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Review by Brad Green:
It’s easy to pinpoint where the heart of this soundtrack resides. Chubby Checker twisting, Chuck Berry rock ‘n’ rolling and a triple serving of The Platters’ doing their doo-wops take us on a direct route to late 1950s nostalgia.

Chuck and Chubby are good fun, but it’s The Platters’ classics that make you wish you had a time warp dial on your car radio. Only You, Twilight Time and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes are timeless tunes performed to perfection. A banquet of harmonies might have constituted The Platters’ staple fare, but it is the voice of lead singer Tony Williams that is the piece de resistance. His superlative phrasing, and almost yodelling, yet totally controlled vibrato bring a unique and tender quality to any song.

The only problem with this CD is that its popular 50s/60s reminiscences only allow for a few select cues from Mychael Danna’s score. From the little that we hear it is a fascinating and enchanting work. His minimalist piano cues certainly sound like they come from a far distant place, although I doubt it’s that ambient under the ocean. A sense of space not only provides a layer of mystery, but serves to enhance the lush and dreamlike strings that come to the fore in measured doses, particularly in the cue Summer Vacation.

Filling out the list of retro hits are numbers from The Crew Cuts, Santo & Johnny and Percy Faith & His Orchestra, who are in serious endanger of getting right back into vogue having recently featured on the Ocean’s Eleven soundtrack as well.

It’s not hard to guess what’s going on with this soundtrack even if you haven’t seen the film. The songs set the period, and the score underlines an unusual coming-of-age story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite unfold like a narrative on CD alone, and if there is a downside to this album it is only that no one can ever help themselves to enough of The Platters, and once they give way to cues from the score, we’d like to hear more of that too. At least, you know the offerings are good when you’re left wanting more.

Published February 21, 2002

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TITLE: Hearts In Atlantis

ID: 44001 60352

ARTISTS: Chubby Checker; Chuck Berry; Santo & Johnny; The Platters; The Crew Cats; Percey Faith & His Orchestra; The Platters

SCORE: Mychael Danna

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