James Horner

Searching for Bobby Fischer [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Searching for Bobby Fischer exhibits a subtlety and restraint absent from the lion's share of James Horner's output -- with its sophisticated piano melodies and taut rhythms, the music boasts a cerebral intricacy well-matched to the game of chess, the film's primary subject. For the most part Horner sidesteps melodrama and overkill, focusing instead on pacing and progressions that validate the more emotional moments. Still, the music seems strangely remote, as if Horner completely divested himself from the creative process in an effort to keep his usual impulses in check. As Horner scores go, it's still a superior effort, even if works much better onscreen than off.

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