Thomas Newman “Cinderella Man”

Album Reviews | Nov 30th, 2005

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Record Label: Decca Records
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I have yet to see Cinderella Man in theaters but I heard it was good. The film was inspired by the life of boxer Jim Braddock, who had to go into retirement because he kept losing in the ring. Russell Crowe stars as the main character and Ron Howard directs. Not sure if Thomas Newman has worked with Ron Howard before, since Howard used James Horner for everything. I guess it’s about time to switch it up, or perhaps Horner was busy already on another project.

As far the film score is concerned, I love just about anything from Thomas Newman. He’s one of the few film composers that I anticipate his next release. Newman has his own style and you usually can pick it out from the others. His work usually contains slow & subtle piano cues, sweeping orchestras and sometimes purposely-done screeching of the instruments. He also uses a flute (I believe it’s the flute) in a lot of his scores, and this album is no exception. The score is a mixture of his previous scores like Lemony Snicket, Shawshank Redemption & Road to Perdition. Plus, similar to Road To Perdition’s soundtrack, this album contains period jazz/big band songs on the CD. I’d rather hear more score than the period songs but the songs do work on the album.

The score also has some Celtic-flavored songs in there like “Hope for the Irish” & “Turtle” and I really liked those songs, but they were kind of short though. A lot of these tracks were short and I wish some of them were as long as the main theme “Cinderella Man.” I think that track is clearly the best one on here because it sounds just so beautiful. It combines all the movie’s prominent themes into one song. One of the things that Newman is great at is composing a song that makes you want to cry without even seeing the movie. I’m sure if and when I see the movie, I’ll be crying like a baby for some scenes just based on the score. Yeah I’m a wimp like that.

The CD has some memorable tracks on it, but overall it feels like a subtle, quiet score. I’m sure once I see the movie, the score will stand out a little more. The score CD is still good, but I like Newman’s previous scores better.

Bottom Line: Another good Thomas Newman score, I like his previous scores more though.
Notable Tracks: Change of Fortune, Weehawken Ferry, Shoe Polish, Hope of the Irish, Cinderella Man, Turtle
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