The February Edition of CSI MusicBy Chris Fullman
Posted at February 20, 2005 - 11:41 PM GMT
Because of complexities with my scheduling, which has limited time for me to watch television (lets just say I was unable to watch about 2 weeks worth of TV, and yesterday while being sick in bed, I watched about 15 hours in one sitting), I will have to break these reviews up to twice a month. That being said, I will try to work in more interviews, as I have one coming up with a band that got popular pretty quickly thanks to CSI... who is it? You'll have to wait :)
Miami composers Kevin Kiner and Jeff Cardoni seem to be finally getting comfortable with the show, as their efforts have greatly improved recently. Chances are it was due to the fact that Miami has taken a more action-based route, much more so than the other shows. This past episode, Identity, allowed the composers to come up with a long suite that helped wrap up the end of the episode. They took an almost cinematic approach, by bringing in sweeping strings, pianos, and harps. The final result gave us quite an emotional response to the conclusion of probably one of the most hated villains of Miami's history... Clavo Cruz.
The sheer satisfaction that Caine shows as Clavo expresses anger for the first time justifies being taunted and teased by Clavo's arrogant smiles and self-touted immunity. The music helps reinforce this, as it shows that even Caine can get a little proud at times, when he's shown us humility and selflessness in the many consistent stories past.
Their recent scoring sounds similar to that of Justin Durban, a small-yet-large internet composer who has created countless pieces that he freely gives out to young artists to use in their own projects, available to download free on his site. He uses harps, strings, piano, and some percussion to help drive the action, express sadness, or illicit hope.
If you liked this score, you may like: Justin Durban
Bill Brown has also gotten very comfortable with his scoring, and his music has become very tightly integrated with the show. However, he's also thrown in his latest of many surprises... hip hop/techno/house beats flooded the scoring of the latest venture, "Til Death Do We Part". He's also brought back in the cinematic bumpers not heard since Miami's crossover "MIA/NYC - NonStop" last season.
The changes in music may be a result of the producer's efforts to lighten up the once dreary and ultra-serious show during its infancy. If that is true, this is definitely a reflection of that, and it works. I couldn't help but tap my foot to the evidence processing scenes.
On the visual side, it appears that New York's editing reflects the recent techniques seen in the original CSI, that is, accelerating the time by inserting chopped scenes or focusing on a character's reaction. The recent scoring accompanies this as both are being sped up.
Probably more popular than the innocuous U2's licensed tracks earlier in the season, new artist Cinephile was graced with attention when their song aired in "Nesting Dolls". Almost immediately, Talk CSI had threads devoted to that single track with people trying to track it down.
Spending an hour myself, as well as another staff member, we gave up since the lyrics weren't in any of the search engine's databases. The next day, the board was greeted by the band itself via member Kevin to introduce the band and their music. I'm sure their popularity went up a bit since then.
CSI composer John M. Keane was also hard at work, shifting into a more cinematic approach, but still keeping the classic investigation suites going strong. They've almost become extremely recognizable, since he uses the same instruments and textures as he did seasons ago. You can also hear remnants of Grissom's Overture from the CSI Soundtrack in the investigation suites, that in itself spanning many many seasons.
With the looming possibility of an office romance and perhaps a confrontation with Ecklie, I'm sure Keane's scoring will take the cinematic route for a while.
Music Search: There is a Blue Man Group-sounding song that was heard in the latest CSI episode, "King Baby", that I can't yet identify. I had initially thought the song was from their album "The Complex", namely the song featuring Dave Matthews called "Sing Along". If you know what it is, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post it to the Talk CSI thread.
Chris Fullman is a regular contributor.