Cohen & Tate - Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack CD Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 30th August 2010.
Conti's darkest hour comes courtesy of a stellar sounding release from Intrada. Anguished strings, discordant brass and French horn and the haunting lament from the piano mark this score out as a thing of cold, brutal beauty. Those who are familiar with Bill Conti's work will delight in this usually hidden quality of dense fear and dread and the aching suspense that he is able to bring to a musical saga of pain, torment and unbearable tension.

The film was never given the attention that it deserved, especially not in the States, but has since found something of a cult following on home video. Without a doubt, a key element that makes the story so strong and emotive is this electrifying score. Conti was never so deeply character-based as he was with this. Rocky and The Right Stuff were too broad to be personal. Masters Of The Universe was large-scale and epic. Lock Up was tightly claustrophobic and ultimately heroic. Even the tender Uncle Joe Shannon was a big showcase for jazzy brass. But Cohen & Tate has a deliberate darkness that cuts deep into the agonised minds of three people thrust out into no-man's land and forces us to rummage bloodily into their damaged psyches.

Excellent stuff from a composer who bravely took on something new, something primal, raw and seething … and came up with a mini-classic.

Another highly recommended release from Intrada, score-fans!


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