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Robots (Original Motion Picture Score)

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Album Review

Among all the rap and rock songs on the soundtrack to Robots was "Robot City," a wonderfully playful, evocative collaboration between score composer John Powell and the Blue Man Group. Unfortunately, the complete Robots score doesn't completely fulfill that track's potential; though the album has some "featured percussion" by the Blue Man Group, Powell's compositions are performed mostly (and quite well) by the Hollywood Studio Symphony. On the bright side, several of the score's tracks, such as "Robots Overture" and "Gathering Forces," hark back to classic animation music like Carl Stalling's work on Warner Brothers' Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes cartoon series. Not surprisingly, though, the pieces with the Blue Man Group have an extra little something that make them standouts. "Wonderbot Wash," "Wild Ride," and "Crosstown Express" are all elegantly mischievous and really capture the clanking, gleaming beauty of Robots' visuals, as well as the film's broad (and not so broad) sense of humor. Some of the score's more sentimental moments like "Homecoming" and "Dad's Dream" are a little predictable and border on saccharine, but they're still competently done. Even though a fuller collaboration between Powell and the Blue Man Group would have made Robots a spectacular score, it's still more creative than many other scores for animated movies.

Biography

Born: 18 September 1964 in London, England

Genre: Soundtrack

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

English composer John Powell honed his craft, along with contemporaries like Harry Gregson-Williams and Klaus Badelt, as a member of Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions. Powell has provided score for numerous films, including the three Matt Damon-starring Bourne films, X-Men: The Last Stand, and...
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