Home > Reviews > FIREHOUSE DOG – Jeff Cardoni

FIREHOUSE DOG – Jeff Cardoni

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An inoffensive family comedy, Firehouse Dog is about a Hollywood celebrity dog named Rexx – think Rin Tin Tin or Lassie crossed with Paris Hilton (actually, don’t…) who goes missing off the set of his latest film and ends up in a run-down suburban fire station in danger of closure due to the generally lackadaisical nature of the firemen within it. However, the arrival of the new canine in the firehouse has a surprisingly positive effect – Rexx has a surprising talent for locating people trapped in burning buildings, and before long becomes a valued member of the fire crew… until Hollywood comes calling wanting its star back, that is.

The film was directed by Todd Holland, starred Bruce Greenwood, Bill Nunn and Steven Culp, and had a score by newcomer Jeff Cardoni. Cardoni has written a lot of episodic TV music for shows like CSI and Entourage over the years, but his cinematic exploits have been limited to just a couple of major features, notably Just Friends and the Dixie Chicks documentary Shut Up and Sing. Cardoni’s score is a fully-orchestral affair, fun and enjoyable, often surprisingly exciting, but overall a little lightweight – not that one has high expectations for a film about a dog in a fire station, but great score have been composed for more unlikely movies, so you never know! 

A pretty decent action cue, “Conner Rescues Shane”, opens the score selections, and is immediately followed by the stirring “Finale”, in one of the most peculiar examples of album sequencing in 2007.

The rest of the score fluctuates between some surprisingly strident orchestral action music (“Loft Fire”, “Tunnel Rescue”, “Dogpound’s on Fire”) that occasionally recalls the work of James Newton Howard or Randy Edelman, some softer and more sentimental material (“Trey Takes Back Rexx”), and light-hearted and energetic caper music featuring urban percussion, electric guitars and pan-flutes alongside the orchestra (“Rexx Meets Shane”, “Dog Catcher”, “Four Alarm Fire”). It’s enjoyable, undemanding stuff, and is a decent enough purchase for those who like this sort of thing.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Count on Me (performed by The Meadows) (3:03)
  • Lost Till I Found You (performed by Scotch Ellis Loring) (4:56)
  • I Fought the Law (performed by Left Alone) (2:13)
  • Conner Rescues Shane (5:30)
  • Finale (3:27)
  • Dust Bunnies (3:03)
  • Loft Fire (4:56)
  • Rexx Meets Shane (1:18)
  • Tunnel Rescue (5:41)
  • Dog Catcher (1:33)
  • Beach Flashback (1:00)
  • Uncle Mark’s Theme (1:31)
  • Four Alarm Fire (1:03)
  • Arsonist (5:12)
  • Trey Takes Back Rexx (2:23)
  • City Hall’s Behind It (2:34)
  • Dogpound’s on Fire (3:33)
  • Medal Ceremony (1:34)

Running Time: 53 minutes 30 seconds

Lakeshore Records LKS-339052 (2007)

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