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The 5 Browns In Hollywood

The 5 Browns

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Album Review

As the 5 Browns' E1 Entertainment release The 5 Browns in Hollywood hit the stands, there was a flurry of articles going around examining the phenomenon that a one-time defining concern that a musician, particularly in the pop field, was guilty of "selling out" had ceased, in the 21st century, to be an issue. For some, the terms "selling out" and "going Hollywood" mean essentially the same thing, and yet by virtue of going Hollywood here, nothing could be further from the intentions of the 5 Browns in making this album. They grew up with, and continue to appreciate very deeply, the music in Hollywood films and The 5 Browns in Hollywood is a very sincere effort to extrapolate what they like about film music; it comes from a heartfelt place and makes for some exciting and attractive listening. In this collection, the various Browns appear singly, in sub-divisions, and full group mode and play their hearts out on a program — largely arranged to some degree as is necessary — made up of mostly classic and a few relatively contemporary film themes. There are many fine highlights here; the dynamic heft of the full group brings fire to suites based on Star Wars, Bernard Herrmann's themes for Hitchcock, some Disney tunes, and others. Exceptionally noteworthy among the smaller gatherings is Gregory Brown's sensitive take on Scott Joplin's "Mexican Serenade" Solace — featured, you'll remember, in the 1973 Oscar winner The Sting — and Ryan Brown's turn playing a fine solo arrangement of music from Philip Glass' score for The Hours. So many cheesy, half-hearted Hollywood-themed classical albums have appeared over the years that one could easily understand a little reticence in picking this one up, but there's absolutely no reason to avoid it; it's a strong effort, fun, and just about as entertaining as a good movie.~Uncle Dave Lewis, Rovi

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