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Soundtrack Review

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Benjamin Wallfisch
Label: Varèse Sarabande
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 October 2015

Varèse Sarabande releases Benjamin Wallfisch score for the animated movie Gamba. Gamba, a town mouse with a brave, adventurous spirit decides to go on an adventure to discover the ocean. On his way, he meets a troubled child mouse, Chuta. Chuta tells Gamba that his family and other mice have been killed by a clan of weasels living on a nearby island. Chuta asks a group of ship mice, the bravest of their kind, for help, but when they find out that the villain behind this event is the terrifying weasel-leader Noroi, they give up on helping Chuta. However seeing the hopeless Chuta, Gamba promises him that he will save the island, his family and the other mice. Gamba and his friends team up to go on their adventure to defeat the evil Noroi and his clan...

Whenever I see a score for an animated movie, a smile always crosses my face. The majority of the times these are epic, blockbuster scores that borrow heavily from some of the great Hollywood composers work of the '80s (James Horner, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Alan Silvestri and many more). Gamba is no exception - in fact Benjamin Wallfisch (Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, Conquest 1453, Desert Dancer, The Escapist, Hammer of the Gods, The Thirteenth Tale) turns in one of the most impressive scores I've heard in a long time.

It's an epic, beautiful score that contains 22 tracks (1 hr, 02 min, 16 sec). There's a theme that's woven throughout this score that is incredibly close to the theme tune to '70s TV show Battlestar Galactica (most notable in the track 'Sunrise'). Elsewhere there's plenty of segments of music that bring to mind James Horner's Star Trek movie scores (most obvious in the track 'That's It'). There's also elements of Alan Silvestri's Predator score in 'The Water Changes'.

One of the highlights is 'Noroi Returns' which brings to mind the music of both John Williams and Alan Silvestri.

If you're a fan of '80s Hollywood action scores then you need to add Gamba to your collection. Wallfisch delivers, in a single score, more impressive themes than most composers manage in their entire career.


Darren Rea

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