Home > Reviews > SLEEPWALKING – Christopher Young

SLEEPWALKING – Christopher Young

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

2007 was one of the best years of Christopher Young’s career in terms of his international profile, when he scored two of the highest grossing films of his career, Spider-Man 3 and Ghost Rider. Sleepwalking is a return to his indie roots; a coming-of-age drama directed by William Maher, the film stars Anna Sophia Robb as Tara, an 11 year old girl struggling to come to terms with her abandonment by her dropout mother Joleen (Charlize Theron), and the subsequent impact on Tara’s older brother James (Nick Stahl), who is left to pick up the pieces. As befits the film, Young’s score is small and intimate, making use of a reduced orchestra, augmented by solo guitar, solo piano, and ambient synth tones. Young has always been better than a lot of his contemporaries at making this kind of understated music interesting, and this is again the case here.

The score veers between piano-led bittersweet beauty (in cues such as “Heavens To Be Had”, the subtly optimistic “Ferris Wheel”, and the lovely finale “Shine On”) somber introspection (in cues such as “Losing You To”, “Wishing Well Blues” and “Kriskraft”), and even some rather dissonant tension (“Mad Bad Dad”), while in other cues, such as “The Water Waltz”, Young introduces an delightful light-pop element into the proceedings, resulting in a sound which sounds like it could have come from the pen of Henry Mancini.

This is never going to be a score which generates legions of admirers, or converts the masses to Young’s dramatic work – it’s too much of a minor score for that – but for anyone who admires Young’s more gently dramatic and reigned-in musical sensibilities may find a great deal to appeal to them here.

Rating: ***

Track Listing:

  • Come On Come Out (performed by A Fine Frenzy) (3:39)
  • Sleepwalking (4:28)
  • Heavens to be Had (1:59)
  • The Water Waltz (2:25)
  • Twisted Hearts, Broken Souls (2:36)
  • Losing You To (2:37)
  • Vanish (1:31)
  • Wishing Well Blues (3:50)
  • How Old Do I Look? (1:17)
  • Three Angels Underground (2:40)
  • Fire Flowers (3:19)
  • Kriskraft (2:44)
  • Ferris Wheel (2:16)
  • Sparkle Road (1:41)
  • She’s a Dead Diamond Dancer (2:12)
  • Mad Bad Dad (5:50)
  • Shine On (7:50)

Running Time: 53 minutes 01 second

Lakeshore Records LKS-339942 (2008)

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