Viewing entries in
World

10,000 BC – Original Music By Harald Kloser And Thomas Wander (Soundtrack Review)

Comment

10,000 BC – Original Music By Harald Kloser And Thomas Wander (Soundtrack Review)

Allow me to paint a picture for you. A book inspires a film and the film inspires a soundtrack. Yes, dear reader, I am one of those people that explores every element surrounding something that interests me. 

10,000 BC, despite receiving mediocre reviews, remains one of my most beloved films. Sure, I could talk about the technical and historical inaccuracies along with the quizzical hypothesis, but I’d much prefer to be drawn into the mystique, a mystique which opens my mind and allows me to explore other possibilities than those expressed in the mainstream history books. Yes, you could probably call me a little gullible, but to be honest no one really knows exactly what happened all those millennia ago and subsequently there are a lot of educated guesses. Hence, I like to remain broad-minded and after watching 10,000 BC, I wanted to know more. 

Thanks to the ever-accurate Wikipedia, I found out that director extraordinaire Roland Emmerich based the film partially off Graham Hancock’s exceptional Fingerprints Of The Gods. So, I had to read the book. The film captivated me and I needed to know more. It’s a stellar read and one that I highly recommend if you are interested in Pseudoarchaeology. No, dear reader, I’m not a crackpot, I just like to keep an open mind. Plus, it makes for great dinner conversation!

Anyway, I have a tendency to listen to music as I read. While reading a music biography will have me going through the entire works of a particular artist, other non-music related non-fiction or fiction books are generally accompanied by whatever I feel in the mood to listen to. Well, in this case, I thought I’d try the soundtrack to 10,000 BC and while it’s logically disconnected from the book, it kept the interest in the book and the subject paramount in my mind. That said, the book is a page-turner, but it doesn’t hurt to have a little encouragement along the way.

The problem is, when I finished reading Fingerprints Of The Gods, I also stopped listening to the soundtrack and while I have watched the film numerous times since, I can’t recall if I actually liked the soundtrack on its own, or if it was the connectivity of media that compelled my interest so many years ago. Therefore, I’d like you, dear reader, to join me on a journey of re-exploration as I take a look at the soundtrack and decide whether or not it can be appreciated on its own, outside of the influence of the film and Fingerprints Of The Gods.

Opening is, for lack of a better term, cinematic. It is the kind of audible introduction that ensures the filmgoer knows they are about to experience something special, something captivating, and something that will encapsulate them in sound and transport their senses to another world. I love it!

Mountain Of The Gods started out bold but the vocal incorporation that is included in the film detracts from the musicality. A shame in one way, but as a soundtrack it is somewhat understandable. 

Speech is simply stunning. It is one of my favourite tracks on the soundtrack and is glorious when presented in the film. Yes, I hear a little influence from the Transformers soundtrack and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it shifts my focus. 

Evolet is a beautifully relaxing and uplifting composition. If only all music could be this good!

Mannak Hunt radically shifts the styling of the soundtrack, but it is, of course, in line with the film’s chronology. Mannak Hunt isn’t inherently bad, but I feel it was somewhat unsuitable for the film’s scene as I felt it didn’t accurately capture the hunting aspect of early man. Of course, I’d recommend you check out the film and ascertain this for yourself as it is highly subjective. 

Celebration simply exists. Nothing to write home about and while applicable to the film does little for allowing the soundtrack to be experienced independently. 

I Was Not Brave returns the soundtrack to a more relaxing, perhaps sombre, tone. It is this style that I thoroughly enjoy.

Night Of The Tiger is a fantastic score for the associated scene. While the random listener may not be able to appreciate it, the scene in the film, with the musical accompaniment, is edge-of-your-seat entertainment. 

Lead Them is a lovely composition and one that is inspirational. Although, I feel it could have been even bolder than it is as I feel it was being held back a little. 

Terror Birds has a terrifying entrance. This soundtrack really is a collection of sonic elements that are complementary when viewing the film, but are seriously disjointed when listening to the soundtrack in the film’s running order. Yes, that is how soundtracks are generally made, but it would be nice to see a soundtrack go down a less linear route, thereby allowing it to be appreciated as a piece of standalone musical art. 

Wounded Hunter is a sombre, but uplifting, piece of music that is simply beautiful. 

Food has a very nice vocal element that will appeal to individuals who appreciate World Music. Musically, however, it is limited and likely won’t appeal to the classical-minded listener. 

Goodbyes was another sonic element that worked perfectly in the film but doesn’t sit well on its own here.  

Sea Of Sand is epic! 

Wise Man is elegant but sombre. Perfect for the film.

He Was My Father is another composition that merely exists and is nothing to write home about. 

Mark Of The Hunter is a perfect score for the film but does nothing to evoke emotion within the listener. 

Free The Mannaks was a great scene in the film, but the epic nature of it fails to reach the listener of this soundtrack. Nevertheless, perhaps that is what a good score is all about, enhancing the film and not standing alone as a composition on its own. It would be nice if it could be both though.

Not A God portrays the same thought as Free The Mannaks.  

You Came For Me is stunning and connects with Evolet in tonality and purpose. I love this composition. 

The End follows on beautifully from You Came For Me. It is compositions like this that make this soundtrack so appealing, if only it had been presented in a non-linear manner. 

10,000 BC/End Credits closes the soundtrack out nicely, reminding me just how much I enjoy the film and encouraging me to go and watch it. While I don’t necessarily feel captivated to listen to the soundtrack again, there are some compositions here that are simply out of this world and perhaps the best approach for me moving forward would be to create a playlist of the songs I wish to hear, in the order that I wish to hear them. 

Overall, the 10,000 BC soundtrack is very much a soundtrack and unlike Dances With Wolves is not likely to be appreciated as a piece of classical-inspired music on its own. However, fans of the film or the works of Kloser and Wander will undoubtedly be captivated. There are certainly high and low points to be found throughout, but the music is captured so elegantly that you’d be hard pressed to be disappointed as it is sonically beautiful. While I’ll likely always keep this soundtrack in my digital library, never seeking out a physical copy, it will be appreciated whenever I simply want to audibly reflect on the film or read the follow up to Fingerprints Of The Gods; Magicians Of The Gods: The Forgotten Wisdom Of Earth’s Lost Civilisation

The soundtrack for 10,000 BC is available on CD, the TIDAL Store (16/44.1kHz FLAC), and iTunes.

If you prefer streaming, 10,000 BC is available on TIDAL Hi-Fi and Apple Music.

Comment

Angus & Julia Stone – Self-Titled (Album Review)

Comment

Angus & Julia Stone – Self-Titled (Album Review)

To listen to Angus & Julia Stone is to experience nirvana. The Australian sibling duo is astonishingly good, pumping out songs in the keys of indie-pop and folk rock while maintaining an acoustic-based singer-songwriter style that will leave you in pure amazement.

Teaming up with superstar producer, Rick Rubin, I was initially concerned that this Self-Titled release might be compromised as Rubin is known for his involvement in the loudness wars, producing low dynamic range albums such as Metallica's Death Magnetic and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Californication. While one has to acknowledge that this Self-Titled release is right on the border, sonically this level of compression and distortion works incredibly well with the style of music and the Stone siblings’, often lower chord, vocal presentation. That said, the soundstage is rather expansive, allowing all sonic elements space, in the mix, to breathe.

As I’ve listened to the Self-Titled Angus & Julia Stone release on TIDAL Hi-Fi and Apple Music, I can say conclusively that there is no sonic difference between the two as the lossy Apple Music stream matches the lossless CD-quality streamed via TIDAL Hi-Fi. This is yet another example that validates that if the master is the same, there is little-to-no perceivable difference.

A Heartbreak sets the tone of the album and you'll clearly hear the distortion on this song just teetering into the red. It would have been nice to have the master reduced by a couple of decibels as the song is louder than the following tracks. Nevertheless, it's a great song to commence the album on.

My Word For It has a killer psychedelic sound signature that is simply addictive. Julia's smooth vocal is absolutely captivating on this song as she's right there in the room with you. A fantastic mix!

Grizzly Bear has an offbeat beginning, but once the musicality picks up, the rhythm will have you toe-tapping and head-bopping uncontrollably. An absolutely beautiful song!

Heart Beats Slow is a great song that I’d love to hear Stevie Nicks cover with Neil Finn.

Wherever You Are has a stunning acoustic introduction that builds progressively with a beat that will connect with your inner soul. While there are a number of vocal shifts throughout, that may deter some listeners, I feel it works extremely well given this song is largely stripped down from a production standpoint.

Get Home is lovely!

Death Defying Acts is moody and I love it! One of the best songs on the album and that is difficult to declare as the entire album is a masterpiece. If there were one criticism to be made, it would be the drum track is not as spacious as I would like in some sections. That said, it does work with the darker tone of the song.

Little Whiskey has a fantastically compelling beat, but it is very much a song that is on the alternative side of the siblings’ offerings. That may not appeal to all listeners, but I feel it flows perfectly with the surrounding tracks.

From The Stalls is a great song. May I suggest you sit in a relaxing chair, with your eyes closed, and allow the musicality to involuntarily take control of your muscles as you'll be toe-tapping and swaying in no time.

Other Things shouldn’t work musically, as it is a little left of the centre, yet it absolutely does.

Please You is such a mellow song. Beautiful!

Main Street is pure sonic gold and in many ways leaves me speechless. Therefore, I feel it is only right to suggest you experience it for yourself.

Crash And Burn, as Ian McFarlane rightly suggests in The Encyclopedia of Australian Rock And Pop, invokes a memory of the sonic signature often associated with Neil Young and Crazy Horse. That is, of course, a compliment. Crash And Burn is the perfect song to close the album on as it encourages me to listen to this Self-Titled release again and stay within Angus & Julia Stone's catalogue.

This Self-Titled album is a masterpiece. Nothing more really needs to be said other than it’s worth the hour to just sit and listen. I'm sure you won't regret it, I know I haven’t.

Angus & Julia Stone's Self-Titled album is available on Vinyl, CD, the TIDAL Store (16/44.1kHz FLAC), and iTunes (Mastered for iTunes).

If you prefer streaming, Angus & Julia Stone's Self-Titled album is available on TIDAL Hi-Fi and Apple Music.

Comment

(When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton – [Compilation Review]

Comment

(When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton – [Compilation Review]

Few would argue about the influence of Melbourne's music scene in the 70s, for it was the mecca of the Australian Music Industry at the time. That said, I'm sure my Sydney neighbours would fervently disagree. While I’m Sydney born and bred, good music is good music and (When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton validates that point. With a runtime nearing three hours, this compilation is an extensive trip down memory lane, but will also excite those of us that missed out on experiencing this wonderfully vibrant music scene during its heyday.

SkyhooksCarlton (Lygon Street Limbo) is the perfect song to open this compilation. Not only were Skyhooks one of the most successful bands on the scene, at the time, but Carlton (Lygon Street Limbo) incorporates the energy and musicality of the 70s. A sensational song!

The SportsWho Listens To The Radio? (Original 7" Version) is one of my all-time favourite songs, having heard it repeatedly, ironically, on the radio. Yet, until listening to this compilation, I never knew who the artist was. Now I do and I have this compilation and streaming music to thank for bringing me back to one of the coolest songs from the era.

Jo Jo Zep & The FalconsSo Young is another sensational song and reminds me, in spirit, of Tom Petty. I love it!

The DotsLowdown is a little rough around the edges, but that adds to the character of the song. However, I’d argue that while Lowdown isn't a standout song, it is thoroughly enjoyable and the compilation wouldn't be the same without it.

StilettoMiddle Of The Bed is a sensational classic with a killer vocal, rhythm, and an intriguing guitar tune.

The Bleeding HeartsHit Single has a disjointed musical style that surprisingly works perfectly. Hit Single is dynamic and never dull. I don't know about you, dear reader, but it’s a hit from my perspective. It also has a slight Skyhooks influence; what's not to like?

Mighty KongHard Drugs (Are Bad For You) is another rhythmic monster. Seriously, you have to listen to this compilation, it is hit after hit. Incredible!

Mondo RockPrimal Park is a solid tune but it has a little too much pop-influence for my liking. However, there are certain elements, such as the chorus, that are spot on and thoroughly enjoyable.

Mark GillespieSuicide Sister is pure perfection!

High Rise BombersFaster Than Light is a great song. That brass section undoubtedly makes the song and I could happily listen to Faster Than Light on repeat for hours.

The ToadsEudil is addictive. Yes, even that interesting near-pop-based backing vocal grows on you; the song would be lost without it.

The Pelaco BrosMechanics In A Relaxed Manner isn't a bad blues-based tune, but I find the mix confuses my mind as the vocal presentation is too forward and slightly offbeat to the rhythm. In some respects, it is as though two songs have morphed into one.

The Relaxed MechanicsTruckin' Casanova is a campy tune, but I can't help but love it. An absolute classic and arguably a song that only an Australian band could have conjured up.

MillionairesGossip has a shifting tempo that takes a little getting used to. It isn't my favourite song from the compilation, but there was bound to be at least one of the tracks that didn't connect with me.

The KevinsOut At Night is a great song. Yes, another campy tongue-in-cheek song, but such is Australian humour.

Martin Armiger & Buzz LeesonNo Reason is a killer classic rock tune.

ParachuteThe Big Beat isn't anything to write home about, but the compilation wouldn't be the same without it.

Spare ChangeLet's Get Rich Together is one of those songs that takes repeat listens to truly enjoy. That said, once the connection is made, you'll be hypnotised by this exceptional song.

The Glory BoysThe Ballad Of Good & Evil is a fantastic song. The rhythm is amazing, but that vocal delivery is off-the-charts. So Good!

Eric Gradman Man And MachineCrime Of Passion is a solid song with an interesting vocal overlay. The sonic shift, mid-song, is also intriguing and while I'm unsure of how I really feel about Crime Of Passion, it suits the compilation perfectly.

Martin ArmigerI Love My Car is certainly reminiscent of the era, but I’d argue that it’s not quite worthy of this collection.

The Bleeding HeartsBoys (Greg Macainsh Demo Version) is a great track. It kinda makes me wonder what the non-demo version sounds like as this edition was already ready for prime-time in my opinion.

StilettoRozalyn is a killer song. The vocal delivery, in particular, is absolutely sensational, making for one of the best songs on the compilation. That said, there is a little sibilance in the vocal that can be distracting, especially when listening via headphones.

The DotsI See Red is rather rough around the edges, reminding me a little of the early Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan recordings. Overall, however, it isn't a bad song but it could have been great with a little more spit and polish.

Jo Jo Zep & The FalconsOnly The Lonely Hearted isn’t a song to write home about, but it's a solid addition to this compilation.

The SportsSuddenly is a great song that improves upon each listen. I love the vocal style and Suddenly is perfectly mixed.

Mondo RockTelephone Booth has a great rhythm that is full of energy. I dare say Telephone Booth would have been exceptional when played live.

Daddy CoolSaturday Night (GTK Live) is merely satisfactory as there are much better Daddy Cool songs that could have been selected for this compilation.

SkyhooksHey, What's The Matter? (Steve Hill Demo Version) is awesome! Although, the final master recording is even better. Regardless, it's Skyhooks, what is not to like?

Company CaineBuzzin’ With My Cousin is a little too left of the centre for me. That doesn't mean that you won't like it, but I just don’t connect with it.

Captain Matchbox Whoopee BandRoll That Reefer is different and feels out-of-place, but it’s certainly a compelling tune.

Stephen Cummings & Dave FlettThe Third Degree sounds too much like The Rolling Stones. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the song is excellent, but I do value uniqueness.

Rock GraniteYou Got Me Where You Want Me is a toe-tapper and a head-bopper. Great tune!

Jo Jo Zep & The FalconsSomeday It's Gonna Come To You (1976 Demo Version) is far better than the demo tag would make you believe. A sensational song!

Mark GillespieComin' Back For More is thoroughly enjoyable.

AutodriftersLocked Out Of Love is not my type of song, but you may enjoy it; especially if you're a Hank Williams fan.

Fabulous NudesI'll Be A Dag For You, Baby is daggy! It isn't the greatest song and should have been omitted from the compilation.

The Pelaco BrosTruckdrivin' Guru is a solid song, but nothing to write home about and again we have a song that is somewhat influenced by The Rolling Stones. I guess imitation is really the sincerest form of flattery.

Peter Lillie & The LeisuremastersHangin' Round The House is brilliant! An Aussie Classic!

The SportsLive Work & Play (Nightmoves Live) isn't a bad song but I'm more interested in the polish that often accompanies studio recordings. That said, this is a strong live performance with plenty of energy.

High Rise BombersRadio Show is a great song and that jam session mid-song is superb.

Eric Gradman Man & MachineBright Boy has an addictive beat and is overall an exceptional song.

SkyhooksThis Is My City is a great way to close this compilation. It ensures that I'll listen again as Skyhooks can do no wrong in my opinion.

For those of you calculating the track listing, some will wonder why there are only 43 songs reviewed, rather than the 45 included on the album. Sadly, likely due to contractual permissions, Daddy Cool’s Boy You're Paranoid and The Indelible Murtceps' Blue Movies Made Me Cry are missing from streaming services. This discrepancy is yet another reason why owning the CD is a good idea as you're not limited to accessing the music you love by outside influences that are out of your control. Despite this, (When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton is an incredible compilation of Australian artists from the 70s and the reputable Melbourne music scene. While there are a couple of songs that don't connect with my soul, the compilation as a whole does. Subsequently, every song, regardless of my subjective viewpoint, is essential.

(When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton is available on CD, the TIDAL Store (16/44.1kHz FLAC), and iTunes. It’s important to note that the aforementioned absent songs are available if you purchase the album.

If the omission of those two songs doesn’t worry you, you can also stream (When The Sun Sets Over) Carlton on Spotify and Apple Music.

Comment