Album: Freedomland: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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Freedomland: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Artist: James Newton Howard
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Label: Varese Records

In this soundtrack to the thriller starring Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson, James Newton Howard takes a departure from his usual neo-traditional scores. Oh sure, there are atmospheric pianos and lush orchestrations here (“Brenda’s Apartment,” “Inside Freedomland”), but Howard also ventures out a bit closer to the edge (which still isn’t that far-out, but should make his fans jerk to attention). “Main Title,” for instance, deploys harsh guitar riffing against discreet synth whooshes reminiscent of the 1980s soundtracks of Giorgio Moroder (a feeling that also…

Reviews

Amazon.com

In this soundtrack to the thriller starring Julianne Moore and Samuel L. Jackson, James Newton Howard takes a departure from his usual neo-traditional scores. Oh sure, there are atmospheric pianos and lush orchestrations here (“Brenda’s Apartment,” “Inside Freedomland”), but Howard also ventures out a bit closer to the edge (which still isn’t that far-out, but should make his fans jerk to attention). “Main Title,” for instance, deploys harsh guitar riffing against discreet synth whooshes reminiscent of the 1980s soundtracks of Giorgio Moroder (a feeling that also creeps up on “Burning”). “Unrest” features striking electronics ricocheting around and creating a percussive, bumping wall that can sound like a game of Pong on steroid. And sometimes, those electronics and the melancholy atmospherics meet on the same track, as in “Did They Arrest Anyone?” and “You’re in the Wrong Park,” and the result is intriguing enough to let one wish Howard would drop the big orchestras more often. —Elisabeth Vincentelli

Related Works

Book:Freedomland

Freedomland

Richard Price

A white woman, her hands gashed and bloody, stumbles into an inner-city emergency room and announces that she has just been carjacked by a black man. But then comes the horrifying twist: Her young son was asleep in the back seat, and he has now disappeared into the night.

So begins Richard Price’s electrifying new novel, a tale set on the same turf—Dempsey, New Jersey—as Clockers. Assigned to investigate the case of Brenda Martin’s missing child is detective Lorenzo Council, a local son of the very housing project targeted as the scene of the crime. Under a white-hot media glare, Lorenzo launches an all-out search for the abducted boy, even as he quietly explores a different possibility: Does Brenda Martin know a lot more about her son’s disappearance than she’s admitting? …[more]

Film:Freedomland

Freedomland

Joe Roth

There are an abundance of outstanding performances in the uneven dramatic thriller Freedomland, with leads Samuel L. Jackson and Julianne Moore leading the way for a string of strong actors. The disappointment comes in the telling of the tale and getting all those performances on the same page. The movie is based on a dense novel by the talented and highly acclaimed writer Richard Price (who adapted the screenplay); the setting is a fictional town in Northern New Jersey and the low-income housing complex at its heart. As a housing project cop who’s…

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