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"Vibes" Soundtrack Review Music By James Horner

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"Vibes" Soundtrack Review Music By James Horner



Soundtrack Review

Music By James Horner

Varese Sarabande Club

9 Tracks/Disc Time: 36:09

Grade: C-

In the 1980's comedies were venturing in rather radical storytelling with the likes of "Night Shift", "Bachelor Party", "Police Academy", "Weird Science", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Planes, Trains And Automobiles" to name a few. "Vibes" which was produced by Oscar winning Director Ron Howard ("A Beautiful Mind") who directed "Night Shift" along with the love lorn romance of "Splash" starring Oscar Winner Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah and the ultimate culture clash comedy "Gung Ho" starring Michael Keaton, was originally slated to direct the film before he made the successful adventure "Willow" starring Val Kilmer and stayed on as producer of this film. The film features pop sensation Cyndi Lauper as Sylvia Pickel (yes, Pickel) and Jeff Goldblum as Nick Deezy two psychics who have different abilities in which Sylvia can communicate with her mind and Nick is able to read a persons' history just by touch or feel. The mismatched pair end up together after they're convinced by a con man Harry (Peter Falk, "Columbo") to find his long lost son in South America. When they get there they discover he's really hired them to help find a hidden temple in the mountains where all the psychic energy in the world comes from and a golden treasure in which their unscrupulous NYU research doctor Steele (Julian Sands, "Leaving Las Vegas") is also searching for.

The film was a major flop at the box office when it was released, but it has garnered somewhat of a cult following over the years after endless airings on HBO and Cinemax and finally making its' DVD debut a few years ago. While the film suffered for the most part with severely bad reviews all around, one interesting aspect was the work of Oscar winning composer James Horner, who was enlisted by Ron Howard to add this vital talents to this film after scoring Howard's "Williow", Arnold Schwarzengger's action-thriller "Red Heat", the animated film "An American Tail" and scoring his first Oscar nomination for the blockbuster hit, "Aliens" for director James Cameron. Horner was in the middle of a rather experimental period after bursting onto the scene for his passionate orchestrial work for "Star Trek; The Wrath Of Khan", "Testament", "Brainstorm", and "Krull" amongst others as he started (like many composers during this period) utilizing alot of electronics to supplement the orchestra or become the orchestra itself. Horner had already composed two completely electronic scores for the dramas "Name Of The Rose" starring Oscar Winner Sean Connery and "Where The River Runs Black", that were drastically different with the latter being the major influence of this score which features alot of South American instrumentation.

However, the results are rather mixed for this score in my view in that it really feels a little uninspired for the most part unlike his previous synthesizer efforts. There are parts that are likeable such as "Andes Arrival" and "The Journey Begins", which really do culminate from the solid work on "Where The River Runs Black". The "Main Title" has a distinct feeling of the opening title music from "Where The River Runs Black", but that one was a little more potent thematically with tracks such as "Mountain Trek", "The Lost City" and "Silvia's Vision" which also feature the same stylish moods and atmosphere like that score which is pretty much on par with, but lacking the major theme that "Where The River Runs Black" had which made it stand out so much more.

This score represents one of the original Varese Sarabande Club CD's that were released in the early 90's and after a pretty fast sell out, the CD jumped sky high in value soon after on the collector's market. This marks the first release of the score in over 23 years and while it is much better than I had personally remembered it, it still doesn't measure up to Horner's best work to be honest. It is an interesting score in his career like many others including "Jade" for example, but as a curiosity, it would be worth going for in this instance. "Vibes" is a score that isn't for everybody but definitely for fans of James Horner's work, they would be thrilled with it. For me, it's a reluctant thumbs down.