Interviews / Reviews

UP AND DOWN
Original Soundtrack Reecordings
Music By Richard Band


Private Release RBCD 01-02
Date of issue: 2001

FILMTRACKS.COM
This two-CD promotional set offers a wide and comprehensive sampling of Richard Band's musical repertoire. His career has crossed between the realms of film, television, special presentations, CD-ROM games, and commercials, with genres that include drama, horror, and comedy. Perhaps best known for his works in the horror film genre, the material presented on this album set represents mostly his drama and comedy efforts, with just a hint of his horror works. Since Band is a versatile artist, especially making the best of a moderate orchestra and array of electronics, it is likely that the majority of the works on this set are for projects you are not familiar with. Never the less, Band's capabilities, when presented with adequate time and a decent orchestra, would suit a major motion picture project quite well.
The first CD is primarily devoted to drama, and with 80 minutes of material on the CD, there is plenty to enjoy. From the lush electronics of Hyperion Bay to quirky choral snippets of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, the selections offer a consistent and very listenable collection of cues. The tracks from Walker: Texas Ranger and Stargate SG-1 are, at times, too electronically under-budget, but they represent only a small portion of the album.
The second CD, with a seemingly endless parade of colorful and creative comedy cues (many only 10 seconds in length), is not as easy to grasp. Then again, I can't listen to Warner Bros tunes for extended lengths of times, and the jarring cues function better exclusively from each other than in mass. Together, their circus atmosphere can be overwhelming after only a dozen minutes. As a cross between the crazy styles of Danny Elfman and the wickedly intense themes of John Debney, the comedy cues are certainly more than functional. Therefore, on the whole, the album works very well in promoting Band and his talents. As a listening experience, Band's previous single CD promo, Film Music Over the Years, is perhaps more enticing for the average soundtrack fan. Much of Band's best horror material is missing from this album; and although Up and Down may not be entirely complete, it still provides a stunning variety of cues from every possible musical corner of the entertainment media. Packaged in an awkwardly sized DVD package, the set does include extensive insert notes. Band's knack for combining the best of a smaller orchestral ensemble (or even the occasional full one) with his vast electronics will most certainly keep him employed for years to come. ***