As a composer who has become a favorite of the prominent movie comedians of the 21st century (Will Farrell, Ben Stiller, etc.), Theodore Shapiro has, in a sense, a double burden in coming up with music for these comics' humorous efforts. He must create music that matches the genres and settings of the films, and he must also join in the fun by at least gently sending up the whole thing. Those twin burdens are apparent in his music for Year One, director Harold Ramis' showcase for Jack Black and Michael Cera, set in what is called the "Ancient World." That puts Shapiro in mind of various Middle Eastern styles, as well as the sort of movie music that Maurice Jarre wrote for Lawrence of Arabia, of course. He manages to evoke these sounds well, but he also contemporizes them and provides a comic wink by throwing in the occasional trip-hop rhythm or an electric guitar. After all, this isn't really a movie about the cradle of civilization. It's a movie about Jack Black's comic shtick, and the composer must be most attentive to underlining the laughs.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
|Year One, film score|