Paul Leonard-Morgan - Filmtales
Anyone purchasing this solely due to the attachment of Isobel Campbell (Belle & Sebastian) or Steve Mason (The Beta Band) could be in for a shock. The clue is in the album's title. Filmtales consists mainly of instrumental and orchestral pieces, all looking for a moving image to flatter.
Indeed, Paul Leonard-Morgan is a highly regarded composer; amongst his work, scores for the television dramas Spooks and Fallen. Sienna, with its delicate piano, sounds very American Beauty, while a number of other tracks scream "Bond", or at least "espionage". There's nothing wrong with this predictable old school gloss precisely, but, on balance, even ad men prefer something more cutting edge these days. When he utilises the occasional breakbeat you're only reminded there's precious little here as vivid as DJ Shadow or Burial.
The vocal tracks include an over-schmaltzy ballad (All For You), an Air-ish chillout number (No Peace Of Mind) and the rather epic Standing Up (featuring Steve Mason). If the latter could be The Beta Band with all the mentalness removed, that's to be expected. The standout, then, is Wilderness, the Isobel Campbell collaboration which matches her bewitching voice to a lush, faintly jazzy backing. For those not taken by classically-inspired soundtrack music, it's an essential download from iTunes rather than a reason to buy Filmtales.