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4.6 out of 5 stars
The General's Daughter: Music From The Motion Picture
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2005
If anyone needed to be reminded of the importance music can have on the emotional and contextual impact of a movie, they would only need listen to this soundtrack after seeing the film that inspired it.

An ocean of ink has been used to vilify the sloppy obviousness of the script, the ham-handed direction, and the disservice done in the adaptation of Nelson deMille's military-based thriller. Nearly most of its shortcomings, however, are truly redeemed by a brooding, chilling score by Carter Burwell that is so damn good, it seems like it belongs in another film.

But the watershed moments come courtesy the stylings of Greg Hale Jones, who sampled Library of Congress recordings of Black spirituals, field songs, children's patty-cake style cadences ("She Began To Lie") and mixed them with synthesizer and electronic drum lines that effectively underscore and highlight the film's themes of murder, betrayal, dishonor and retribution so much better than the script; like ghosts from the past of the Deep South that constantly permeate and haunt the lives of its native sons and daughters, and most especially throughout the events that take place in the film.

The result is so memorably effective, you're almost better off listening to it while reading the source material in lieu of watching the movie. Absolutely one of the most underrated scores of the last decade (equalled only by the remarkable RAVENOUS score by Michael Nyman and Damon Albarn.)
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 1999
Like almost everyone else I too knew I wanted to buy the soundtrack about one minute into the movie. The strange thing is a few weeks ago I was looking for "folk" music and had heard some of the Alan Lomax recordings so I was the only one in my group who came close to identifying the first song. Most of my friends thought it was in a language other than English. It made the movie for me.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 1999
I saw "The General's Daughter" at a midnight showing and my companion and I said after two minutes we had to have the music - regardless of whether the movie was good or not. Luckily it was good. I ordered the music (from Amazon of course) when I got home at 5 am. The opening song "She Began To Lie" with its primitive sound and childlike quality was somehow errotic at the same time, and the military-sounding percussion in the background suggested what was to come in the story. The play on words of sea lion/she lying was musically and psychologically ingenious. The rest of the soundtrack is wonderful, too, militaristic, suspenseful, and powerful, but the opening music is what made me want the CD. Not only have I listened to it many times but have talked about it with my friends who have heard it. Great soundtrack.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 1999
The re-mix of old folkroots music by Greg Hale Jones is truly inspired. I don't think I've ever been so bowled over by a movie soundtrack before, and I'm definitely going to get my hands on some of those Library of Congress recordings and Alan Lomax Collections soon. Just brilliant!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2000
Director Simon West coined the term in the liner notes to the soundtrack for his film "The General's Daughter"; southern gothic. The phrase fulfills the images of the sultry, steamy Deep South blending with the native strains of field songs that echo from times past, yet puncuate a very contemporary tale. The director further reveals his choice to move this military opus' sound away from the brass and drums so often played in the genre, and this is achieved to a tremendous effect. The sound first whispers, then screams of Savannah and the Georgia low country. The action-past within the film takes place far away, but Georgia is where the scornful dust has settled. The eerie cries of "Sea Lion Woman" cast a timeless image of young black girls jumping double-dutch under a climate of oppression, while the ageless "Mighty Good Road" sends a chill across the back of the neck as if long-dead field hands or chain gang workers whispered in your ear. The culmination of the film's visceral sound is the coupling of these ancient cadences with Carter Burwell's original score. The composer once again sets the pace for a compelling tale of human darkness, as he did so skillfully in "Miller's Crossing" and "Fargo". The original score and source music are paired as effectively as the film's two Army investigators, played by John Travolta and Madeleine Stowe, and the end result is a compelling and evocative musical compilation.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 1999
When I went to see this movie I heard the music and score and I had to have the soundtrack. This is one of the most creative soundtracks I have heard in a long time. I love the use of the old time negro spirtual combined with the synth drums.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 1999
If you want to listen to a soundtrack that really renders the exact atmosphere of its movie, well, listen to this soundtrack and get it ! The movie is full in emotions and suspense which is well rendered in the soundtrack and especially the first songs ... so typically from the South of America, deep, warm and catching.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2004
Not very often do you find a cd having such range in style with similarity in mood. The first few songs are very intriguing, different, but good none-the-less. The rest of the cd is music played in the movie's underscore, and is still wonderful despite not having words (most of them are without words, at least). Even if you don't like normal motion picture soundtracks (and this one is not at all normal), "She Began to Lie" is well worth the entire cd price. I highly recommend this masterpiece.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2002
The film was good , but overrated . I watched it in the theater and didn't leave upset ... just for the opening music in it . I went strait to the store , bought this soundtrack and all night was listening to the same song : " She Began to Lie " Christine Shipp . #1 and remix # 20 ( even better ).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 1999
This was the first soundtrack that made me wanna run outta the movie and rush to a record store. The way the old-time field-music has been adapted is masterful. This soundtrack truly deserves an Academy Award.
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