Total Time: (43:10)
I rarely hear the use of synths by film composers intended to sound "hip" that actually are. If you want to understand what I am talking about, go ahead and take a listen to most of Grame Revell's recent works. The whole idea behind them may be good, but Revell does not have the compositional talent to juggle the ideas of "hip" and "score" effectively. Edward Shearmur, as this album makes quite clear, does.
Like I said, no score thus far this year is going to be remembered greatly several years down the road. Even last year was better overall for most people. K-Pax is certainly not destined to break any trends, but it's spirit is something that may be enjoyable enough for those of us who like a simple, and soothing listening experience. Of course it would have been better to maybe shave a little off of the cues in places where they become maybe a little overly mysterious or tense. These occurances happen mostly near the middle of the disc.
I'd have to say the main highlight of the entire soundtrack is the very first track, "Grand Central". It is probably the best part of the score for balancing all of the ideas that are present throughout the soundtrack's duration as a whole. Combining this with the fact that the opening track is also plainly and simply the "coolest" that the score has to offer, I doubt that even orchestral purists will be too put off by its synth rhythms.
Another problem the disc may have is that it kind of fails to build to a satisfying conclusion, though I have heard that the movie never provides any definite or deliberate closure to the story, and the music may simply be trying to mirror that. The last track seems to be a victim of this "non-closure" as it ends on a pretty unfulfilling note, leaving the listener thinking "What, that's it?". Since I haven't seen the movie for myself yet, I'm going to have to assume that it is mearly a flaw in the composition, though it is a slight flaw that does little damage to the score.
This score will be little more than an asterisk in the history of film scores after very little time has passed, but as far as all of the little asterisks produced this year go, I'd say this is in the top ten percent of those. If you're interested in trying something a little unusual, you might like to give K-Pax a shot.