January 15, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 58  

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

ON DISC


Various Artists
Cold Mountain
Sony

The folk-country style of the songs on this soundtrack attempt to recreate the world of this American Civil War film, but the results vary widely.

Jack White of the White Stripes experiments with folk-blues on several covers as well as the wistful, self-penned “Never Far Away.”

Fans of Alison Krauss will be delighted to see her music exposed to a wider audience, although her songs here, which feature Sting on background vocals, are not as strong as her work with Union Station.

Cassie Franklin’s ballad, “Lady Margaret,” features her beautiful voice accompanied by silence — and it works. The real highlight of the album is the Sacred Harp Singers, who demonstrate their fine technique in sharpnote singing on the rousing “I’m Going Home” and the solemn “Idumea.”

However, Gabriel Yared’s score for the film is out of place on this folksy collection with long, drawn-out violin solos and grand orchestral accompaniment — enough of the sentimentalism already. Luckily, his tracks are side-by-side on the CD and easier to skip through.

—Mel Wong

 

 

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