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Soundtrack Review

Book Cover

The Spirit: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: David Newman
Silva Screen Records
RRP: £14.99
7 38572 128326
Available 02 February 2009

In Central City, rookie cop Denny Colt is killed but returns from the dead to fight crime as the detective known as the Spirit. The Spirit must confront his arch-enemy, the Octopus who is about to wipe out Central City in his quest for immortality...

The soundtrack to The Spirit is composed by David Newman. I have to confess that I'm not a huge fan of his work. The last one of his scores I purchased, Serenity, I found a little disappointing. I've always found his music to be a little on the bland side. Personally I like to feel something when I listen to a soundtrack, but with Newman it seems that he builds the music to an expected climax, offering some promising nuggets along the way, and then lets the listener down.

While The Spirit is head and shoulders above his usual style, the trouble with this release is that for some reason instead of trying to do something new and exciting in the world of comic book hero soundtracks, Newman leans on a few too many buttons already pushed by other composers.

The most notable example is the end of the opening track which includes an almost note for note copy of Danny Elfman's score for Batman. In fact Elfman seems to be the main inspiration for this soundtrack. I'm assuming that the rough cut of the movie include Elfman tracks and the powers that be instructed Newman to compose music in a similar vein. The opening track also has elements of Elfman's main theme from Men in Black.

The soundtrack runs for around 48 minutes and there are enough pleasing themes to keep soundtrack fans happy. It's an interesting score, but on almost every track you are reminded of another composers work - which can be a little distracting.


Darren Rea

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