Grace Is Gone/Eastwood

December 26, 2007

 

grace_is_gone_36322.gifTo my knowledge this is the very first time that Clint has done the soundtrack to a film and not directed or been in it. Written and directed by newcomer James C. Strouse and starring John Cusack it tells a simple story of how does a father tell his two daughters 12 and 8 their mother, a career soldier, was killed in Iraq. Winner of 2 awards at the Sundance Film Festival and nominated for 2 additional Golden Globe nominations (soundtrack and song) the film has yet to be released in the US at the time of this writing. It was purchased by the Weinstein Company so expect a full release to the multiplex theaters at sometime in the future. This is not an antiwar film but the difficult task of dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Jamie Cullum, a popular singer in the UK, sings the lyrics to the main theme ” Grace is Gone”, composed by Eastwood with lyrics by Carol Bayer Sager. As many of you know who read my articles, pop songs are extremely difficult for me to evaluate. It seems, on the surface, to be one that fans of Jamie or the movie would be extremely interested in, along with the other two songs “Hugging My Grudge” and “Makeup”. This reviewer will just default to his “music I don’t understand” statement.

Like the Mystic River theme and others Clint has composed simplicity is the key word. As the theme is included on nearly every track you will remember it after only one listen to the CD. It is this simplicity, almost hypnotic quality, that make these themes so effective in the films. On the tracks in which it is performed, “Enchanted Gardens”, played on the piano by Andrew McCormack is the best featuring a well tuned instrument with tight clear sound. The theme is also performed on the trumpet by Graeme Flowers quite soulfully on “Stanley’s Lost”. It is performed on the guitar in “Stanley Hugs John” with Yahama and piano backing.

The music is performed by the Kyle Eastwood Band and backed with Yamaha digital equipment. The band is a simple one consisting of bass, acoustic guitar, trumpet, piano but no percussion which was quite noticeable to me in some of the tracks. Perhaps this makes little difference in the film itself but as a stand alone experience away from the movie it does. I also noticed a small but noticeable volume change in “Value City” during a change from the organ/synthesizer chords to the piano/guitar probably during the mixing process.

If you enjoy Jamie, Clint, or the film you’ll enjoy the soundtrack. The theme is hypnotic but there isn’t a whole lot else to offer beyond the one theme.

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