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"No miracle, but it works to please me"

Review by Thomas Glorieux:

Mark Isham isn't known for his sports scoring, action scoring or epic scoring but whatever the case, composers who aren't known for those techniques can surely try them all now. Howard Shore wasn't suitable for Tolkien's vision and now he is called the LOTR man. So, why would Mark Isham not be able to go with sports dramas while at it? Mostly scoring dramas and snazzy thrillers, Isham is also at the helm of other genres, or so he should be. And Miracle proves the point that he's well at it too. Covering the victory match of a bunch of nobodies over an unbeatable Russian opponent is the next feel good sports drama about whatever it takes, you will be the best. Its always good to see sports movies because mostly then the good guys win. And the heart, the friendship, the courage, the fight for the throne is always appreciated by movie fans, just see Hoosiers. But to get back at the scoring, Miracle is not Hoosiers, its not Rudy, its not D3: The Mighty Ducks, its not A League of Their Own, its not Tin Cup, its basically Mark Isham in general. I don't know much about Isham's music yet, but Miracle comes of being a more serious affair, a les triumphant score and together a more sincere composition in the end where the music doesn't need to be grand to make its point. At first, this score comes of being boring or simply non powerful. But listen after listen makes Miracle grow and you can't help but love scores that grow on you. I stick with my initial rating from the first time but Miracle surely shows that Isham knows a thing about sports scoring and who knows that we won't call him Miracle man in a year or two?

Besides the 3 songs of the era thrown in at the end of the score (which feel perfectly chosen for the time and place), Isham's score runs up for about 45 minutes. Divided into 4 tracks, Isham's suites show a bit the sign of Hans Zimmer, producing long strokes of score to create the better listening experience. Again at first this feels like a burden, but time and time again the score does progress. 'The Team' shows a somber theme appear on trumpet and even drums lead this in a kind of warfare or heroic state. The end of the track nonetheless shows a more rushed up feeling where things move along quite nicely. The 17 minute 'Training' is not that strong at first, but the begin is nice with its bouncy feeling of cello, piano and snare drum creating a good original response. The track is darker however and sometimes moves way too slow to be fun but the theme  and a trumpet solo end the cue however better then planned. However, the reason why I purchased the first score of Isham was because of the grand ending. And even if its not Cutthroat Island or Tin Cup like, the 15 minute 'The Miracle' is without doubt a career highlight for Isham. Containing in 15 minutes time no sore spot, Isham builds the pump with a constant strong orchestral feel, with drums and brass techniques even revoking the spirit of The Matrix (5.43), leading to the main theme and with its growing suspension it builds and builds until the miracle is fulfilled, the music reaches its heroic blast. On 11.37 this moment appears and its wonderful to hear some relief and color in it but the entire track features grand moments of quality and listens better and better each time you spot it. Miracle altogether is not the uplifting spirit of Hoosiers and not the beauty of Rudy, its Isham performing a more noble Miracle and this works to please me more, each time I hear it. The final track is absolutely sensational (even if you need time to grow in it) and the rest pleases the most as background material. While surely things could have been more grand or in the end better, you can't help but feel that Mark Isham wrote the perfect score for the movie. And in a way that feels like a miracle on its own.


Tracks Single Disc

1. The Team (7.16)

2. Training (17.28)

3. The Games (4.42)

4. The Miracle (15.33)    Excellent Track

5. (Don't Fear) The Reaper: Blue Öyster Cult (5.09)

6. Must Of Got Lost: J. Geils Band (2.58)

7. Thunder Island: Jay Ferguson (3.31)

Total Length: 56.43


The use of artwork or photos is posted for non profitable reasons

=== Link to Composer Site: Mark Isham ===

Original Soundtrack by Mark Isham
Original songs by Jay Ferguson, ...

Produced by by Mark Isham

Orchestrations by Ken Kugler & Frank Macchia

Performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony

Recorded at Newman Scoring Stage; 20th Century Fox Studios & Todd Scoring Stage

Also See:


• Rudy