John Barry

My Life

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While not as emotionally Machiavellian as the film melodrama it accompanies, John Barry's My Life still lays it on much too thick -- a lush, deeply romantic score all too typical of the composer's autumnal output, its simple harmonies and saccharine arrangements are too dull to thrive outside of their intended cinematic context. Employing his now-familiar formula of strings and woodwinds, Barry evokes the melancholy and nostalgia so integral to My Life's plot in sweeping yet superficial detail -- there's more the pretense of feeling than the real thing, as if ethereal flutes and twinkling pianos are enough to trip the listener's emotional wires. As always, Barry's consummate craftsmanship is unquestioned, but it's difficult to shake the sense he's merely going through the motions here.

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