Muse have stormed into the public eye in recent years with albums offering an onslaught of guitars, keys and drum riffs that hark back to the days of 1970s prog-rock. Hullaballo shows them at their best, within an energetic live performance of the kind that first drew them to the public and media's attention. Filmed towards the end of their intense 2001 tour at Le Zenith, Paris, this gig is full of high-powered chords and dramatic instrument torture as the lads pump through songs from their three albums including tracks from the B-side album Hullaballo, released to coincide with the DVD.
Fame was a film directed by Alan Parker, a serious auteur (some would say overly serious, especially in light of the work that came later) who designed the film for posterity, and the same attitude carried over the music. Yes, the production techniques often do sound dated – the over-reliance on state-of-the-art synthesizer ironically now sounds helplessly tied to the year of its creation – but the music by Michael Gore is dynamic, varied, and alive, sung with real passion and vigor, and it still retains its essential spark 23 years after it was a pop culture phenomenon. Sure, it's glitzy and glossy, sounding like show tunes, but that's the tradition of this music, and it was done better than most Broadway tunes and movie soundtracks of the '80s. Years later, this still has the spark and vitality of kids trying to make their big break, no matter the kind of music they're singing, and that's one of the main reasons (along with Gore's fine compositions) Fame retains its power and entertainment value years later.
There’s nothing disastrous about Daniel Pemberton’s fine score. Pemberton’s star has been on the rise for a few years now and it was 2015 that turned out to be his real breakthrough year, with his very impressive (and very different) scores for The Man from UNCLE and Steve Jobs. There’s a bit of the effortless cool of the former heard in Gold but by and large this is another very different affair, a fun action/adventure score that stays refreshingly free of the turgid sounds that tend to dog these things these days.