John Williams

Always [Motion Picture Soundtrack Album]

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Ho hum. Another Steven Spielberg movie, another John Williams score. Always proved an enormous disappointment from both a cinematic and musical perspective, and indeed ranks among Williams' most uninspired scores, with none of the thematic development and sweeping emotion that characterizes his most successful efforts. Given the film's emphasis on flight, romance, and the afterlife -- three subjects well-matched to musical accompaniment -- what's surprising about Always is just how lifeless it seems. Much better are the pop and country songs that open MCA's official soundtrack release, most notably Lyle Lovett's wry "Cowboy Man" and the Platters' haunting "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes."

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