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AS GOOD AS IT GETS: SOUNDTRACK

CD Soundtrack Review
By Lynden Barber

Hans Zimmer is renowned for bombast - Broken Arrow, Crimson Tide and The Rock are among his credits - but Driving Miss Daisy showed there were also thinner fluids in his veins. His work for James L. Brooks' Jack Nicholson-starring vehicle again proves his adaptability. Hans can do whimsy, too. His jack-of-all-trade abilities are presumably a major reason why he gets so much work. Zimmer looks as if he can turn work around quickly and competently, whipping up scores that suit the tone of the film without worrying overly about whether he's created an overwhelming masterpiece.

In this case, using orchestra and piano, he fashions old-fashioned, colourless, lightweight material containing the odd nod to Nino Rota's Fellini scores (minus the inspiration). It fits perfectly comfortably beneath the film as barely noticed background music. Outside that context it sounds utterly insipid. Can't they program computers to write this sort of thing now?

I'd also have to ask if there is really a market for a throwaway 30 minute Zimmer score. I'd guess not, and that the real reason for its inclusion on the CD is to pad out the non-original songs, of which there are only seven (or maybe the songs are to pad out the short score). Sadly they make up a pretty undistinguished selection with the exception of Shawn Colvin's terrific Climb On (A Back That's Strong) and Nat King Cole's pleasantly smooth For Sentimental Reasons (I Love You).

The film's climax is musically memorable, but I'm not sure that's a compliment. Art Garfunkel doing Always Look 0n the Bright Side of Life, from the climax to Monty Python's Life of Brian, is an acceptably light touch to the film, but does anyone really want to hear it over and over again? I'd gladly listen to a CD of Nicholson's delightfully insulting dialogue from the movie. How about that, Sony?

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AS GOOD AS IT GETS ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK

Catalogue number: 489502 2

Label:Columbia/ Sony Music Soundtrax

RRP: $29.95

Available: All music outlets

Music from the Motion Picture As Good As It Gets.
Music composed by Hanz Zimmer & conducted by Harry Gregson-Williams and Lucas Richmond.
Album Produced by Hans Zimmer and Adam Smalley.

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