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Dolphin Tale by Mark Isham (Review)

posted Oct 16, 2011, 8:55 PM by Kaya Savas

Family fare is another tricky area for composers. My rule is that no matter what the subject matter is that composers should treat it as real as they can. Even if it comes to heartwarming family tales such as this. The moment the composer decides they are going to make a "children's score" then the score will turn out awful, guaranteed. Luckily Mark Isham is an an extremely talented veteran composer and that's not the case here.

Dolphin Tale is a film that is full of scripted Hollywood goodness. It's a feel-good movie and that's what it sets out to be. The score reflects that and Isham approaches it in a very a inviting fashion. The music just eases you into this calm state of mind. The strings with a trickling piano instantly let you mind wander to warm and happy times. As the score progresses Isham makes sure that it never goes overboard with the saccharine qualities. He does a great job of telling the story and placing the listener within the situations with the characters. There is lots of human heart behind the music and it rarely feels stale. Towards the end of the album the music sort of loses its footing and starts to float too high. You almost want to pull it back down and say "calm down, let's not get too cheesy here", but alas it does.

This is a harmless score with tons of heartwarming tracks that would put a smile on the hardest brutes out there. The score starts off fantastic and nothing gets overdone till the very end. While the ending may be overwritten a tad it's not enough to say that this is a bad family score. Isham delivers the goods where goods are needed and that's all there is to it.
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