When you start to listen to Guy Farley’s music for THE HOT POTATO, instantly you are taken back to the glory days of film scoring, when John Barry ruled supreme and Laurie Johnson and Edwin Ashley’s infectious and pulsating TV themes were resounding from every television set in the UK. Farley’s score for THE HOT POTATO I have to say is one of the most entertaining and listenable scores to be released thus far this year. The composer certainly has embarked on a labour of love here, I say that because it is such a mesmerising and engrossing work, which is carefully and meticulously woven together. It is filled to overflowing with references, nuances and trademarks that could as I have already stated belong to John Barry or Edwin Astley and Laurie Johnson, it has about it a presence a sound and a colourful and exciting attraction that I for one have not found in many film scores since the late 1960,s and early 1970,s. I love the way in which the composer utilizes harpsichord and also low woods and combines these with that pizzicato Barry-esque sound and further embellishes these with the use of strings and brass. Whilst listening to the score I found myself being reminded of such scores as THE KNACK, IPCRESS FILE, QUILLER MEMORANDUM and PETULIA, plus there are certain phrases and flourishes throughout the work that could be from either THE SAINT or RANDALL AND HOPKIRK (deceased) and also there is a big band sound that acts like a glue bringing everything together, which is very much in the style of Laurie Johnson when he scored TV series such as THE AVENGERS. But I think more than anything it is the harpsichord and the use of at times cheeky but at the same time bold sounding brass stabs plus those low at times almost rough and smouldering sounding woods and the even more seedy jazz influenced sounding muted trumpet punctuated by bass and stroked percussion that holds the attraction for me. Of course in certain cues one can also here the influence of Barry’s 007 soundtracks, the composer re-creating the style which Barry employed in THUNDERBALL, which is ominous and tense but also hauntingly melodic. I recommend this soundtrack whole heartedly and without any reservations whatsoever. and if I was able to give it a higher rating than 10 I would.
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Erika
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, Le Altre