THE MATADOR (2005)
13 Tracks (Playing Time = 41:20; 3 Score Tracks = 7:59)
Score composed by Rolfe Kent.
Album produced by Shiro Gutzie. Songs performed by Asia, The Cramps, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Daniel Indart, The Jam, Mariachi “La Estrella,” Ramon Stagnaro, Titan, and Dave Van Norden
Superb Records 2611
Sundance 2005 featured the premiere of this Pierce Brosnan comedy. It was picked up by the Weinstein’s and only released in limited locations towards the end of December. It is a bit removed from Brosnan’s other work but seems as if the production was a great deal of fun and even managed to get him a Golden Globe nod. The score is by Rolfe Kent who continues to do amazing work in these smaller independent comedies.
Unfortunately for Kent fans, this CD of THE MATADOR only gives them three glimpses of his score material. I was prepared to be more dismissive of the disc with that knowledge. However, THE MATADOR works as a fine CD featuring an interesting mix of pop and Mexican music that can instantly be connected to its images in the film. I could not help but think this is a CD for the guy that sees this movie, has a great laugh and wants a little unusual drive music for his commute. As such the disc and its sequencing work perfectly. The humorous “1,2,3,4” from Titan makes perfect sense when laid next to Kent’s score track, “Manilla Fiasco.” The “Matador Theme” is really more of a mood than a theme in the traditional sense. Perhaps if more of the score was available one could hear the nuances better, but this is not the kind of score that requires much nuance.
The sequencing of the disc only confirms Kent’s ability to work his score material around existing songs. It is something he has been doing since his fine score for ELECTION (1999). There is just not enough of his score to really get a sense of what it is like on this disc.
The disc can be recommended though for fans of this film who will recall the moments in the film when the various pop songs appeared. This is also one of those times when ratings cannot properly reflect the score material. As a concept album for a film, Superb has done a fine job. But film score fans will probably pass this by.
--Steven A. Kennedy, 28 January 2006
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