Dying Young

James Newton Howard

" lovely to listen to "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Dying Young (starring Julia Roberts) goes about a woman who falls in love with a patient she works for. Knowing that he is destined to die, they spend what little time they have together. Directed by Joel Schumacher, Dying Young turned out to become a financial hit but not a critical one. Most people seemed to have trouble with the flat dialogue of the script, and not per se the performances of Julia Roberts and Campbell Scott. For the music, Joel Schumacher returned to the composer that made Flatliners such an interesting experience, namely the then upcoming hot young composer James Newton Howard.

And let's be clear about one thing, Dying Young is very accessible stuff. It's charming and upbeat, and once saxophonist Kenny G starts pouring his jazzy melodies through the sound, it becomes overtly romantic. So expect unsubtle romance in "Theme from Dying Young" the moment you start listening. But I love their combination even more when James Newton Howard's upbeat style combines forces with Kenny G's irresistible saxophone playing. That time comes in "Driving North / Moving In". They deliver a nice version of Hillary's theme as well in track 7 and melt our hearts in "I'll Never Leave You (Love Theme)" (in which they succeed very well by the way).

And when we have received those lovely introductions, expect mellow and accessible dramatic music after that. The soft guitar in "The Clock", the lovely melody on piano and strings in "Love Montage", the positive vibes in "Victor Teaches Art", the main theme returning quite lovely in "San Francisco", ... it's all so easy to like and love. Dying Young is just lovely background listening and never turns too schmaltzy or depressive. On the contrary, it's all light and lovely, making it a 30 minute delight you'll love to listen to.

Track Listing

1. Theme from Dying Young * (4.00)
2. Driving North / Moving In ** (4.15)
3. The clock (1.23)
4. Love Montage (2.56)
5. The Maze (2.38)
6. All the Way: Jeffrey Osborne (3.30)
7. Hillary's Theme ** (3.08)
8. Victor Teaches Art (1.22)
9. The Bluff (0.59)
10. San Fransisco (2.03)
11. Victor (1.39)
12. All the Way: King Curtis (5.29)
13. I'll Never Leave You (Love Theme) ** (2.55) Excellent track

* Performed by Kenny G
* Performed by Kenny G & James Newton Howard

Total Length: 36.17
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 8 votes - average 3/5)

Released by

Arista Records 18692-2 (regular release 1991)

Conducted by

Marty Paich

Orchestrations by

Brad Dechter