Gator - Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack CD Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 5th December 2010.
Charles Bernstein's Gator score is a very pleasing combination of gravelly crooned country ballads, soft Southern lounge and gritty, funk-flavoured 70's action. The composer would go on to bigger and better things, but there is much to enjoy with this limited edition CD from Intrada. It effortlessly relocates you from, what is for me right now, at any rate, the snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures of the UK to the dusky, languid rural boondocks of the sweltering Savannah. The alternating between dark, glacial textures, romantic interlude, and uber-formative hip-hop makes for a dazzlingly diverse soundtrack that shifts moods with surprising ease.

Very much a score of its era – wobbling wah-wah guitars, lots of soft cymbal shimmers, funk percussion, some crooning moments and a jazzy vibe – Gator, nevertheless, jangles with some dark passages of unsettling tension and puts the smirk on your face with those addictive action licks. For me, though, the stand-outs are surely those agitated new dramatic cues strung together in the Extras section, and that amazing little forerunner to the haunting lullaby from “Elm Street” which adds a freakishly eerie little passage to this cocksure adventure score.

After the limited release of the original White Lightning swiftly sold-out, my advice for fans of Charles Bernstein, or for Burt Reynolds is to, ahem, snap Gator up as soon as you can.

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