Slowly but surely, Elliot Goldenthal has built a reputation for himself as one of the most innovative and inventive composers of film scores at work today, with a breadth of achievement that must be the envy of many of his contemporaries. Many admirers fell that some of his most impressive orchestral scores were for the two Joel Schumacher Batman films – and it was clear that the composer’s achievement was more considerable than that of the films he’d been commissioned to enhance (a tradition that dates back years, of course – think, for instance, of Elmer Bernstein’s score for Walk on The Wild Side). It seems we have something of that syndrome again here: Michael Mann’s Johnny Depp-starring gangster movie Public Enemies has been controversially received, but there are no such reservations concerning Goldenthal’s score (apart that is, from its brevity as represented on this CD — seven tracks only). But as the remainder of the disc consists of such artists as the matchless Billie Holiday singing standards (including Love Me or Leave Me), it’s an attractive package. Blues singers and other artists (including Diana Krall) complete the disc.

Barry Forshaw

Public Enemies: Soundtrack

Elliot Goldenthal/Decca

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