James Horner

Ransom [Original Score]

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After rejecting Howard Shore's completed music for the 1996 thriller Ransom, director Ron Howard called upon longtime collaborator James Horner to compose a new score -- finished in less than two weeks, it's no surprise that Horner's efforts are muddy and unfocused, not to mention further undermined by the questionable addition of a series of loud rock & roll cues written and performed by Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan. Recalling Horner's previous Clear and Present Danger score with its patriotic brass flourishes and evoking Apollo 13 via pulsing, insistent rhythms, Ransom manages to regurgitate past glories at virtually every melodic turn -- no wonder the music seems so lifeless and disjointed. Even Horner enthusiasts will find little of value here.

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