Search - Harry Gregson-Williams :: The Number 23

The Number 23
Harry Gregson-Williams
The Number 23
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #1

Director Joel Schumacher casts a pall of obsessive paranoia over this dark Jim Carrey star vehicle, resuming a compelling collaboration with U.K.-born composer Harry Gregson-Williams that's already produced wildly disparat...  more »


Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details

All Artists: Harry Gregson-Williams
Title: The Number 23
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Watertower Music
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 2/20/2007
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 794043908125, 0738572123024, 073857212302, 738572123024

Director Joel Schumacher casts a pall of obsessive paranoia over this dark Jim Carrey star vehicle, resuming a compelling collaboration with U.K.-born composer Harry Gregson-Williams that's already produced wildly disparate scores for Veronica Guerin and Phone Booth. Gregson-Williams's work here seamlessly weds the electronica of the latter with a large orchestral palette, pushing the envelope of one-time mentor Hans Zimmer's trademark fusion gambit in the bargain. The composer's brooding organic textures burble with minimalist rhythms and synthesized percussion FX, punctuated by haunting solo passages by trumpeter Jon Hassell and Hugh Marsh's electric violin--a masterful soundscape of tension and psychological unease that's arguably the 21st-century extension of Herrmann's and Goldsmith's own landmark work in the thriller genre. The classically trained Gregson-Williams largely professes ignorance of both computer technology and contemporary pop music forms, yet his challenging, texturally rich work here ably shows why he's been asked to collaborate with such modern artists as Jane's Addiction, Peter Murphy, and Hybrid. --Jerry McCulley

Similarly Requested CDs


CD Reviews

Chilling and haunting
homeslicermark | CA, USA | 03/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What else can I say besides 'wow'? After sampling the first song on this CD while at the store I thought "I have to get this no matter what the other songs sound like." Sounds like quite a risk...but I did sample the other songs and well, to my benefit the rest of the songs are just as good. Harry Gregson-Williams has created an eerie yet very captivating score. For about 2/3 of the time the music is not upbeat but rather delicate and you never quite know when it will pick up again. I'm listening to it right now, and I could almost lean back and just let my mind wonder...but listeners beware...although my description makes it sound like a mellow listen, it is by no means mellifluous.

A shadowy and mysterious journey await thine ears......."
Jon Broxton | Thousand Oaks, CA | 04/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I'm always excited when Jim Carrey plays is straight, having witnessed his superb performances in films like The Truman Show, Man on the Moon, and The Majestic; however, his run of dramatic successes had to end eventually - and end it did, with director Joel Schumacher's paranoiac thriller The Number 23. Carrey plays oridinary family man Walter Sparrow, a dog catcher for the Department of Animal Control, with a loving wife Agatha (Virginia Madsen), and a teenage. However, after Agatha buys an odd novel with the central premise concerning the number 23 as a birthday gift for Walter, his life quickly unravels: he becomes obsessed with the story, believing the mystery about the number 23 to be true, and finding many coincidences and parallels between the book and his own life. Harry Gregson-Williams' music creates an unsettling aural world of fear and confusion. Nervous, skittery string work overlaid with a plethora of moody electronic effects build an atmosphere of chaos and suspicion. Martin Tillman's electric cello, plus various other wailing string instruments, keep the listener teetering on the edge of sanity, while being called beyond it by sampled cooing choral effects. "Fingerling's Childhood" offers the album's only melodic respite, and thereafter the score settles down into a rhythm of muted orchestral performances overlaid by electronic percussion, sampled vocal effects, and surprisingly effective ethnic flutes, which somehow give the score an unusual, exotic tinge. It's not easy listening by any means - the score is dense, and claustrophobic, and never really allows the listener chance to process the off-kilter noises, but its effective in context. The conclusive cue, "Atonement", while remaining true to the style of the score which preceded it, adopts a darkly satisfying orchestral sweep to bring things to a fine finish."