In amongst the Bond films, Pierce Brosnan seems to appear in mainly obscure films, Thomas Crown Affair excepted and Evelyn is another of these. Evidently, the setting and story appealed to Brosnan enough to take on the burden of producer as well as lead actor, he even provides a brief note on the album sleeve. The film is a story of family and what it takes to keep a family together in a time of trouble, that and the Irish setting seem like an ideal opportunity for a composer. Despite the number of concert credits listed on the press release, Stephen Endelman hasn't really made much of an impact as a film composer, but Evelyn is a pleasingly authentic, if not exactly indelible score.
The album starts with Sitting on Top of the World by Van Morrison, not quite classic Morrison, but a great song none the less and in this instance boosted by his gruff vocals. As might be expected, Endelman's score has a strong Irish lilt, the sometimes inherent tragedy of Irish folk music being ideal and cues such as The First Judgement make good use of fiddle and acoustic guitar, with a hint of strings, even if it does sound like the sort of thing James Horner writes before breakfast. Of course, the Irish love to party and the upbeat side to their musical heritage is present in the curiously perky The Nuns, but also in the two folk songs performed by Brosnan, On the Banks of the Roses and The Parting Glass. You'll be pleased to know that Brosnan's vocal contribution is admirable. In any case, these are drinking songs and aren't supposed to be performed with perfect diction and intonation.
The album is rounded out by the lovely, folksy Angel Ways, performed by Sissel (Enya's replacement on Titanic) and likely to be enjoyed by any fan of Clannad or The Corrs. Evelyn has the feeling of a score where all the textures are there, but doesn't have that special something to make it indelible. There are a few standout moments, The Chase is a marvellous Michael Nyman style cue, based on repeating building blocks with the orchestra coming in little by little, all of the sombre moments are quite lovely, but unlike similar James Horner scores, there isn't a stand out melody or two, to hang it all together. A charming, if unexceptional effort, but with enough moments to recommend it.