Lake House/Portman

June 24, 2006


"Lake House", starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, is a bit of a difficult concept to grasp, at least for this reviewer. Bullock and Reeves meet as a result of a letter in case the new owner/renter might have any questions about the lakehouse. The interesting twist in this story is they are separated by two years in time. Reeves is living in 2004 while Bullock is in 2006. This is the premise of this unusual love story which is not tied up into any neat package and little or no explanation is given as to why this is taking place. There are no professor theories, time warp explanations, accident with brain damage to put someone into a coma, nothing. You are left to your own imagination as to why this happened.

Rachel is the perfect choice for the original material. Because she is a woman she is able feel, hear, and see things differently from her male counterpoint. "The Lakehouse" track reveals the lovely main theme presented in an extended version from the strings, piano, and the woodwinds. The tranquil melody makes one feel like they are enjoying themselves at a lake house relaxing, meditating and pondering one's thoughts about life. "Pawprints" features the main melody but adds a little bit of acoustic guitar to the mix. "Sunsets" is a five minute track which features a playful theme on the strings and then on the guitar with an able assist from the saxophone before a sliding ending and then a brief reinstatement of the main theme again. "Alex's Father" is a track which is quite somber in nature until the last minute or so of the 6+ minute track where it returns yet again to the main theme this time with a slightly more upbeat positive statement from the piano. The last three tracks of the soundtrack "Wait for Me", "I Waited", and "You Waited" can be put together and form a small short story of a buildup, the alas nothing happened with the main theme, and the ending with a nice crescendo buildup. Rachel likes to repeat her theme yet, she used it in several different ways keeping it fresh and unique. In addition to her 12 tracks which total 32+ minutes, there are 5 songs which make up the first selections on the soundtrack and are used in the main and end titles for the film. Considering the plot "It's Too Late" from Carole King and "This Never Happened Before" from Paul McCartney are quite appropriate with their lyrics and fit nicely into the film as more than source music material. Alejandro Agresti, the director, used the words as key parts of the screenplay quite nicely. It is fairly easy to either listen to the songs or the score as they are not mixed together as is the case with many soundtracks.

Normally in a review of this nature cover art is seldom talked about but it is nothing short of spectacular from the concept of having Sandra Bullock in pastel color to having Keanu Reeves in black and white in the same photo with wonderful lighting while not a reason to purchase the CD is still nice nevertheless. There are no liner notes at all; just credits and pictures. A couple of well thought out paragraphs from Rachel explaining her feelings about the writing of the soundtrack would have been nice but it certainly doesn't make it sound any better! David Snell conducted a smaller size chamber ensemble (no brass) and the score was orchestrated by veteran Jeff Atmajian. The recording and mixing took place in London by another pro Chris Dibble and the result is a nice clean recording. Chris, David, and Jeff do nothing but enhance the fine work of Rachel and should all be commended for their fine work. If you see the film you will find a short cue here and there that is not included on this release. One especially of note was a soft quiet version of the main theme of the film Young At Heart. Not reviewing the film, nor wanting to give away any of it just think valentine.

Rachel Portman fans will love this CD and comes highly recommended to them. Fans of the synthesizer and percussion style scores will find none of that on this soundtrack. Think quiet, peaceful, meditation, relaxation. Rachel continues her fine tradition of Human Stain, Emma, Legend of Bagger Vance, and so many others with Lake House. You won't be disappointed in what you hear and consider the songs a nice bonus. Recommended!

Track Listing:

1. "This Never Happened Before" – Paul McCartney 3:262. "(I Can't Seem To) Make You Mine" – The Clientele 3:38

3. "Time Has Told Me" – Nick Drake 4:26

4. "Ant Farm" – Eels 2:13

5. "It's Too Late" – Carole King 3:57

6. The Lakehouse 3:17

7. Pawprints 1:21

8. Tough Week 1:09

9. Mailbox 0:59

10. Sunsets 5:01

11. Alex's Father 6:46

12. Il Mare 3:00

13. Tell Me More 2:23

14. She's Gone 1:15

15. Wait for Me 3:02

16. You Waited 1:38

17. I Waited 1:41

Total Time: 49:12


One Response to “Lake House/Portman”

  1. Donna Says:

    What song played as the credits were rolling?

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