Quick Hits 3

Catch Me if You Can, Lazlo Bane, Peter Stuart, The Reactions

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (Dreamworks)

Original soundtrack music composed and conducted by John Williams

All things that pass in front of John Williams’ eyes must appear as music. Each gesture of an arm or the passing of day into night has its own special accompaniment. His current soundtrack offering (his 20th) for the new Steven Spielberg film Catch Me If You Can is a pastiche of retro hip music and the usual John Williams’ drama/chase/confront music that is overused, but effective. The period pieces are the best, bringing to mind classic soundtracks from the late ’50s and early ’60s (the title track is pure West Side Story.) They capture the movie’s mood beautifully and, to add to the nuance, the soundtrack offers some classic period music, including “The Girl from Ipanema,” “The Look of Love,” and “Come Fly With Me.”

Williams has the ability to create the perfect union of sound and vision. Some of his work sounds derivative, though that has more to do with the fact that he has come to monopolize the blockbuster genre. While that leads to me to think of Star Wars when listening to a soundtrack for a movie set well before space flight, it also points out just how large John Williams looms. | Angella Pancella


This is a CD that you really want to like. Band with a cool name, fronted by ex-School of Fish drummer, with the supercool theme song (“Superman”) from the supercool TV show “Scrubs.” You put it on, and you do like it: it’s a little bit quirky (though not quite as quirky as the band’s Web site would have you believe), a little bit mellow, even a little bit alt-country. The first songs are solidly enjoyable: “All the Time in the World,” “Trampoline,” “Superman.” Chad Fisher sings with a lazy drawl, but his voice isn’t strong or commanding, more soothing and gentle.

In other words, the album’s a bit more mellow than you expected. Not that this is a bad thing, but you have to be in the mood for it. (In other words, if you’re expecting quirky to keep you dancing, you’ve come to the wrong place.) Toward the middle, the CD turns more contemplative than extroverted, as Fisher pulls us into his world: his desires (“Hold Me”), his town (“Scene of the Crime”), his empty life (“Breathe Me In”). | Laura Hamlett

THE REACTIONS (Ambivalent)

Let’s face it: Teenagers get a bad rap. They are often the victims of age discrimination. They get dirty looks from old folks. They break out in acne and get killed off one by one in horror films. That said, it’s always nice to see a few teenagers rise above it all and succeed. The Reactions are a local group of three teenagers who have succeeded in making a great CD and playing strong live shows to back it up. Their self-titled debut is a unique blend of ’60s guitar rock and modern day punk. Drummer and lead vocalist Jacob Daniel Alspach sounds a bit like Mick Jagger as he sings through memorable tracks like “Shades” and “Cutting Floor.” The unique guitar sound is there throughout the whole recording, as well. The Reactions can look forward to many good audience reactions to come. | John Kujawski


Peter Stuart, ex-Dog’s Eye View frontman, sings with a lazy roll to his voice. His songs are poppy and catchy, dreamy and real. “Propeller Girl,” the near-title track, is an homage to a girl he once met and later daydreamed about; the repetition makes it memorable. “I wish I was innocent,” Stuart sings on “Innocence,” “We’ve gone too far and seen too much/To ever get back/to innocence.” “With my Heart in my Hands” is a catchy waiting-for-love song, “Roll Me Over” a gentle tribute song: “She doesn’t hate her life—she couldn’t care less/she wakes up every morning a little depressed.” Piano adds a classic touch to “Here I Am Here” as Stuart intones, “I thought you were coming back/and then you left me back here/Here I am here.” “I’ve been walking backwards lately/To see if I could find you,” sings Stuart on “Bring You Back,” a song he wrote about his late father. Propeller is honest music from a genuine singer-songwriter. | Laura Hamlett

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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