CD Fun: Killer Klowns Reimagined Score

Killer Klowns Film Score Revisited is simply a lot of fun. I am partial to this film for many reasons. It was filmed in Santa Cruz, around the time the Lost Boys was made. The Killer Klowns kill people by zapping them and turning them into cotton candy. So of course I find the music very endearing as well.

The album starts off with a more rock and roll rendition of the circus-y sounding theme song. The vocalist sounds like the singer from Rush, like a happy gnome or something. There is a tacky whammy bar thing repeating, along with the main Klown motif (over and over again) . There is a very 80’s touch to the recording, like Cheap Trick or something. The production is very clean, which adds to the listening enjoyment. As we get into more of the orchestral tracks, such as:

song 4- there are some really nice and smooth tones and very effective percussion , such as timpani drums.

Track 5 – a bass intro followed by a funky guitar and keyboard riff, which sounds dissonant , but not that great. A NIN type groove starts coming in all the sudden, interestingly.

Track 7-  fun , playful orchestral piece, which resembles Danny Elfman’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, and then followed by a marching band song (briefly). A part in the middle has a descending crescendo which cascades towards peril.

Track 8 -also very enjoyable in terms of sounding as if there is some great epic challenge being met. There is a lot of range on this album.

Track 9 – adagio at first. Kind of ambient, but cool and building up to something.  Tense Hitchcock style music builds towards the end, which has the second main melodic motif from the film end the song in style.

Track 11 – very serene though some minor tension in the strings.

Track 15- a demented psychedelic riff opens this extremely brief, but quality track.

Track 18 – a more up tempo and tense minor key piece, mostly executed on the strings. It has some cool transitions and orchestral swells. Parts of it resemble the theme song from Amazing Stories, a personal favorite.

Track 19 – a slow, somewhat mundane piece, which doesn’t excel without the movie showing at the same time. Some pizzicato tones add some flavor around the two minute mark though.

Recent Marty Friedman Album Shreds

Mainstream heavy metal and hard rock seem to be on the upswing, with some surprisingly good releases over the last year or two. This Marty Friedman album has solid production. Riff wise there is not a lot of repetition at all. The riffs and solos just keep coming. There is an interesting mix of 80s technical /melodic thrash and some neoclassical progressive stuff. His solos have always been fairly complex and virtuosic. The extended solo on the first track calls Malmsteen to mind. The song goes on a long time, and makes it clear the album is mostly for musicians to listen to, for inspiration.

Sorrow and Madness is a very fun operatic sounding instrumental which has some slower heavier beats as the song gets going. A very catchy and inspired tune. Overall, the album is sounding much more inspired, and heavier than some of the other solo albums from him I had before, such as Music for Speeding. I have to say , I am honestly impressed with the obvious display of his understanding of music theory, as evidenced by the chord progressions in some of these tunes. I will probably not go on and on reviewing this album , especially since the songs are often over 6 minutes long, and sound more like a movie film score than a traditional album. This is an album I am probably looking to pick up a physical copy of and drive around a lot and listen to.

Seal’s Albums Are Too Smoothe

Seal released his seventh album a year or two ago. I thought I would give it a chance, to see if pop still has anything to offer. His voice still sounds really great, ironically sounding like a black version of Huey Lewis. There is real passion in his voice (song 6, The Big Love Died, is the best track and it is a downer), which is unfortunately held back by the overly smooth pop music which backs him. There is too much major key synthesizer parts throughout. And the bass is not interesting enough, and sounds too programmed. One truly terrible song called ‘Life on the Dance Floor’ is entirely hard to relate to, and I wish had been cut out of the album. Overall, Seal still proves that his voice is better than other pop artists who have overshadowed him since the 90s, like Bieber and Swift etc.

The sincerity in Seal’s voice , as well as the smoothe mid range timbre of his voice , are his best qualities. His lyrics keep it real, mostly about relationships, and it seems like he sings from personal experience, rather than from fantasy. So there is a poetic maturity to his lyrical content. What Seal needs to do is change the background music to something much more blues oriented, preferably with Chicago blues musicians. But he should do a more up-tempo blues jam album next.