s always been skilled in writing melodic material as well as harsh dissonance, but his firm grasp of rhythm is featured in the short “Tour of the Hive” with watery pulses and dynamic bass groove, and the 8-minute “Freeway Chase,” which draws from the score’s major elements and features a strong electronic midsection with plenty of pulsing, flanging tonalities. The epic cue wafts through tragedy, eeriness, and rhythmic layers with snarling qualities reminiscent of his horror masterpiece The Relic (1997).

Also available: a podcast interview with composer John Debney.



© 2013 Mark R. Hasan

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