Varese Sarabande (302 066 356 2)
Release Date: 2002
Conducted by Michael Nowak
Average Rating: 5 stars (2 users)
|3.||Video on the Bed||1:20|
|10.||I Hate Myself||2:52|
|14.||Unfaithful (piano variation)||2:40|
|Total Album Time:||44:00|
|by Dan Goldwasser
June 6, 2002
While everyone else was off swinging with Spider-Man and getting prepped for the Attack of the Clones, director Adrian Lyne slipped an adult drama through the cracks that managed to hold its own, even if it didn't give the web-slinger a run for its money. Unfaithful focuses on housewife Connie Summer (Diane Lane) and her indulgent affair with book dealer Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez). How she handles the adultery as well as her husband Edward (Richard Gere) provides plenty of drama and tension. While the ending was a little bit of a letdown, the film was kept engaging with a bit of help by composer Jan A.P. Kaczmarek's soft and moving score.
The main theme is first heard over the main title sequence in "At Home". A gentle piano-based theme, it is representative of the stability of the family - a stability, of course, that will soon be shattered. Because of what we know is to come, the theme is slightly melancholy, and tinged with a hint of sadness. The secondary theme, heard in "The Wind" uses a string section with the piano, and a sense of dreamy surrealism is achieved through the music in conjunction with the fateful windstorm on screen that brings Connie and Paul together. Subtle variations on these themes are heard as the affair progresses, and the score mirrors that progression. "Braille" is tender as the affair begins; "Triangle" tosses in a little accordion for a close encounter at a coffee shop where Connie risks revealing the affair to her friends. "Cold Bathtub" is when the score starts to take on a darker edge, as Connie feels her betrayal to her husband.
"Discovery" is a sad piece where Edward finds out about the affair. The wind theme is heard in "Sudden Turn" as Connie decides to go back to Paul, but this time the theme is a bit darker, and a tad more foreboding. It is also used more dramatically later on the album in "The Obsession". "Unfaithful" is a full orchestral version of the family theme heard in the first track, and is a stand-out cue. I hate to make comparisons, but Angelo Badalamenti comes to mind. It's simply a great theme. "Car Wash" integrates a bit of soft vocals into the wind theme, and some discomforting vocal effects are also used in "The Visit" - where Edward meets Paul.
A flourishing piano variation on the family theme is heard in "Unfaithful (Piano variation)". The film comes to a bit of a primary climax in "The Globe", a darker atmospheric cue, and then is resolved in "Together" - where a full orchestral version of the family theme can be heard. "Silence", the last cue on the disc, feels a bit out of place and has a female soloist singing with incredibly quiet backing.
Overall, Unfaithful is a dramatic and emotional score, with two very strong themes. While there are some cues that tend to overlap, the variations are fresh enough to make this a solid and enjoyable 45-minute long listening experience. Even if you haven't seen the film, this is an album that stands apart from the inspired material well enough to be part of your collection.
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