Harry Gregson-Williams may be best known at this point for the scores to Veronica Guerin and Phone Booth, while director Joel Schumacher has had a few hits of eir own (The Lost Boys, St. Elmo’s Fire, and Batman Forever). What results when these two get together to work with a movie in which Jim Carrey portrays a wildly-different character than anyone is used to?
Essentially, there is a blend of the organic and electronic that is present throughout the entirety of the score. Different tracks allow different blends of these two styles to become prevalent. The first track on the disc is fittingly called “The Opening Titles”, and it blends together cello, violin, and other string instruments to create a full-bodied sound that gets individuals focused into the movie. The more electronic sound of parts of the soundtrack have a relation to the Trainspotting soundtrack. The way I see it, there is the same sort of tension and intensity present in the score for “The Number 23” that was present during the climax of Trainspotting (where Renton sees the dead baby on the ceiling). Both show that the composers understood the gravitas of the scene and worked to create the most fitting music for that exact moment. One thing that is not like many of the soundtracks out on the market at the current time has to be that most of the tracks on the disc are miniature symphonies – often running seven, eight, or nine minutes – at a time where a number of scores have twenty or twenty five one or two minute compositions.
This allows for Gregson-Williams to craft a greater cohesion to the full score, as well as to not confuse listeners in the slightest. Individuals might have missed out on Gregson-Williams’ work on “Veronica Guerin” and been focused on the action in “Phone Booth”, but the music is such a central part to the action in “The Number 23” that it will be hard to miss out on the compositions for even the briefest amount of time. It is my feeling that Gregson-Williams’ stock will increase dramatically after individuals begin to listen to this score, and that more and more movies will take use of Gregson-Williams’ unique skills. Give the disc a listen, even if you have not seen “The Number 23”. The compositions stand on their own, and individuals will be able to take one of the two disparate approaches to heart.
Top Tracks: Ned, Room 23
OST: The Number 23 / 2007 New Line / 9 Tracks / http://www.number23movie.com / http://www.newline.com / Reviewed 15 April 2007