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Charlotte Gray
Pretty, but not beautiful. -Isaac Engelhorn (11/28/2001)
Track List:
  1. The Train
  2. Charlotte Gray
  3. The Plane to France
  4. The Village
  5. The Threat
  6. The Loft
  7. The Decision
  8. The Tunnel
  9. The Field
  10. Nobody's Ordinary Now
  11. After the Letter
  12. The Gendarmes
  13. Waiting
  14. I'll Find You
  15. My Name is Charlotte Gray

Creative track titles, huh? The, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the, the. :-)

Total Time: (49:36)

Composed by:
Stephen Warbeck
I'm not completely certain that what I'm about to say is true since it's only been two consecutive movies thus far, but it seems that Mr. Warbeck has been typecast. In case you don't remember, his most recent score for Captain Corelli's Mandolin was a personal story with World War II as a backdrop, and so is Charlotte Gray. The only apparent difference that Warbeck would have to really be responsible for was a shift in location, to France instead of Italy. Because of this, it seems to me that Charlotte Gray, even for its somber charm, is little more than an extension of the Captain Corelli score. The main theme is even similar to "Pelagia's Song", so I'm really not sure it was such a good idea for Warbeck to accept the offer to score this movie.

What we do have is definitely enjoyable, but it lacks a certain characteristic that makes it stand on its own two feet, so I'm afraid that I may have to recommend that most collectors of film music steer clear of this CD unless they haven't gotten Corelli and would like to hear this, or they are a huge fan of the other score and would like to have what is essentially, like I've already mentioned, a simple extention. I do suppose that I am coming off as being too harsh on this score because I enjoy it quite a bit. I'll admit that Warbeck's very demure style of writing is not for everyone, especially people who like big action, but people who are fans of soft, lyrical music should find plenty to like here. Again, I am going to say that fans of the videogame soundtracks by Yasunori Mitsuda, especially of Chrono Cross, should get a kick out of this.

Another thing that I've noticed about Warbeck's music is that he often likes to employ the use of soloists. It doesn't really matter exactly what instruments he uses because there are several different types throughout the score. The most noticeable are the piano and violin solos, but there are quite a few statements made by a lone clarinet. I feel that this adds a little bit of personality to a score that desperately needs it due to its shortcomings that I have already mentioned. However, it's not quite enough to make the score excellent, just decent.

If you were a big fan of the Captain Corelli score like me, then you should most certainly purchase this. If you did not like that score, then I can almost promise that you won't like this. If you haven't even heard Corelli, then it's my suggestion that you pick that up first (read the review), and then make your decision regarding this. And by the way, make sure you visit the Official Charlotte Gray Soundtrack site.


Charlotte Gray is Copyright 2001 Sony Classical. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.