John Debney

Sudden Death [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Whatever the failings of the 1995 Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle Sudden Death -- a goofy Die Hard rip-off set in a hockey arena -- John Debney's brooding, ominous score deserves praise. One of the composer's few forays into the modern action film, it gamely sidesteps the clich├ęs and conventions of the genre in favor of an appealingly solemn sensibility that lends some much-needed gravitas to the onscreen narrative. Debney nevertheless delivers the energy and excitement one demands of the action genre, employing bold eruptions of brass and rousing timpani that evoke the classic adventure scores of Jerry Goldsmith yet retain Debney's idiosyncratic hallmarks, most notably his signature woodwind solos. An underrated effort by an underrated composer.

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