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Monte Carlo by Michael Giacchino (Review)

posted Jun 30, 2011, 9:03 PM by Kaya Savas   [ updated Jun 30, 2011, 9:27 PM ]

Michael Giacchino is one of my favorite composers out there and I grew up on his music. The fact that he's an Oscar winner now is also a big reason why scores like Monte Carlo can get released. To be honest I don't know who would buy this score if they weren't a Giacchino fan, but if you're looking for some light romantic fare with excellent execution than I say go for it.

The majority of the 40 tracks here are under a minute in length. In fact only 17 tracks actually break the minute barrier and because of that this score is a very choppy experience. What we have here are little bursts of Giacchino goodness. The music is full of flair and class that calls to mind Ratatouille, but it also falls along the lines of jazz lounge music. Most of the score acts as "mood filler" and when you really start to get absorbed and want it to function as a score the track usually cuts short. It's a strange experience because I really enjoyed it, but I kind of wish he just wrote a 7-minute suite and put that out. In retrospect what may have been a better idea was go the Hans Zimmer route and cancel the CD release and do an iTunes release of 15 minutes of the weighty tracks. There are a couple of lengthy tracks and all the storytelling is in those tracks. The short bursts are merely fluff to a movie that seems to be fluff itself.

The reason Giacchino scored Monte Carlo was because it was the same director as The Family Stone, and I'm always glad to see a director sticking with a composer. However I really will only be listening to 5 or 6 tracks on this entire album. It's a great effort on Giacchino's part, but if the music isn't allowed to flow then it's the same as cutting someone off mid-speech. Monte Carlo is an incredibly jazzy, fun, enjoyable but choppy experience as a whole. I would say the CD is worth it for the couple lengthy cues though.