Ghost



Another nugget I found at the library that couldn’t have had better timing. Why? Because I’d watched the movie a few weeks ago and there is a specific piece of music that always piqued my interest. Voila; a review.
 
Who is Maurice Jarre? Heck if I know. Yes, the infamous soundtrack lover has no clue on who this guy is. So let’s look shall we? Where’s the best place to get the dirt on composers? Amazon, of course. As it turns out, Maurice Jarre is responsible for various soundtracks such as A Walk in the Clouds, Fatal Attraction, and Gorillas in the Mist. Looks to me his specialty is music on the low, quiet side.
 
Did you know there are three versions out there of this? Took me a while to find the right one on here. Now don’t let the fact that this CD has only 8 tracks fool you. These are all fairly long, capping out at nearly 40 minutes of movie music magic. So, as this CD is due back at the library tomorrow, without further ado, I give you Ghost.
 
1.) Unchained Melody (performed by the Righteous Brothers) – 3:35 If you’ve never heard this song, then you need to. It’s a classic brought to you by the Righteous Brothers (though now it’s been almost permanently connected with this movie), the kind you would slow dance to, but only with someone special. If you liked “Unchained Melody,” then by all means, get your hands on this.
 
2.) Ghost – 7:24 It’s very quiet – but don’t turn it up because you’ll get a sudden burst of sound that might hurt your eardrums. Then near silence returns, and low, eerie sounds will be coming out of your speakers. Icy sparkles dance about until a little of Sam’s ghost theme comes into play off and on until it all drops off completely, leaving plenty of room for the piano to start up the theme, giving permission to other instruments to take up the song. But don’t let that fool you, because with a little synthing, things are about to get serious and dark.
 
3.) Sam – 5:33 A little wind…a little discord…and more dark feelings are to be had with softly beating drums and short snatches of horn. Then the pace suddenly picks up in a mildly heroic sound before losing instruments again back into the off and on instrumentation.
 
4.) Ditto – 3:20 Ah, we finally get more of the loving theme between Molly and Sam – just kidding. Things have gotten serious once again and strange sounds not normally coming from an orchestra are making themselves heard. The horns do give us a little more of Sam’s heroic/retribution music, but not too much just yet.
 
5.) Carl – 4:06 It’s time for somebody’s comeuppance. Things sneak around corners, hide in mists, weird little noises growing closer with every note… But maybe not just yet, so the loving theme for Sam and Molly can have a little reprieve. Just a little one though, because as everything gets more frenzied and panicky, strings plucking and sounds meshing together in strikingly freaky ways until they fade off.
 
6.) Molly – 6:17 Will we finally hear more of that melody that perfectly encompasses Sam and Molly’s love? Yes, and listen to those strings float along, but once again we’re interrupted with dark following music, all instruments getting together to reach out and catch something. Horns blare, percussion taps, strings hang on a single note, and then the electronics come out to play. They creep ever closer until – it’s time for someone else to be dragged away by those ugly shadows. Bye.
 
7.) Unchained Melody – 4:01 There isn’t any singing this time – it’s all orchestrated for the final scene for the movie, and probably one of my more favorite pieces because the strings just take this one home, with a little help from the flutes. They take very few liberties with the melody, only changing it enough to give it a little sadness, but more for hope.
 
8.) End Credits – 4:16 Ah, finally we get to hear a fully fleshed out version of Molly and Sam’s love theme. Rather beautiful, for once the horns are in check and being nice, and the strings have the lead role.
 
Maurice Jarre does indeed bring an otherworldly sound into this music. It’s somewhat hard to pick up during the movie, mostly because a lot of it is very quiet and because you are busy watching the movie, not paying close attention to background music. He uses instruments sparingly, so to speak, and there are electronic sounds involved, which work out very well as they add to the ghost-like, other side aura. It’s a good mix and I like it a lot. The best comparison I can give it will only be known to those who’ve played Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – the song inside the Deku Tree and later on in the Ice Cave.
 
Having said that, it gives the CD a low replay value. I don’t really know when you’d be playing this other than simply having the urge to hear the movie’s music (which even in my case, would not be often). The music for darker times and frightened moments is intertwined with moments that are completely opposite (i.e. the love theme), and though I can appreciate the soundtrack going right with the movie (as most soundtracks are wont to do, naturally), I sort of wish specific pieces were free and on their own, such as when Sam is doing his vigilante thing. It is good, though, that tracks 7 and 8 are like this, because I was getting worried I wouldn’t get a full version of that theme. It is very lovely.
 
Still, I applaud Jarre for the varied pieces he works out – freaky, ghostly stuff, and then the utterly beautiful rendition of “Unchained Melody” and the love theme. This movie always makes me cry (or want to cry) so track 7 easily makes me want to tear up. It’s a very emotional piece and I love every second of it. If anything, find the last two tracks and maybe track 2. Otherwise I’m sure you’d be just as happy watching the movie.
 
NT
 
Originally posted at Epinions.com

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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.