FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER
Music composed by John Ottman.
19 Tracks (Playing Time = 50:57)
Album produced by John Ottman. Orchestrations by John Ottman, Damon Intrabartolo, Frank Macchia, Rick Giovinazzo, John Ashton Thomas, and Sean McMahon. Additional arrangement and programming by Lior Rosner. Chorus and Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by Damon Intrabartolo. Score recorded and mixed by Casey Stone. Music edited by Amanda Goodpaster. Engineered by Denis St. Armand. Score recorded at the Newman Stage, Twentieth Century Fox. Score mixed at The Village Recorders.
Sony Classical 88697-10888-2
It used to be that film score fans got excited by the latest superhero score for the summer. John Ottman, who is no stranger to big orchestral superhero scores, returns for this second installment of this lesser Marvel Comics franchise. Ottman’s first score featured a very good primary theme that made a rather unexciting film far more interesting than it should have been. This time out, he adds a theme for the Silver Surfer.
The main title theme from the first FANTASTIC FOUR film, a wonderful brass-driven flourish, is woven into the fabric of this score at key moments. “Botched Heroics” is where the ideas from the previous film appear more succinctly. The album opens with the strongest piece of the CD, “Silver Surfer Theme.” Presenting this theme as a sort of overture for the disc does let you know what to listen for throughout the album as it gets presented either as just the first half of this thematic idea, or the second half. A variety of permutations reveal themselves throughout the score in repeated listening. Ottman adds a kind of electronic, synthetic-type sound that lends an otherworldly sound to the theme as well.
Where the disc fails is in its low key finish. The last track, “ Noren Rado”is barely 50 seconds long and the album feels like it just stops without any real summary. This plagues a lot of recent score releases. I’m not quite sure if it is due to the lack of composed end titles being replaced by songs, or just poor presentation on the CD itself, or the film’s perhaps lackluster conclusion (something which plagues the recent Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix).
Ottman’s music though is great fun to listen to and it is supported by a wonderful set of orchestrations that make his music so much fun to listen to over all. It provides a more restrained balance from the abundant action music from the first film.
The release of this score though, especially on a label like Sony, is a big step for Ottman. It does make one wonder though how this gets a score release while Chris Young’s SPIDERMAN 3 score languishes unreleased.
--Steven A. Kennedy, 7 August 2007
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