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Soundtrack Review

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What Still Remains
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Jonathan Beard
Label: Lakeshore Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 05 October 2018

Lakeshore Records releases What Still Remains – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – on digital download. The film, directed by Josh Mendoza, follows the story of Anna, the last of her family, through a post-zombie virus environment known as the ‘Change’. Forced to leave the protection of her house, she encounters a group which promises salvation. But can she trust them? The score is by Jonathan Beard, whose previous projects include music for media and the concert stage (Star Wars – The Old Republic, Frank Vs. God, The Passion of Anne Frank, and Driving Miss Daisy). He has also collaborated with a number of other composers...

Beard describes the movie as a Hitchcockian psychological tapestry with subtext dialogue, and that the music needs to reflect that and dance between what is said and what is the real truth behind the situation. The theme for Peter, the leader of the group, is a four-note piece which jumps between the major and minor scales.

But how does this all shape-up as a film score album? Many horror soundtracks these days incorporate the discordant string section somewhere along the line, which sounds like an angry swarm of bees. 'Berserker and the Forest Chase' begins with this effect before segueing into a military-like battle march. 'Journey to What Still Remains' incorporates a slower mood string piece which is reminiscent of an earlier age. 'God Doesn’t Choose Sides' is a moody undercurrent, and 'Ben and Anna Dance With Words' is a crawling, screeching string movement which belongs in a TV thriller from the 1950s or 1960s. The latter park of 'Berserker is Charged' made me laugh, as it’s pretty clichéd as far as scary music goes. You expect a shocked vocal exclamation from Shaggy and Scooby right afterwards.

'Peter Steps on a Trap' is a scrabbling, off-kilter noise. 'David Must Pay a Price' is a suitably dramatic uprising, but again it’s all strings. Where’s the variation? Where are the surprises? Of the last eight tracks, the only one with any venom is 'Attack' (and that is for only halfway through). Even the 'Main Theme/End Credits' is lacklustre, to say the least. Hardly memorable.

One of the most disappointing things about this soundtrack is that whenever piano or the horn section is introduced it is stomped all over by the string section. A wasted opportunity.


Ty Power

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