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Let me begin by saying that this is probably the shortest score CD I've ever gotten in my life.  The film was a depressing 37 minute short which detailed the life of a drug addict as he tries to find love, but eventually dies.  Thus, this album is only 17 minutes, but the composer still makes to make most of it worthwhile.  A blend of 2 styles characterizes the score - dark synth atonality, which is reminiscent of Alien3, and a more classical style, based on a string theme, which is quite excellent.  Reportedly the director wanted the score to get into the mind of the protagonist by personifying various animal instincts that he feels - which is where the synth atonality comes in.  This half of the score is pretty nondescript and typical, and I would usually end up listening the aforementioned Alien3 instead.  That isn't to say it's not creative - some daring vocal effects come in, particularly in "The Beast."  However, whenever the lilting classical theme enters the score, the music rises to a new level of being, one of the better dramatic themes I've heard.  I'd have to say that Groupe is very good with packing as much musical worth as possible into a small 17 minute running time.  The score release, like his other albums, is a home-made CDR with very professional packaging, which you can order from his  website.  I think that most casual John Williams score listeners will be somewhat alienated to this, but those who want to delve into something new, as well as fans of Elliot Goldenthal's music, will be pleasantly rewarded by both the dramatic theme and the more animalistic atonality.

Track by Track
1. Maintenance Sex (1:46)
A throbbing synth tone begins the score, which, after a dissonant string glissando, becomes an atonal synth track which, while working perfectly for the movie, is somewhat off-putting on its own.  Near the very end, however, hints of the dramatic theme make their way into the music.

2. Boxing (:55)
This is another synth track, which is again pretty weak on its own.  It's based on a hip, Generation Xish style ostinato with various synth effects.

3. Eddy Says No (1:11)
Here, the moving dramatic theme gets played in full for the first time, on strings with fluttering piano accompaniment.  In the last 30 seconds, the tone turns foreboding with dissonant string chords, and the theme comes back in full in the last 20 seconds.

4. Spotting the Prey (1:07)
This track continues the "Boxing" synth ambiance.

5. Last Call (1:59)
Groupe returns to atonality again, but this time it doesn't have the annoying synth rhythms, just a collection of very effective orchestral and synthesized effects.  Fans of Alien3 will no doubt jump for this one, and it's probably almost the best track of the "animal instinct" section.

6. Eddy's In Love (1:15)
Groupe's excellent string dramatic theme returns in this track, extended slightly from track 3.

7. The Beast (3:23)
Out of all the animal instinct tracks, this is probably the most effective and bone-chilling.  Even those who are generally repulsed by atonal music may find it worthwhile.  The composer takes racing tribal drum rhythms, adds some of the normal synth ambiance effects, and finally plays a shouting solo male vocal, eventually joined by a full ensemble.  In one section, a moving string melody reminiscent of the dramatic theme appears under the percussion.

8. Romeo's Farewell (1:47)
One of the best tracks in the score, this takes the dramatic theme and adds a moving female choral ensemble, as well as more of the orchestra.

9. Final Bath (1:18)
An extension of the previous track, this brings back the vague choral ensemble and adds the sound of church chimes, as well as a new string piece, based slightly on the main dramatic theme.  The last 30 seconds have an enchanting choral lament for the entire ensemble.

10. End Credits (2:44)
Probably the most moving track in this brief score, this gives the main string and piano dramatic theme some excellent thematic development.  Halfway through, Groupe adds hints of the animalistic sections in the form of a dissonant string glissando section.  The last minute is full of huge gothic string chords along with chorus.  The score ends perfectly with a woodwind presentation of the main theme.

Overall, I'm not quite sure what to make of this score.  On the one hand, it's full of haunting, moving orchestral drama pieces which really make the album worthwhile, but on the other hand, some of the animalistic sections are genuinely unlistenable.  If this sounds like it might interest you, I'm sure you'll enjoy it, however.  BTW, this score gets an N/A on length, since it's not fair to criticize its short running time, because this is the entire score.


Deviants: The Final Score
Music Rating 6/10
Packaging/Liner Notes N/A
Orchestral Performance 10/10
Sound Quality 8/10
Length N/A



Deviants is Copyright 1999 by Lawrence Nash Groupe.  Review Copyright 1999 by Andrew Drannon.  All rights reserved.