Leap Year


It isn’t a Leap Year this year, but that doesn’t stop anyone from having a fun time with romantic comedies and good music. I sought out Leap Year because I enjoy Irish music, and since the design of this movie meant that it would come with varied instrumentation as well as a touch of softness that most music in romantic movies requires. I’ve indulged in Irish music before, but more of the collections I find tend to sway closer to traditional songs and instruments which, while fine and dandy, isn’t always what I’m looking for.
 
There’ll be no track-by-track look at these songs because they’re so similar – and also because there are 33 of them (I think this is actually a contender for 3rd longest CD track list) and they’re rather short – mostly 1-2 minutes – with the shortest of “A Stinging Truth” at 56 seconds and “The Slea Head Cliffs” the longest at 4:41.
 
1. Anna's Theme - 2:55
2. Hymn To A Faery King - 1:56
3. The Slea Head Cliffs - 4:41
4. Declan's Walk - 1:43
5. Ballycarbery Castle - 3:35
6. Stirring The Pot - 2:43
7. An Early Sunrise - 1:45
8. A Leap Year Promise - 3:43
9. Stoney Road To Dublin - 2:13
10. Racing For The Train - 1:20
11. Morning On Boston Common - 4:28
12. Bed And Breakfast - 1:51
13. A Steep But Beautiful Climb - 2:33
14. Dingle's Senior Citizens - 2:06
15. Crossroads - 2:47
16. Cross Bow - 2:28
17. A Texas Oasis - 2:05
18. Stormy Seas Meet A Peaceful Shore - 3:43
19. Cozy Quartet - 1:45
20. Faddle Fiddle - 2:07
21. Arrival In The Big Bad City - 1:58
22. One Too Many Martinis - 2:28
23. Irish Schnitzel - 1:07
24. One Long Bluesy Night - 2:14
25. A Father's Wish - 1:52
26. Home To A Welcome Village - 2:48
27. Don't Mind the Black Cat - 2:07
28. V.O. Lyle - 1:33
29. Love and Warmth O'er Yonder - 1:11
30. A Stinging Truth 0:56
31. Right Time...Wrong Guy 0:59
32. Settling the Bill - 1:55
33. Offering the Claddagh Ring - 2:32
 
Meet Randy Edelman, by the way. I know him best from Gettysburg and The Last of the Mohicans (the latter has an interesting story by the way, but we’ll get there when that soundtrack’s time comes). But Leap Year isn’t his first comedy rodeo. From Kindergarten Cop to While You Were Sleeping, he does a lot of that winsome piano, and while I don’t have either of those soundtracks, I do remember their music enough to call them quite nice and perfectly-suited for their respective movies.
 
You’ll find plenty of that here. Edelman does a nice job mixing together traditional Irish elements – both musical styles and instruments – with the more usual expectations for movie scores. So on one hand you might get a bit of an Irish jig as with “Faddle Fiddle” In others you’ll get a slow harp with a lone clarinet that trades off with a piano like “An Early Sunrise.” You’ll also sometimes get those bits of slow, faint strings in the back while the lone guitar (I say guitar, but goodness knows it’s probably a similar sounding instrument), which is how “A Leap Year Promise” starts out.
 
I like this CD for its pep and overall happy sentiment. And for all its shortish tracks, it’s actually quite long – 76 minutes in fact. “Anna’s Theme” is a great way to start as it gives you a solid taste of what you can expect from the rest of the score. You perk up again near the end of “Hymn to a Faery King,” and “The Slea Head Cliffs” is one that always gets my attention for its soft and enticing style. “Declan’s Walk” is certainly one of my favorites for the combo of instruments (dare I say harmonica?), both Irish-flavored and not, and is the perfect way to step into the other side of the score that Edelman has in store for you.
 
After that it’s just a lovely mix that works for the movie and makes for nice music to listen to while you’re doing, well, whatever. I put it on when I’m just goofing on the computer or when I’m cleaning my room. It’s even better on sunny days because the sunshine compliments the happy.
 
NT

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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.