David Arnold

Last of the Dogmen [Original Soundtrack]

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A post-modern Western score boasting a sagebrush lyricism and epic scale comparable to John Barry's Dances with Wolves (an obvious and profound influence), David Arnold's Last of the Dogmen sometimes suffers under the weight of its heavy-handed melodrama, but its bombast and beauty nevertheless demand attention. For better or worse Last of the Dogmen owes much of its sensibility to Hollywood's golden age, resulting in larger-than-life orchestrations that teeter on the brink of self-parody -- the structural complexity of Arnold's approach can grow tiresome with prolonged exposure, but taken in short bursts the music soars, thanks in no small part to the London Symphony Orchestra's focused, sculpted performance. For all its flaws, Last of the Dogmen remains one of Arnold's most effective and rewarding efforts, and it's a shame he's yet to return to its approach in the years since.

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