Clean Slate (1994)
15 Tracks/Disc Time: 36:09
"Those Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)
Performed by Oleta Adams
The Perez Family (1995)
13 Tracks/Disc Time: 27:38
Music Box Records
28 Tracks/Disc Time: 63:50
Composer Alan Silvestri is easily one of the more humble and engaging composer still around Hollywood today. A consumate professional who has practically mastered every film genre you can think of since his breakout score to his frequent collaborator and friend, Robert Zemeckis' surprise blockbuster hit, "Romancing The Stone" and further cemented into legendary status with "Back To The Future" after five brilliant seasons on the hit NBC series, "ChiPs" writing exceptional music for that series week in and week out. It's no wonder why this brilliant composer is able to write such brilliant music that include the likes of "Forrest Gump", "Young Guns 2", "Predator", "The Abyss", "The Polar Express", "What Lies Beneath", "Serendipity", "Eraser" amongst his great body of work. The music is always so full of energy and excitement that it was rather easy for him to tackle the two films featured on his CD.
"Clean Slate (1994)" was originally conceived as a starring vehicle for Oscar Winner Robert Redford at MGM, but eventually became a slapstick comedy starring former Saturday Night Live star Dana Carvey , who had scored major star status with co-star Mike Myers after the very inspired and memorable comedy, "Wayne's World" that had originated on SNL. Carvey stars as Maurice Pogue, a private detective who has a serious problem: when he wakes up the next day, he can't remember anything that happend the day or night before. Using post-its, notes and a trusty voice recorder to chronicle his daily events in his life, Pogue soon finds himself embroiled in a case in which he was supposed to testify against a sleezy mobster (Michael Gambon, "Harry Potter") before his accident. Soon he finds himself chased by the mobsters hapless goons, his best friend and lawyer (Kevin Pollak, "The Usual Suspects") who thinks someone is cheating on his wife (Olivia D'Abo, "The Wonder Years", his trusty dog, Baby, who has depth perception issues, the kindly DA (James Earl Jones, "Field Of Dreams"), who's trying to guide him to testify and a mysterious woman named Sarah (Valeria Golino, "Hot Shots!"), who might be the key to Pogue regaining his memory once again. The film was directed by Mick Jackson, who scored major hits with the Steve Martin comedy "L.A. Story" and "The Bodyguard" starring Kevin Costner and the late Whitney Houston, which was a mega blockbuster. While this film was not a hit, the film showed off Carvey's talents and featured a game cast that made the film very likeable.
After coming in at the very last minute to re-score, "The Bodyguard" for Jackson, Alan Silvestri was more than up to the challenge of scoring "Clean Slate" which provided his brilliant deft touch when it came to the comedy genre. The score revolves around the song "These Foolish Things" a wonderful jazz tune perfectly matches the predicaments of Carvey's character and Silvestri really uses it in a wonderful diverse fashion starting with the album's opening track "These Foolish Things" which has a big band 1940's style feel to it along with Silvestri's comic touch. The other tracks that utilize this theme to great jazzy effect include the frenetic energy of "Court In Session/The Escape", which recaptures alot of the music from his memorable score to "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" along another similar track in "What Did I Do?". "The Meaning Of Baby", features a more sultry and sexier version of "Those Foolish Things" and "Primping For Mom" which also features a love theme for Carvey and Golino's characters along with some cool breezy jazz as well and would be reprised in "Remember Me?/End Credits", which ends the score on a high note. Silvestri also underscores the mysteries of the story along with Carvey's condition in the tracks "Do Not Panic", "Sarah Novak", "Regaining Memory", and "Stranger On The Beach" with a breezy and comedic note also adding some action material that has been part of his brilliant career. "These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)" Which is performed by Oleta Adams,the former member of the band "Tears For Fears" which closes the film with a wonderful vocal that is lush and romantic and also very memorable.
"The Perez Family" which was released in 1995 was a totally different project for Silvestri unlike "Clean Slate". The film based on the novel by Christine Bell and directed by acclaimed director Mira Nair, stars Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei ("My Cousin Vinny"), Alfred Molina ("Spider-Man 2"), Angelica Huston ("Prizzi's Honor") and Chazz Palmenteri ("A Bronx Tale") the film revolves an attempt to secure a sponsor, an unlikely group of Cuban refugees become a "family" as the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service gives families priority over others. In the process, a political prisoner, Juan Raul (Molina) who hasn't seen his wife,Carmela (Huston) for twenty years and a disaffected Dorita Evita (Tomei), a sugarcane cutter fall in love. Meanwhile, a lovestruck cop, Lt. John Pirelli (Palmenteri) contributes to the general confusion of the situation with his heart set on Carmela and with each romantic entanglement leading to a final and positive resolution.
Silvestri took both a serious and ethnic approach to the film featuring a nicely balanced dramatic score that also incorporates a lot of Latin rhythms and flavor underscoring the film's setting and characters. Using a mambo approach, Silvestri made a smart decision in hiring renowned Cuban jazz legend Arturo Sandoval to provide the score's wonderful and brilliant trumpet solos to give the score the energy and passion that it evokes with each listen. Each passionate blow manifesting into beautiful melodies and tracks such as "Lovemaking" for example where the sultry material really seeps through. Then there's the fun, Latin material that includes "Fuck John Wayne", "Now I Am In Prison/Dottie Into Action", "Fencework" and "Where Am I?: that feature Sandoval's horn backed with some rhythmic percussion that channel his excellent vibrant material from the comedy, "Soapdish" which is easily one of my favorite scores of the composer amongst many. Silvestri also provides some serious melodrama in his work as well that is in keeping with the bouncy material that he's written in the flavorable tracks, "Dream", "Bleeding Heart", "Juan Visits Wife", "The Picture" and "Always Looking for Cuba".
Music Box's album is a solid production that for the first time features the release of these solid scores eventhough "Clean Slate" had been planned to be released when the film was released and ultimately cancelled, which was a shame. Both scores are fun to listen to, but I love "Clean Slate" a little more because it's just so much fun and lively and not that "The Perez Family" isn't. This album is clearly worth getting because you are getting two scores that really show how great a composer Alan Silvestri is and is highly recommended. An excellent double feature album.