James Newton Howard - The Devil's Advocate: Music From The Motion Picture (1997)

Posted By: Efgrapha
James Newton Howard - The Devil's Advocate: Music From The Motion Picture (1997)

James Newton Howard - The Devil's Advocate: Music From The Motion Picture (1997)
EAC | FLAC (Tracks) + cue.+log ~ 249 Mb | Mp3, CBR320 kbps ~ 143 Mb | Scans included
Soundtrack, Score | Label: Snapper Music | # SMACD 803 | Time: 00:49:56

James Newton Howard makes a rare but welcome foray into the horror genre with The Devil's Advocate, a chilling but majestic work highlighted by its stunning choral passages. While Howard's signature fusion of symphonics and electronics is the score's backbone, his use of the human voice most effectively communicates the evil lurking within lead Al Pacino, and his decision to avoid thematic consistency is another clever tool for keeping the listener off balance, with strange, ominous noises lurking in the background to further underscore the dark forces at work. Spooky, compelling stuff.

Review by Jason Ankeny, Allmusic.com

While Al Pacino had portrayed his fair share of sick individuals throughout the years, 1997's Devil's Advocate gave the actor the opportunity to enthusiastically play none other than the fiery Satan. Taylor Hackford's film, based originally on Andrew Niederman's novel, takes a very straight forward approach to Satan's activities on earth, placing him atop a New York law firm and removing any ambiguity about his horrific intentions. A gruesome suicide scene, among some extreme sexuality and extraordinarily offensive dialogue (from a religious point of view), places the film in the competent religious horror category. Although dominated by Pacino's over-the-top performance, the film manages to take itself seriously enough to avoid the ranks of parody. One of the elements of the film that pulls no punches is James Newton Howard's score, which stands as one of the more powerful, religiously thrilling scores of the digital era. Howard's score is so transparent that it is forced to rely on its overwhelming power to avoid becoming a parody of religious horror scores itself, and it overcomes its own inconsistencies to qualify as a guilty pleasure on album. There are so many influences on this score, from Howard's own career and others notable in the genre, that the score is more entertaining in its collection of recognizable sounds than for its own unique structures. Given that Howard obviously intended the score to have an immediate, explosive impact on each and every individual scene in the film, his music for Devil's Advocate is a series of remarkable crescendos and fast hitting rhythmic devices. As such, the score has little identity outside of the simple fact that it continues to slap you in the face with orchestral, choral, and electronic ruckus at some point in each major cue. The result is a surprisingly entertaining score that features all the devious attitude of the topic while supplying the proportionate awe.

When you start looking at reference points in Devil's Advocate, there are almost too many to mention. At the time, the only Howard score that you could compare this one to was Flatliners, which offered the same style of brutality and combination of orchestral, choral, and electronic elements. While Devil's Advocate doesn't have the momentous beauty of the best moments from Flatliners, it does give you several stunning choral crescendos. Howard confidently provides these moments of zeal with just enough harmony to mark the religious overtones while also throwing in random dissonant elements for the horror aspects. The only title theme of sorts is an "allure theme" that is particularly important in the relationship between the married characters played by Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. As Satan begins to influence their relationship, from early lovemaking to later suicides, Howard repeats a frightful, slightly erotic theme that is overtaken by a rhythm straight from Jerry Goldsmith's Basic Instinct. But in "Lovemaking," "Time," and "Suicide," this rhythm is given layers of choral treatment much like John Barry's famous The Lion in Winter score. As the harmonic treat in the score, this theme is typically aided by a wealth of bass string and brass power as it reaches its climaxes. It becomes more mutated as Satan's grip is tightened throughout the film, making it more difficult to enjoy apart from the film, though the sense of melodrama associated with its appeal is never truly lost. Other cues of momentous choral beauty are littered through the score, and many of them offer singular motifs that aren't developed much elsewhere. The "Church" cue provides perhaps the only choral crescendo in the score, albeit brief, that is untainted by a blast of dissonance at its conclusion. Such is the case with the score's most memorable cue; as Pacino creates the illusion that every person other than Reeves' character has vanished from the streets of New York, Howard unleashes one of the most ambitious choral crescendos of his career.

In that "57th Street" cue, Howard also highlights the usage of a boy soprano, whose performances grace four major cues in the score. His overtly religious tones are likely a direct nod to the effectiveness of Elliot Goldenthal's similar employment as the highlight of Alien 3, and the usage would become standard by the time John Debney would utilize the same technique in End of Days. Several other influences on Howard's music for Devil's Advocate should be mentioned, especially in the incorporation of electronics. The selection of synthetic rhythms and sound effects seems lifted directly from the library of Craig Armstrong. Howard does this to give Satan his cool, modern edge. In "Montage," that hip stance is established, and it takes a darkly dramatic (and extremely Armstrong-esque) turn in "Geddes." In this cue, the Armstrong rhythms are joined by a distance church organ, pulsating choral accompaniment, and eventually some precise and harsh blasts of medium-range brass that will remind of John Frizzell's later horror work. Some of the straight action rhythms in Devil's Advocate are worth several listens, too, including two later in the film that will recall Jerry Goldsmith's 1990's style. From the strings and chimes late in "Cullen Gets Off" to the brass and percussion opening "Suicide," Howard's action material, though usually brief, is quite strong. Fans of the composer will even be able to draw some lines between the tumultuous choral rumblings of a handful of cues, such as the opening moments of "Main Title," with Howard's remarkable and much-loved Lady in the Water nearly ten years later. On album, the score is an inconsistent listening experience, partially because of Howard's wildly shifting work, and partly because of source music and dialogue thrown onto the product. The inclusion of the rants by Pacino about God and humanity in three dialogue tracks are quite enjoyable for non-religious listeners, but could be extremely disturbing for the pious. Overall, though, Howard's score is likely one of the more underrated of his career, and it plays to the film's attitude with as much enthusiasm as Pacino himself.

FilmTracks.com Editorial Review

James Newton Howard - The Devil's Advocate: Music From The Motion Picture (1997)



Tracklist:

01. Vanity (Dialog From Motion Picture) (00:15)
02. Main Title (01:04)
03. New York (00:51)
04. Milton (00:59)
05. Rendevous (Perf. by Michael Lang) (03:40)
06. Lovemaking (03:34)
07. Christabella (01:10)
08. Apartment Building (00:49)
09. Barzoon (02:39)
10. Montage (01:02)
11. Geddes/Weaver (04:06)
12. Baby (01:57)
13. Finish the Story (02:02)
14. Time (02:00)
15. Cullen Gets Off (02:50)
16. Suicide (02:10)
17. Can't Have Children (00:58)
18. Baka (01:22)
19. 57th Street (02:05)
20. Air on the G String (Perf. by Virgil Fox) (04:31)
21. Church (02:36)
22. I Rest My Case (02:22)
23. Fire (01:29)
24. Ring (01:01)
25. Surprise (Dialog From Motion Picture) (00:29)
26. Finale (Dialog From Motion Picture) (01:46)


Exact Audio Copy V1.0 beta 3 from 29. August 2011

EAC extraction logfile from 8. June 2012, 14:22

James Newton Howard / The Devil's Advocate

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All tracks accurately ripped

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==== Log checksum 55457936E3ABDB06AA987B01A0D6994DC85004568A5A69AABCC2FB353D56C5A6 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2013-03-21 06:37:15

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: James Newton Howard / The Devil's Advocate
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR14 -9.54 dB -30.83 dB 0:16 01-Vanity (Dialog From Motion Picture)
DR10 -0.01 dB -19.79 dB 1:04 02-Main Title
DR9 -2.10 dB -19.28 dB 0:51 03-New York
DR10 -0.01 dB -16.19 dB 0:59 04-Milton
DR15 -6.27 dB -24.33 dB 3:41 05-Rendevous (Perf. by Michael Lang)
DR11 -0.01 dB -16.33 dB 3:34 06-Lovemaking
DR10 -6.11 dB -21.87 dB 1:10 07-Christabella
DR9 -7.19 dB -21.89 dB 0:49 08-Apartment Building
DR10 -0.01 dB -15.23 dB 2:40 09-Barzoon
DR14 -3.41 dB -20.84 dB 1:02 10-Montage
DR13 -0.01 dB -17.95 dB 4:06 11-Geddes/Weaver
DR13 -0.01 dB -19.78 dB 1:57 12-Baby
DR13 -0.01 dB -20.93 dB 2:03 13-Finish the Story
DR11 -0.01 dB -16.45 dB 2:00 14-Time
DR14 -0.01 dB -21.23 dB 2:51 15-Cullen Gets Off
DR11 -0.01 dB -15.84 dB 2:10 16-Suicide
DR10 -9.10 dB -24.06 dB 0:58 17-Can't Have Children
DR10 -11.51 dB -28.40 dB 1:22 18-Baka
DR9 -0.01 dB -15.14 dB 2:05 19-57th Street
DR11 -6.45 dB -22.61 dB 4:31 20-Air on the G String (Perf. by Virgil Fox)
DR12 -0.01 dB -18.51 dB 2:36 21-Church
DR11 -0.02 dB -17.42 dB 2:22 22-I Rest My Case
DR11 -0.01 dB -14.45 dB 1:29 23-Fire
DR10 -6.97 dB -24.29 dB 1:02 24-Ring
DR14 -7.67 dB -25.99 dB 0:30 25-Surprise (Dialog From Motion Picture)
DR14 -6.63 dB -23.65 dB 1:47 26-Finale (Dialog From Motion Picture)
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 26
Official DR value: DR12

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 257 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

James Newton Howard - The Devil's Advocate: Music From The Motion Picture (1997)

James Newton Howard - The Devil's Advocate: Music From The Motion Picture (1997)