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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 4 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,610 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Original soundtrack to the 2014 motion picture composed by Pedro Bromfman. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, film composer Bromfman has been writing, playing and producing music for over a decade. His film credits include the scores for Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad), winner of the Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival; They Killed Sister Dorothy, directed by Academy Award winner Daniel Junge; March of the Living, directed by Oscar nominated and Sundance winner Jessica Sanders and Tropa de Elite 2 (Elite Squad: The Enemy Within), the most successful Latin-American film to date. He has recently worked on the music for the video game Max Payne 3 and the score for the independent drama Blue Lips.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa87f8a2c) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8280060) out of 5 stars Enjoyable Score - a new modern interpretation of Robocop Feb. 8 2014
By Danny - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are movie scores that become timeless classics because they have the ability to work both as a musical background that accompanies the activities on the screen and as a stand alone album with rich melodies/harmonies that can be enjoyed like a Wagnerian opera. John William's Star Wars, David Arnold's Stargate, and Basil Poledoiuris's Lonesome Dove are examples of these. Those that enjoy classical music and who may have never even seen the movie can pop those CDs in, close their eyes, and the music can take them anywhere. I wish all movie soundtracks could be like some of those but they aren't. In my opinion, it seems like many of the older film scores have a better chance of being successful on both of these fronts. But in actuality, movie scores are made primarily to supplement the activities on the screen. I can imagine when a composer is creating a score for a movie, they are thinking first and foremost about what would be best for the film...not track seven on the CD. Now I have to agree, I don't understand why some film composers don't seem to focus a lot on stand out themes within their music and I have to agree that this particular score doesn't really contain that much in that area in the traditional sense. As was stated by other reviewers, you do hear a segment of the original Robocop theme in track three "Title Card" and it sounds great. I wish too that Bromfman would have incorporated this more into other areas of the score. Maybe he only wanted to give an appreciative nod to Poledouris and do it is own way or it could be because of royalties and other legal/money issues.
So, what kind of score do we have here for this latest version of Robocop? It is indeed filled with more modern electronically produced sounds and effects. The composer's choice to use these do make a lot of sense...I mean after all, the movie is about a Robocop. There are a lot of pulsating electronic ticks and static like effects that are at work here and they effectively help to create a futuristic environment for the movie. There are themes in the score but, as I previously mentioned, they are not given to the listener in a traditional sense such as Poledouris's original score. Here, we find a more rhythmic theme that repeats itself throughout the score. It is not as recognizable because it does blend into the background of the other effects that are going on. This seems to be a common practice with many scores today especially those incorporating a lot of the more modern orchestral effects and instruments. The sound here created by Bromfman tends to be a lighter superhero sound. The orchestration, rhythm, and electronic ticks/pops are all airy and clean. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Paul Leonard-Morgan's "Dredd" soundtrack is another futuristic score that is more hard edge and dirty. It successfully creates a "I'm going to smash your face in" kind of sound to it. There is no doubt that Bromfman's score works for the film. It isn't a noisy soundtrack that only contains non-sensical action music. The score contains all of the emotional needs for the movie and there are certainly some stand out parts that are fun and exciting to listen to. I do wish it could of contained a really awesome stand out melodic theme that could of repeated itself throughout the score but for what we have...I am pleased. I've never heard of Pedro Bromfman before and if this is his first big gig, I think he has done a great job and I look forward to hearing more of his work and seeing him evolve as a score composer. I've enjoyed listening to this soundtrack and I hope other's will find it entertaining as well.
HASH(0xa80e3a2c) out of 5 stars Boring and forgettable March 12 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Granted, to follow in the footsteps of Basil Poledouris is an epic undertaking, so the bar was set high for me, but even looking beyond that this score doesn't even come close to offering anything remotely enjoyable to the film or for isolated listening. This was just a couple brief references to the original music then just a lot of lazy electronic noise. If you're looking for anything remotely like the insanely powerful Basil Poledouris "Rock Shop" you aren't going to find it here. Rather this is just a lot of boring filler. If they were going to try to make a suitable reboot they should have tried harder to at least try to make the music just as engaging as it was for the original film. It isn't.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa90ce4d4) out of 5 stars Outstanding depth for an action score Feb. 15 2014
By Chandler P. Poling - Published on
Format: Audio CD
It's easy to write-off action scores in today's film compositions but Pedro Bromfman was able to capture a modern sound with distinctive elements that make the 'RoboCop' score a step above. Remakes/Reboots have a lot to live up to when comparing with the original product but this 'RoboCop' is nothing like the original in any shape or form. Looking at the score with a fresh, modern perspective makes you realize the intricate details Bromfman places within this music.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb9358ca8) out of 5 stars A Structurally Weak & Forgettable Wash Of Noise Feb. 20 2014
By Kaya Savas - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Action scoring is usually the most engaging type of scoring. When composer write for action it usually inspires and thrills. Think about it? Think about the score that got you hooked on film music. It was probably an action or adventure film from your youth. The music is bold, thematic and melodic. Unfortunately, Pedro Bromfman’s score has none of the essential ingredients that would make it a memorable action score. It never takes risks, it never becomes bold and it fades away into the background for much of the listening experience.

I’ll admit that when the score started off that I had pretty high hopes as I found it to be rather engaging. It has a pulse to it that really hooks you as it sets up the stage for what could have been a crazy fun action score. Instead what follows is pure mediocrity. Firstly, I think it takes some guts to even reference Basil Poledouris’ original RoboCop score. You immediately remind the audience that this is a remake, and the audience will immediately start comparing this modern incarnation with the original. Why even set yourself up for that comparison? This score lacks any of the nuances, structure and execution of Poledouris’ 80’s classic. I would never try and compare the two, but the score pretty much begs it by referencing the original score instead of going for a completely new take. I can understand the idea of paying homage, but remakes are kind of the opposite of homages in my opinion. When I interview a composer who is tasked at scoring a remake they usually say they stay as far away from the original as possible to keep their take uniquely fresh, and now I realize to save the risk of tarnishing another composer’s work. The rest of the score here never builds any amount of excitement, it never constructs any thrills and nothing about it is exciting. It pretty much ends how it starts; as pulsating electronic wallpaper music that seems scared to do anything else besides staying at the same level throughout.

The score at times feels stuck in a loop. Some tracks feel as if they were copy and pasted over and over again with no real dramatic structure, or anything engaging. Action music needs to entice, and it needs to excite. I applaud director José Padilha and composer Pedro Bromfman continuing their collaboration, but for some reason this score didn’t craft the big moments it needed to. Besides the out of place referencing of Basil Poledouris’ original RoboCop theme, the score lacks any thematic structure. The same fluttering motif repeats itself the entire time and never goes anywhere. the electronic static that makes up the textural aspects of the score also don’t help in crafting anything engaging. Sad to say, RoboCop is a dud.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb94872d0) out of 5 stars Can you fly, Pedro? Well, no, not really... Feb. 18 2014
By Jon Broxton - Published on
One thing I really love to see is when a young, new composer gets his first chance at the big time, scoring a major movie with huge box-office potential. Brazilian composer Pedro Bromfman is the composer getting that chance in the early months of 2014, having been hired to score the big-budget reboot of one of the great classic 1980s action movies, Robocop. 38-year old Bromfman is best known internationally for his scores for the popular Brazilian action movies in the Tropa de Elite series, which were directed by his old friend José Padilha; when Padilha was hired to helm the new Robocop, he brought Bromfman with him, and – shockingly – the executives at Sony Pictures gave the green light to allow this absolutely unknown composer to score their $130 million investment. This is the stuff that dreams are made of, where careers are launched and great new talents emerge – except, that in this case, the dream turns into a nightmare once you actually hear the music.

The new Robocop is more of a reimagining of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 classic than a straight remake. It stars Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy, a tough but honest Detroit cop in the year 2028 investigating organized crime and possible police corruption in his home city. After a car bomb planted by a crime boss destroys Murphy’s body, he is selected by corporate executive Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) to take part in an experimental new program which will blend a severely injured law enforcement officer with an advanced robotics technology he had developed, in the hope that its success will allow him to diversify his company from being concerned solely with military hardware and into the domestic law enforcement market. With the help of brilliant scientist Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), Murphy’s remaining body parts are blended into a cybernetic body suit, creating ‘robocop’, a nearly impregnable urban pacification weapon. After some teething troubles, Murphy begins cleaning up Detroit better than anyone imagined – but, before long, Murphy’s efficiency allows him to begin investigating his own murder, which takes him down some unexpected paths…

The score for the original Robocop, written by the late great Basil Poledouris, is rightly regarded as a classic of the genre. As a tip of the hat to his illustrious predecessor, Pedro Bromfman quotes Poledouris’s powerful Robocop March in the opening credits, a 50-second cue on the album named ‘Title Card’. This was both a wise and incredibly stupid thing to do on Bromfman’s part – although it rightly acknowledges the legacy of Poledouris’s music, is also just underlines mightily how superior it is to the music Bromfman wrote for the new version. Poledouris’s score was identifiable, individual, tailored specifically for that film and no other film, with an identity and personality that was clearly and undeniably Robocop. Bromfman’s score does none of those things; it is almost entirely bereft of personality, distinctiveness and individuality. While the individual elements of the score are all fine, on a technical level, and accompany the film appropriately enough, this is the absolute bare minimum level that a film score should attain. Not actively making its film worse is, clearly, a good thing, but when all you can say about a score is that it doesn’t make the film worse, something has gone very, very wrong down the line.

Bromfman’s score features a large orchestra, overlaid with lots electronic enhancements and vaguely industrial synthetic percussion loops, but has no personality of its own that makes it a Robocop score and only a Robocop score. This music could be music for any action thriller movie made in the past decade, written by one or more of a dozen or more composers toiling away in the Hollywood music machine. Cellos churn away in their relentless ostinatos. The percussion thrums and pulses over the top, giving the impression of forward motion, when in reality the music is treading water. The brasses blare extended whole notes when something dramatic happens (I don’t want to write ‘horn of doom’, but there you are). The word ‘generic’ doesn’t even come close.

Picking out highlight cues in this score is difficult, as most of them simply run one into the other, with little to distinguish one from the next. ‘Omnicorp’ has a fun little string motif that jumps around behind the percussion (some of which sounds like the electronic tones you hear when pressing a telephone keypad). ‘Calling Home’, ‘If I Had a Pulse’ and ‘Clara and David’ have a simple, hesitant piano motif and a ground cello line that wants to say something about Murphy’s loneliness and isolation from his wife and son, but aren’t emotional enough to really convey those complex ideas, and is in fact ruined by a load of buzzing, intrusive sound effects.

‘Made in China’ has a insistent, interesting violin rhythm that briefly piques the interest, ‘Going After Jerry’ somehow manages work in an acoustic guitar and some vaguely South American-sounding percussion, and ‘Iran Inspection’ blends some vaguely Middle Eastern-textures into the score (although this cue is massively out of order, chronologically, as this scene is the first one on the film, whereas the cue is second from last). However, these occasional moments are swallowed by the electronic sludge of cues like ‘Fixing Robocop’, the God-awful ‘Explosion’. In reality, probably the best cues on the album are ‘Vallon’s Warehouse’ and the conclusive ‘Battling Robots’, which augment the pulsating orchestra with a large dose of heavy metal, enhancing the strings and brass with a growling electric guitar and intense rock percussion. If the rest of the score had shown this much creativity and personality, this review would read very differently.

I really hate writing reviews like this, especially when the subject is someone like Pedro Bromfman, a composer at the beginning of his career, who was undoubtedly delighted to have the opportunity to write music for a major Hollywood movie. To me, the whole project just has the feeling of a studio and/or set of producers trying to appease a director they very much wanted to work with by allowing to choose his own composer, but who insisted on having that composer walk a very narrow musical path that adhered to tried and tested formulas, and hit certain target demographics. At least, I want this to be the case, because if the composer and director actually sat down and, with the freedom from the studio to be as creative as they wanted to be, actually chose to write music that’s so anonymous, so formulaic, and has so little personality as this, then something clearly went very, very wrong.

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