Sherwood Pictures are very efficient at stretching the dollar. The budget for the film group's third major film, Fireproof, was only $500,000, but it made a whopping fifty million at the box office. The movie's success spawned numerous related products including the Love Dare book, novelizations, apparel, and soundtracks (thankfully action figures haven't shown up yet). Originally, the Fireproof Movie Soundtrack was simply the songs played throughout the movie by some of today's top contemporary Christian artists on Provident Music Group, but now ten tracks covering the movie's score have been added to the July 14th release.
So far, the score for Fireproof and their previous two works, Flywheel and Facing the Giants, has been spearheaded by Mark Willard, who, to his credit, has increased the musical quality each time out. Sadly there isn't too much to get excited about, because aside from some high intense moments in Fireproof where the music is escalated to match the mood, little else is compelling. Only two of the ten instrumental tracks are not almost solely devoted to a simplistic piano sound, and while it's unfair to expect Hans Zimmer class work here, a little more complex orchestrally would have been nice. A solid substitute for the lack of varied music would have been a small signature sound or theme which would occur at the best (or the most tense moments) in the film like, for example, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Indiana Jones films, or even Casablanca. Unfortunately, that component is also missing, leaving the intense selections "On The Tracks" and "House Fire," as the most convincing instrumental moments of the score.
On the other hand, the song selection for Fireproof, while not terribly ingenious, was solid nonetheless. The two main objectives for putting together the soundtrack for the movie (besides picking songs that would improve the film) was mixing today's popular contemporary artist and promoting new music. Casting Crowns hit "Slow Fade" lands into the former category with its strong message not to succumb to the draws of this world. Both the crown jewels of their respective albums, John Waller's rising pop song "While I'm Waiting" and Warren Barfield's powerful ballad "Love Is Not A Fight," were at least solid plug-ins for setting the mood in their scenes. However, new at the time of the film's release, Third Day's southern rock tunes "This Is Who I Am" and "Otherside" (not featured on the soundtrack) were chiefly used as background noise in a work-out room and a car radio. Grey Holiday's song "You Belong To Me" is an impressive worship song, but at the time of its injection into the film, it is used as an anthem of victory which isn't all that fluid. Rounding out the soundtrack is the "While I'm Waiting" remix, which really isn't much of a remix; it's just the regular song with some added sound bites from Fireproof.
As an aside, the appearance of Leeland's song "Brighter Day" represents both a clever aspect of Fireproof as well as the indication of some more needed improvement for the filmmakers. The melancholy song and its lyrics, "And I'm looking for the brighter days/When all my hurts seem to fade away," is a perfect background fit in a scene where co-star Erin Bethea's character is going through difficult times. Unlike the film, The Majestic where "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is cleverly playing in the background before Jim Carrey's character loses his memory and enters his new world, "Brighter Days" is far more subtle and requires a Leeland fan with an alert ear to pick it up.
Apart from a couple of soothing and extreme instrumental cuts, the score pieces on Fireproof Movie Soundtrack could be simplified to four tracks and still retain its maximum listening enjoyment. And although, individually, each song is strong and the selection fine, hardcore fans of Contemporary Christian music should already have most these tracks by now. Kudos to everyone who helped make Fireproof a success, but there is still work to be done in the music area before the soundtrack is a compelling factor in these films.- Review date: 7/6/09, written by Nathaniel Schexnayder of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Reunion Records
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