This is not a film I am familiar with in any way, however it seems to be one of those faintly sentimental, mid west type of story of everyday folk doing their thing. Then again, Mark Snow is not a composer whose music I know much of. His X-Files scoring is effective, but its effectiveness disappates somewhat on disc. However, his Snow Files compilation did indicate that in many ways, his quieter, more sentimental scores were in many ways than his music for Mouldy and Scabby. This falls somewhere between warm American sentiment and blue grass type of twanging and bouncing rhythms; perhaps something akin to Marco Beltrami's score to The Minus Man. The opening cue opens in intimate style with a lovely piano theme, even if it does sound like a cross between Michael Kamen and Robbie Williams at times. This then launches into one of several period tunes which actually fit in quite well and don't intrude a great deal on the tapestry of the music. This is not a score where great pains have gone to create a stunningly intense atmosphere; there is a sense of place identified with the music, but it is not a great orchestral work where any intrusion would spoil the flow. The tracks immediately following Nancy Sinatra bounce between bluesy and big band licks which propel the music along nicely.
Pool Fantasy starts off with a very ethereal synth wash, not unlike the Nexus music from Star Trek: Generations, but this soon moves into a Field of Dreams style section with fiddle playing in fifths over a humming synth background. Nehemiah's March continues with the dreamy synth/pan pipe mood, but adds a backing drum beat and some deep bass rumbling as well as a gospel style solo male voice over the top. Very gradually, layers are added. This is not a marching band march, but what would result if a march was written in the style of mid west America, or something along those lines. The atmosphere is somewhat broken by the raucus, but highly enjoyable One Mind Julep, expertly performed by Xavier Cougat and his orchestra. Not the world's most famous orchestra, but a damned fine ensemble for big band. Crazy in Alabama sums up the major ideas of the score and brings the score to an intimate close and apart from a somewhat pointless bonus track, ends a diverting, if not always highly original score. It is at least a lot more interesting than similar style intimate drama scores and while there are some extensive synth passages, they are always used to augment the orchestral texture or to create atmosphere that cannot always be achieved acoustically It does bear favourable comparison with a score such as Field of Dreams, even if that effort did create a mystical, yet nostalgic atmosphere even more effectively. It's not exactly a must have score, but has several lovely moments and adds an extra dimension to Snow's stereotyping as the X-Files guy.
Read other recent reviews by Tom Daish: The Snow Files: The Film Music of Mark Snow
, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad