Monday, August 6, 2007

The Cowboy Laughs at the Round-up

This little synth composition is found on the "Paris S'eveille - suivi d'autres compositions" disc. The album, as that "followed by other compositions" implies, is a compilation of Cale's late-80s/early-90s film and ballet scores, along with some oddities. (It's also the most widely available of his French-issued "classical" discs.)

This track is one of the oddities - it doesn't seem to have been written for anything in particular. It starts with a "glorious vistas" segment, rolling electric piano chords that sound like a gentle, good-natured parody of Western soundtracks. It transitions into a more pensive segment, still on electric piano. The thoughtfulness here is appreciated. It's emotionally engaging in a way the soundtrack work often isn't.

Then comes the laughter - synth horns and a chugging synth bass. Then a drum machine. The third section sounds like a poor cover of a evening news or Sunday sports show theme, and it kills the composition stone dead. It's an interesting practical joke, but an irritating one.

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