MovieScore Media has proven to be a powerhouse for up-and-coming composers. As such, it is a godsend for we film score collectors, as we have the privilege of hearing scores from extremely talented composers who otherwise would not receive the attention they deserve. Being added to that list is composer Alain Mayrand, who has composed a charming and likable score for the anime film The Legend of Silkboy. Receiving little attention in the United States, the film is about a little boy who finds a magical world and has to save the land from the evil Filthington the Fourth. I know, that is among the poorest of synopses ever written, but I have not seen the film myself and am going off of the synopsis found on imdb.com.
As far as album openers go, this one starts masterfully. “Soaring over London” contains one of my favorite themes from 2010. It is a free-flowing, soaring, and magical theme that seems to accompany the sequences of flying in the film. It is such a pity that it so rarely appears after the first track. As far as themes go, Mayrand composed a healthy handful of them. The theme which appears to be for Silkboy himself (heard in “Xu Rongcun’s London Escapade”) is light and affable, floating effortlessly throughout the score. The theme for the Filthington Family (“The Filthington Family March”) is also quite good, but if this theme represents the evil from the film, there is a surprising lack of suspense and, well, “evil”. It is a theme which works well enough, but doesn’t quite stand out as the antagonistic theme it should be, though it does outline many of the action cues. There are other themes and/or motifs which pop up throughout the score, which means Mayrand really did his homework in this regard.
The requirements of the medium of animation proves to be an unfortunate downfall of the score, really. There is a large amount of mickey-mousing and as a result the album suffers from a bit of a lagging middle portion before picking up a little towards the end. If this were a 45-minute album (with cues from the beginning and end left intact), then it would be easier to ignore. However, at 75 minutes such scoring takes up a large chunk of the runtime, and it gets tiring after a while. Mayrand probably supported the film as best as he could and in that vein accomplished what he set out to do with aplomb, but it just doesn’t work on album seperated from the film at times. That being said, though, there are quite a few highlights. Many of the latter action tracks, especially from “The Fantastic Highway Chase: Part II” to “A Flower Done Wrong”, are quite exciting. Mayrand clearly knows a thing or two about action writing and I really do hope that he gets to expand his writing to a fuller-scale action film some day. “Saying Farewell” is another highlight, as we get one final triumphant statement of the flying theme alongside Silkboy’s theme.
Mayrand is clearly a composer to watch for in the coming years. His talents are on display with his work for Silkboy. His themes are memorable and his action writing superb. The full album, though, is uneven and lacks any sense or urgency or danger in moments where it feels like it should. While not a masterpiece, Mayrand has composed a score worthy of recognition and one that is, on the whole, charming and affable. The score comes recommended with reservations.
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