John Lunn, "Downton Abbey: The Ultimate Collection," featuring musical highlights from all six seasons (Carnival Master/Universal-2-discs)
Now that "Downton Abbey" is out of business and the Dowager Countess of Grantham can no longer treat hungry and masochistic Americans on PBS to the weekly British joys of upper -class snobbery and xenophobia, there is no reason why the "Downtown Abbey" marketing wave can't continue in other ways for years--"Downtown Abbey" DVD's, scrapbooks, a lace and brocade dress line and who knows what all.
A "Downtown Abbey" pencil box or a "Downton Abbey" catcher's mitt might be a bit of overreach but there's no reason really why miscellaneous Cawleys couldn't be featured in a "Downtown Abbey" coloring book or, especially, a Dowager Countess cane whose silver handle can be massaged for dramatic effect in Maggie Smith manner.
Until that time, we have this two-disc set of John Lunn's music which will, no doubt, call forth suitably "Downton" thoughts in fans as they go about their domestic chores. Among non-fans, crippling boredom is likely. Lunn's theme music may mislead you. It sounds as if it harkens back to Michael Nyman's marvelous minimalist music to "The Piano" but it really doesn't.
It is so profoundly undistinguished much of the time that the Dowager Countess herself would, no doubt, be convinced that Americans must have been involved.
2.5 stars (out of four)
Email Jeff Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org