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Monster's Ball Soundtrack

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, January 22, 2002
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Opening Title
  2. Close Thirteen
  3. Night Into Day
  4. Resignation
  5. Paying Respects
  6. Tyrell
  7. I Needed You
  8. Hank's Transition
  9. I Don't Want To Go Out Like This
  10. Hit and Run
  11. Under the Stars
  12. End Title
  13. I'm Your Man - The Jayhawks


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: February 8, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Compendia
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • ASIN: B000060OJA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,655 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ronald Scheer on January 20, 2003
Format: Audio CD
When I saw the film "Monster's Ball," I was struck by the strange choice of music for this story set in the South. Instead of something reflecting the musical tastes of its characters (country and western), it is electronic, eerie and moody. The intent, I assume, is to reflect the emotional and social isolation of the two main characters. The music has an effect similar to the choice of music for the film "Dead Man Walking," which featured Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan -- also eerie, moody, and strange, but appropriate to the nearly surreal ambiance of the movie. Both films, set in the South, concern death and execution. Perhaps the uneasiness of the music is appropriate for the subject matter.
The 12 Ashe and Spencer tracks on the CD are wonderful, with layers of shifting sound, drones, marimba, guitar, piano, occasional rhythms of percussion, all evoking gentle three-dimensional spaces. At first I was disappointed that the CD ends with four tracks of pop songs (country, country-rock, and R&B), but after several listenings, I now believe the somewhat mournful character of them flows naturally out of the electronic tracks. The shift to singing voices and more conventional instrumentation becomes a welcome alternative, and you realize that the isolation, yearning, and private sorrows portrayed by the film and reflected in the electronic tracks also underlie the last tracks as well. They are all of a piece after all.
I recommend this CD for lovers of ambient, "space" music, who also enjoy the sound of country music, and can understand that marginal aural world where they flow into each other.
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By A Customer on March 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This soundtrack, like the movie itself, is very understated yet very strong. The first 12 tracks (the Asche and Spencer material) is atmospheric; listening to them actually makes the listener feel like they're in the South on a sweltering day. It's always impressive how instrumental music can do that...
...There are actually three more songs on the cd -- 14. Red Meat "Broken Up and Blue" (which is what the orchestra played when Halle Berry won Best Actress), 15. Jimmie Dale Gilmore "Your Love is My Rest", and 16. Jean Wells "I Couldn't Love You (More Than I Do Now).
All in all, it's a smart soundtrack. All the songs go together well -- even the more country numbers with the more atmospheric material. If you liked the movie, this soundtrack is an excellent complement.
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Format: Audio CD
I finally bought this score after watching the film twice, then wound up playing the disc about fifteen times in row. For me, it became addictive, as it conjures a heavenly state of psychedelic calm.
My only complaint about this dreamy and beguilingly simple soundtrack ambient score is that I wish it was ten times as long.
The closest thing I can compare this score to is David Sylvian's 1988 "Gone to Earth", that is, the two sides of the four devoted to ambient (with Robert Fripp on guitar). I'd be very shocked if these guys weren't fans of that album. It also interpolates some of the better moments from Brian Eno's "Apollo" score, and his "Plateaux of Mirror" with Harold Budd from 1982.
I hope Asche and Spence do some more scores and offshoot LPs. Most electronic scores are only of vague interest to me, i.e. Thomas Newman's work remains unengaging, except for his cues for 1991's wild-weird "The Rapture", and Martinez' washes for "Traffic" were only saved by Soderbergh's inclusion of a cut by Eno from "Apollo."
Yes, their progressions are simplistic (as one reviewer carped below), but for lack of better terminology, this is altered-state medicine, i.e. 'drug music', and the great thing is that it provokes altered states without the need or use of self-medication.
Slip this in the player and drive down the Interstate at 3 AM. You will worship your divine alone-ness.
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Format: Audio CD
Asche and Spencer's musical sparity, with few piano notes and ambient synthetics amidst other percussive and guitar euphonies, is so overwhelming that it perfectly and beautifully symbolizes the distantly alienated emotions of the film's characters. Unquestionably, this soundtrack helped Halle reach her award status.
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Format: Audio CD
Very sophisticated synth-driven music by Asche & Spencer. The last four vocal tracks are good also. The atmospheric sound drives many scenes in the film...especially "under the stars" where tragedy gives way to resolution and peace.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Listening to this CD after a number of years, and I am just blown away all over again. "Tyrell" is one of my favorites. It's another world these musicians take us too. They pass the full-body "chill test." Can't wait to hear more.

Addendum: Just looked them up on the internet. WOW. Had no idea.

[...]

LICENSING
Combined with our custom composition work, Asche & Spencer has created one of the most respected music collections in our industry. Containing over thirty five hours of original music, organized into 32 different categories. Each piece can be used as is, or changed at your request. Don't like the vocals? They're gone. Want a new guitar part? No problem. Need a new section added to work better with your picture? Done.

Our latest rendering features four new categories, seven hundred new compositions, innumerable alternative arrangements and mixes, and the most elegant method of delivery we have ever offered.

Our executive producer Janell Vircks can give you an immediate response to any question regarding pricing and availability, and an agreement can be delivered to you the same day.

Order a copy of the Asche & Spencer licensing collection:
gregc@ascheandspencer.com

* * * * *

If you're talented and think you can compose music at the level you see here on our web site, or you would like to submit music for our license music collection, we would like to know you. Put a few samples of your music on a CD and send it to us along with any other information we should know about you.

SEND YOUR WORK TO:
Asche & Spencer
c/o Greg Chamberlain
258 Humboldt Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55405
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