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Children of a Lesser God (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Album Review

Ambient keyboard music was starting to find its niche around the time Michael Convertino came on the scene with this daydream of a soundtrack. Featuring conservative use of the Synclavier synthesizer (a workhorse in the world of high-end sampling keyboards), Convertino dishes out several interchangeable interludes, with heartbeats of chromatic piano clusters as a recurring theme. The results are a tad melodramatic at times, with all of its soaring strings (especially with the opening "Main Title"), but the vague wash of ambient melancholy goes down easily enough. Here and there, listeners might even recognize the influence of Brian Eno's Ambient One: Music for Airports, with its seemingly random passages of "stringthesizer" set in motion (or perhaps the more subdued work of Harold Budd), but these mostly minute-long cues don't quite add up to make a stand-alone album (a common curse for soundtracks). Instead, it's a general wash of tone clusters that are nice while they last, but like cotton candy, they seem to vanish from memory as soon as you round the corner. Consequently, the album is over before you know it, and very few pieces stick out, except perhaps for the sore thumb of "Boomerang," a dry exercise in gospel-soul that only splashes cold water on whatever mood the album was attempting to set. It's like a commercial in the middle of a seance. The other cloudbuster here is Bach's "Double Concerto in D Minor for Violins," which boosts the compositional value a bit, even if it's still performed by Convertino with the same string samples that have been heard all along. The album's "electronic minimalist romanticism" approach is noteworthy mostly because this was 1986, and composers like Thomas Newman or Michael Nyman would arrive on the scene almost a decade later to explore the landscape further. Credit goes to Michael Convertino for at least sticking his flag in the sand as one of the early pioneers in keyboard soundtracks.

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Children of a Lesser God (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Michael Convertino
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  • 6,99 €
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: 15 January 1986

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