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BONNEVILLE – Jeff Cardoni

February 29, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Clark Douglas

“Bonneville” stars Jessica Lange as a middle-aged woman taking a road trip with her friends (Kathy Bates and Joan Allen) in order to deliver the ashes of her dead husband to her estranged daughter (Christine Baranski). The soundtrack album kicks off with eight pop/rocks, which are predictably a mixed bag. Donovan does his very best Bob Dylan impression in “Catch the Wind”, and King Floyd’s “I Feel Like Dynamite” is a cool R&B number.

I kind of liked some of the instrumental choices in Lazlo Bane’s cover of “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)”… but sadly, the meaning of this song seems to get further and further away from the intention of Randy Newman’s original with each new cover. The songs from Amos Lee and Chelo are skippable, and Pete Droge’s “Under the Waves” is a bit dull. Bob Sinclair’s disco/reggae hybrid “Shining From Heaven” is a bit off-putting, while Nick Kershaw’s “Wounded” features strong music and weak vocals.

Unfortunately, there are only about 11 minutes of Jeff Cardoni’s score material included on the lackluster album, and the writing here is certainly pleasant enough to make you wish for more. The first cue, “Opening”, is a sentimental piece, but it feels sweet in a rather low-key and genuine way, like something from Danny Elfman’s score for “Big Fish”. Material in the same vein can be heard in “Scrapbook”, while the gentle piano and guitar music in “Bo Leaves” is frustratingly brief.

We continue to get promising glimmers of music that is cut short in the following cues, and the lovely finale comes to a close all too quickly. What is here is actually very good music, but the cues are too short to justify individual iTunes downloads, and the album features too little to make it worth a purchase. That’s a real shame, because Cardoni’s music is engaging material that I think deserves to be heard.

Had Lakeshore been able to provide another 15-20 minutes, this album would probably be worth picking up, but as it is, you’re just going to have to be a big fan of all the songs here to justify a purchase. In the meantime, Cardoni is a composer worth keeping an eye on.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Catch the Wind (performed by Donovan) (2:55)
  • I Feel Like Dynamite (performed by King Floyd) (3:19)
  • Mama Told Me (Not to Come) (performed by Lazlo Bane) (3:15)
  • Supply and Demand (performed by Amos Lee) (3:21)
  • Cha Cha (performed by Chello) (3:15)
  • Under the Waves (performed by Pete Droge) (3:12)
  • Shining from Heaven (performed by Bob Sinclair) (6:20)
  • Wounded (performed by Nik Kershaw) (4:22)
  • Opening (1:58)
  • Scrapbook (2:07)
  • Bo Leaves (0:48)
  • Driving to Bryce (1:16)
  • Bryce Ashes (2:10)
  • One More Stop (1:02)
  • Finale (1:52)

Running Time: 41 minutes 12 seconds

Lakeshore Records LKS-33989 (2008)

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