I can't say that I've heard of Brokedown Palace, but based on the description provided with this promotional album, it is something resembling Return to Paradise, which was released at the same time. Essentially a pair of student age types get duped and then arrested for drugs they weren't trying to smuggle. 'It isn't mine, guv, honest!' The subject matter does at least seem a little more substantial than your typical David Newman film (in other words, more substantial than Coneheads or The Flintstones).
For a fairly heavily dramatic story, David Newman has actually produced something closer to Thomas Newman in style. There is plenty of percussion, piano and strange instruments with the orchestra only really providing the backing. In the same way as Thomas, there is no dominating strong theme. There are some lovely moments such as the superb string writing in Your Friend is Pardoned. However, for the most part, it is made of small ideas and short, repeated phrases that is all lightly percussive. Most of the tracks are fairly short (and judging by the track titles not in film order), but the different ideas that Newman throws in blend together rather well. The result is certainly somewhat less abstract than had Thomas written the score and without wishing to seem too crass, it makes the score rather more enjoyable.
Despite some strong ideas and plenty of good moments, the score does sag after a while and the music can tend to end up being a bit samey after a while. Short tracks of plinking and plunking can become somewhat maddenning after a while too. Of course, as a promo, this will harder to find than most albums and while I feel as though I'm pushing the David does Thomas point too far, there are more easy to find Thomas Newman albums in a similar style that would probably be equally satisfying. That having been said, David Newman does not rest on simply aping Thomas and it is merely a percussive style that Thomas has become renowned for. Anyone lucky enough to find the album for not too much would certainly be well advised to pick it up. This is not a typical orchestral score, but neither is it inpenetrable; carefully balancing invention with listenability.