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Crash

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Album Review

Mark Isham's score for the Paul Haggis film Crash is a sculpted, personal affair. Inside the context of the film the score helps to shift and move scenes, underscores the subtleties in characters, hovers about dialogue, and adds to both the human and dramatic tension in the complex narrative. As a piece of music, it's moody, often somber; it meanders, floats, stirs, and quietly and thoughtfully suggests rather than insists. Largely keyboard driven, there are also delicate unidentified operatic vocals in the deeply moving "...Safe Now," "Negligence," and "St. Christopher," and what appears to be a Russian folk song layered into "Flames." Elsewhere, such as on "Siren," sequencers and rhythm tracks collide before giving way to an ambient soundscape. The elegiac "A Really Good Cloak" is almost orchestral, and "A Harsh Warning" is anything but, though it is ominous with its carillon tones and washing synths slipping through the foreground. Bird York makes an appearance with the lovely, lilting, and beautiful "In the Deep." The set closes with the Stereophonics as "Maybe Tomorrow" plays through the end credits. Since it's also included on the Music From and Inspired by the Film volume, it could have easily been left off this set. It's uncharacteristically bright and bouncy and sends the entire proceeding off on a rather off-kilter bent, but it's a small complaint. Isham continues to impress with his film work; Crash stands as a fine chapter in his oeuvre.

Biography

Born: 07 September 1951 in New York, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Trumpeter/synth programmer Mark Isham was not only an important part of the Windham Hill stable, but also a successful and versatile composer for film and television, garnering equal acclaim for both his new age and soundtrack work. Born September 7, 1951, to a musical family in New York, Isham began studying classical music (specifically trumpet, piano, and violin) as a child. His family later moved to San Francisco, where Isham played with several local orchestras. However, he was also interested...
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