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City Hall (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Album Review

With several successful political thriller scores already under his belt, Jerry Goldsmith approaches the genre from a new and refreshing perspective with 1996's City Hall. The music forgoes the traditional suspense dynamics for a jazz-influenced approach favoring atmosphere and texture, creating a dark, seedy ambience that evokes the backroom sleaze of the political machine in vivid detail. Goldsmith's understated score spotlights solo clarinet and abrasive strings instead of more conventionally robust arrangements, and it's a tribute to the composer's mastery that he still generates palpable suspense without the usual bells and whistles. Not everything here works, but it's a pleasure to hear Goldsmith continuing to embrace new ideas in the autumn of his career.


Born: 10 February 1929 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

For over four decades, Jerry Goldsmith ranked among the film and television industry's most highly-regarded and prolific composers; at the peak of his activity during the 1960s, he was estimated to have scored an average of about six films annually. Born in Los Angeles on February 10, 1929, Goldsmith studied music at the University of Southern California, and after accepting a job as an office clerk at CBS television later graduated to the network's music department in 1950. There he composed themes...
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