You've Got Mail

Colosseum (4005939601522)
Varèse Sarabande (0030206601527)
Movie | Released: 1998 | Film release: 1998 | Format: CD, Download

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# Track Artist/Composer Duration
1.Butterflies in the Subway2:09
2.Kathleen Computer Sneak1:22
3.What a Beautiful Day!1:15
4.Goodnight Dear Void1:07
5.Books are Cocktails1:10
6.To the Mattresses1:58
7.Meet Me at Cafe Lalo1:52
8.You Weren't There1:40
9.I Was in Vancouver1:44
10.Dear Friend1:26
11.To the Movies and Back1:11
12.RememberHarry Nilsson3:02
13.Empty Store2:51
14.For Years to Come0:38
15.Are You Married?0:30
16.NY 1521:25
17.I'll be Waiting0:37
18.If Only1:06
19.Over the RainbowHarry Nilsson3:57
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You've Got Mail - 08/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
If you're suffering from post Phantom Menace orchestral overdose, then perhaps Fenton's sprightly and eminently entertaing score for You've Got Mail will be just up your street. There isn't anything great or new about it (but these days, there doesn't seem to be much new under the sun), however for a romantic comedy score it is certainly several cuts above the rest, this is George Fenton after all. Haviing said that, this is mostly very un-Fenton like material and in fact the first thing that popped to mind when I heard the first track was 'Randy Newman' - it definitely has Randy's ragtime-style piano and small ensemble sound to it. There isn't much deviation from this style during the score, but at least Fenton manages to avoid just repeating the main theme continually, but provides many different spins on the same sound world throughout. To the Matresses does provide for some expansion of the ensemble to include strings and a cod-European sound to the whole thing. Dear Friend has some more actually romantic music with strings and delicate piano solo just playing away dreamily. This kind of material reappears a few times, most notably in Empty Store when it is accompanied by saxophone solos and twinkling percussion. Music that is perfect for a moonlit work down banks of the Seine (well, that's what I reckon anyway....)

Harry Nilsson's two brief song contribution actually fit in rather well, although quite why they were included when there is a song compilation for the film out there, is beyond me, but they are short and couldn't be accused of sticking out too badly or being a shameless cash in. There isn't a great deal you say about this kind of score, it's a very even listen with no really outstanding highlights as such, but it never drags or gets boring and is much more entertaining that it could have been if done by a composer who didn't quite have Fenton's melodic sense. One strange comment that I read stated that Fenton's score was all that was wrong with modern film scoring. Very strange. I felt on the contrary, this was a much better approach than either the very sappy, heavy on strings style or one that emphasized the comedy orchestrally rather than have music that is kind of inherently tongue in cheek, a canny move on Mr Fenton's part. It's not high art, but dammit it's enjoyable to a fault, go on, pick it up, you know you want to...
You've Got Mail - 06/10 - Review of Andreas Lindahl, submitted at
The song soundtrack to You've Got Mail did only include a couple of minutes of composer George Fenton's orchestral score, which many score enthusiasts found to be a little too sparse. Enter Varese Sarabande. Thanks to them, Fenton's "entire" score is finally available.

For You've Got Mail Fenton wrote a very upbeat and jazzy score, with a lot of light piano and woodwind solos, and typical comedy strings. It's very pretty, sweet and entertaining, and it doesn't try to be anything else. It never gets too sweet or overly sentimental, which scores for these kinds of films have a tendency to, and the result is a score that will, no doubt, cheer you up. But the music is missing that special, little thing, that could make it a wonderful score. Instead it's just 30 pleasant and charming minutes of music.

The album also includes two songs performed by Harry Nilsson, "Remember" and "Over the Rainbow". Fenton sporadically uses the theme from the latter song in different parts of the score, like for instance in "Meet Me at Cafe Lalo".

Other releases of You've Got Mail (1998):

You've Got Mail (1999)
You've Got Mail (1998)

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