Tag Archives: soundtrack

Soundtrack Review: Gemini Man (2019)

The soundtrack for Gemini Man is now available digitally on Paramount Music, and a CD release is forthcoming from La-La Land Records. Gemini Man is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move. The soundtrack features a robustly textured original score by Grammy-winning composer Lorne Balfe (Mission: Impossible – Fallout, 12 Strong).

“It was an absolute pleasure getting to collaborate with the masterful dream team – director Ang Lee and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Ang and I spent 4 days in the studio exploring themes with soloists playing live! He wanted a theme that portrayed the delicate relationship between Henry and Junior, so I did a theme that intertwines both melodically, as their bond grows stronger. Hope you all enjoy the thrill, as we unfold the mask behind Gemini Man.”

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My feelings about this soundtrack are decidedly mixed. While Gemini Man isn’t the worst soundtrack I’ve ever heard, it’s also not the best from this year either. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good action melodies in this soundtrack, and I really like how Balfe uses the strings to create driving rhythms. No, the problem I have with the soundtrack for Gemini Man is that so much of it sounds the same. There are minor variations sure, but by and large it’s all the same and that bothers me. When I listen to a soundtrack, I like hearing a wide range of sounds and melodies. And I just don’t hear that in the music for Gemini Man.

The soundtrack for Gemini Man is adequate and gets the job done, but it’s nothing that will blow you away. Let me know what you think about Gemini Man and its soundtrack in the comments below and have a great day!

Track List:
  1. Last Shot
  2. Burning The Past
  3. Are You DIA?
  4. First Confrontation
  5. Cartagena
  6. Bike Fu
  7. Catacombs
  8. I Know You Inside And Out
  9. Henry and Junior
  10. Fighting Gemini
  11. Teaming Up
  12. Don’t You Feel Pain?
  13. Verris
  14. A Perfect Version Of You
  15. Those Ghosts
  16. Thanks, Brother
  17. Gemini Man

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

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The Nightmare Before Christmas “This is Halloween” (1993)

Here’s something I’m slightly ashamed to admit: to date, I have still not seen The Nightmare Before Christmas. I know it’s a classic, I know I should have seen it long since, but somehow I’ve just never gotten around to it, and I admit at this point I have no excuse. However, to somewhat make up for it, I thought I would start looking into the songs that appear in that film, some of which I am quite familiar with.

“This is Halloween” is the first major song that appears in the film, and as of right now is the song I’m most familiar with. It serves as our proper introduction to Halloween Town and its spooky denizens, where Jack Skellington rules as the Pumpkin King (it’s like Santa Claus and the North Pole, only everything is based around Halloween).

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn’t you like to see something strange?
Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night
This is Halloween, everybody make a scene
Trick or treat till the neighbors gonna die of fright
It’s our town, everybody scream
In this town of Halloween

I am the one hiding under your bed
Teeth ground sharp and eyes glowing red
I am the one hiding under your stairs
Fingers like snakes and spiders in my hair

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

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In typical Tim Burton fashion, the characters in Halloween town are all really creepy, but in an almost charming type of way. Even so, it’s probably for the best that I didn’t see this movie when it was new, because I can only imagine what younger-me would’ve thought of it all (I scared so easily at that age).

In this town, we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song
In this town, don’t we love it now?
Everybody’s waiting for the next surprise

Round that cornerman hiding in the trash can
Something’s waiting now to pounce, and how you’ll…
Scream! This is Halloween
Red ‘n’ black, and slimy green

Aren’t you scared?

Well, that’s just fine
Say it once, say it twice
Take a chance and roll the dice
Ride with the moon in the dead of night

Everybody scream, everybody scream

In our town of Halloween…

I am the clown with the tear-away face
(deeper voice) Here in a flash and gone without a trace
I am the “who” when you call, “Who’s there?”
I am the wind blowing through your hair…
I am the shadow on the moon at night
Filling your dreams to the brim with fright!

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

Tender lumplings everywhere
Life’s no fun without a good scare

That’s our job, but we’re not mean
In our town of Halloween

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In this town, don’t we love it now?
Everyone’s waiting for the next surprise!

Skeleton Jack might catch you in the back and scream like a banshee, make you jump out of your skin
This is Halloween, everyone scream
Won’t ya please make way for a very special guy?
Our man Jack is king of the pumpkin patch
Everyone hail to the Pumpkin King now

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween!

In this town, we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song

La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, Halloween, Halloween! [Repeat two more times]
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…
Whee!

This song has to be one of the coolest introductions of a place and character (Halloween Town and Jack Skellington) that I’ve ever seen. Any time I listen to it, I’m instantly in the mood for Halloween (pity I’m too old to go trick or treating). And I have to say, for being made in 1993, the stop-motion animation in this scene holds up spectacularly well.

Let me know what you think about “This is Halloween in the comments below and have a great day! I’ll try to share more songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas this weekend.

See also:

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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Soundtrack Review: Euphoria (2019)

A soundtrack album featuring music from the first season of the HBO series Euphoria is now available from Milan Records, an imprint of Sony Music Masterworks. The album features music by multiplatinum-selling artist and producer Labrinth. Euphoria marks Labrinth’s first-ever project as lead composer. Written and recorded in close collaboration with the show’s writer Sam Levinson, his original compositions feature prominently throughout the series as a sonic companion to the show’s angst-driven narrative.  The resulting 26-track collection is a genre blending mix of gospel, soul and electronic influences, indicative both of Labrinth’s imitable style as well as the show’s deeply moving storyline.

Regarding the soundtrack album, Labrinth had this to say:

My experience with Euphoria has made me a better musician. It was a dream come true to give wings and add magic to the different storylines. It was a collaborative effort among Sam Levinson, the crew and the cast – I only added texture to an already phenomenal show. I hope that anyone who listens to the music embraces feeling something.

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Euphoria, if you didn’t know, follows a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma and social media. It is an American adaptation of an Israeli show of the same name, and all episodes are written by Sam Levinson.

I haven’t seen the show myself, but having taken a peek at the soundtrack, I can say that the music is definitely interesting. It’s not traditional in the slightest, but that’s a good thing since I firmly believe that not all music should sound the same (for example, not all shows need to sound like Game of Thrones). If you’re a fan of Labrinth’s work, or just a fan of the series in general, I think you will like this soundtrack album very much.

Let me know what you think about Euphoria, and the soundtrack, in the comments below and have a great day!

EUPHORIA – SCORE FROM ORIGINAL HBO SERIES
TRACKLISTING –
1. New Girl
2. Formula
3. Preparing For Call
4. Forever
5. Planning Date
6. Nate Growing Up
7. Home From Rehab
8. We All Knew
9. Say Goodnight
10. Shy Guy
11. Following Tyler
12. Still Don’t Know My Name
13. Kat’s Denial
14. Slideshow
15. Family Vacation
16. Grapefruit Diet
17. WTF Are We Talking For
18. Euphoria Funfair
19. The Lake
20. Maddy’s Story
21. Demanding Excellence
22. McKay & Cassie
23. Gangster
24. When I R.I.P.
25. Arriving at the Formal
26. Virgin Pina Coladas

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

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Soundtrack Review: The Goldfinch (2019)

The soundtrack for The Goldfinch is now available for digital purchase through WaterTower Music. The score for this film was composed by Trevor Gureckis, whose past scores include Brooklyn and Vice.

The Goldfinch is the film adaptation of Donna Tartt’s globally acclaimed best-selling novel, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. In the story, Theo Decker was 13 years old when his mother was killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The tragedy changes the course of his life, sending him on a stirring odyssey of grief and guilt, reinvention and redemption, and even love. Through it all, he holds on to one tangible piece of hope from that terrible day…a painting of a tiny bird chained to its perch. The Goldfinch.

Regarding the film, Trevor Gureckis had this to say:

“Writing The Goldfinch was thrilling not only because of the huge orchestral forces at hand, but also for the opportunity to explore rich textural details with the use of electronics in service of the story. There are moments of vivid impressionism in the orchestra, as well as tapestries of glowing and burning synth textures. A real turning point in figuring out this score, was when John Crowley realized we needed The Goldfinch to appear in the music itself, not just visually in the film. It would be our North Star. So, the opening cue sets the theme that returns in many different transformations depicting anything for the painting to Theo’s traumatized state of mind, as the two are so intertwined. Just like the painting of the bird chained to its post, this theme is suspended harmonically throughout the entire score resolving only in the final moments of the film,”

The soundtrack is very beautiful. I particularly enjoy the piano melodies that appear throughout the score. Having listened to so many scores that bombard me with rich, orchestral melodies, it’s a nice change of pace to hear something more delicate, and that’s definitely what this soundtrack is. It’s delicate, it’s intricate, and surprisingly moody at times (I haven’t read the book this film is based on, so my knowledge of the story is limited). It might be a bit too simple for some people’s tastes, but as I said before, sometimes a simpler score is just the thing for a film.

I’m not sure what the movie will be like, but the music shouldn’t be a disappointment. Let me know what you think about the soundtrack for The Goldfinch in the comments below and have a great day!

Tracklist:
  1. The Goldfinch
  2. Mrs. Barbour
  3. Interrogation
  4. Hobart and Blackwell
  5. Goldfinch Reveal
  6. Letter to Pippa
  7. Theo’s Burden
  8. Return to the Barbours
  9. Lucius Reeves
  10. Boris’ Father
  11. Theo and Pippa
  12. Las Vegas
  13. Desolation
  14. Civics Book
  15. Amsterdam
  16. The Story of the Goldfinch
  17. Boris Rescues Theo
  18. Beautiful Things
  19. The Goldfinch Theme – Solo Piano
  20. Currents – Solo Piano

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Soundtrack Review: It: Chapter Two (2019)

*note: there may be potential spoilers in the few score cues I mention, so keep that in mind as you read this review

As the thrilling conclusion to It (2017) approaches in a matter of days, the soundtrack for It: Chapter Two has been made available for those who wish to hear it in advance of seeing the film. Benjamin Wallfisch, who also scored the first film, returns to complete the musical story he began telling two years ago. In It: Chapter Two, evil resurfaces in Derry as director Andy Muschietti reunites the Losers Club in a return to where it all began. Twenty-seven years after the Losers Club defeated Pennywise, he has returned to terrorize the town of Derry once more. Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways. However, people are disappearing again, so Mike, the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all…putting them directly in the path of the shape-shifting clown that has become deadlier than ever

Regarding the soundtrack, Wallfisch had quite a lot to say:

Andy [Muschietti] has created such an ambitious and extraordinary movie in IT Chapter Two, with an incredible scope on every level.  One of our earliest discussions for the new score was how we could take what we did for the first movie and give it more scale and ambition – to reflect the scope of the film. To start with, we used a much larger orchestra and choir and also created several new themes; when we occasionally reprise moments from the first score, we re-recorded them with more complex and ambitious arrangements, like the music itself had gone through 27 years of maturing. But the most exciting challenge was how to develop the original themes and create new ones that fit alongside them. There was a lot more music required, which really allowed room for the original themes to develop and evolve in a way driven by the emotional complexity of how The Losers Club grapple with inner demons from the past and painful memories and ultimately unite to confront their biggest fears. Pennywise is even more vengeful and flagrant this time, and the music had to also reflect that increased darkness, whilst never losing sight of the adventure and emotion that are at the core of the movie. It was such a joy to reunite with my good friend Andy Muschietti to help bring this story home – the movie is a true masterpiece from the filmmakers and I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to be involved.

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The soundtrack is, in a word, terrifying. Benjamin Wallfisch had a 100 piece orchestra and a 40 person choir to work with when putting this score together, and I assure you he used it all to great effect. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that as a general rule I avoid most horror films, and the music (if done properly) is a big reason why. Wallfisch has filled the score with “jump” moments, where out of nowhere the music will surge up and almost literally snap at you. You can’t even relax during the “brighter” moments because there’s an undercurrent of tension and fear with almost every piece (“Losers Reunited” being an exception to the rule).

Musical jump scares aside, the part that freaks me out the most about this soundtrack is what Wallfisch has done with the choir (at least, I assume it’s the choir). Throughout the soundtrack, and without warning, there are sections where you hear garbled voices, kind of like if you were listening through a static-filled radio, and the voices all sound like they’re screaming in terror. Sometimes these voices act as their own music, sometimes they come in with music, but it’s without a doubt one of the most terrifying things I’ve heard in a soundtrack this year (and probably in the last few years if I’m honest).

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And another thing that Wallfisch is doing in the soundtrack that really scares me is how he manipulates the violins throughout the score. This is something I’ve heard in a lot of scary movies; it’s a technique where a group of violins plays at their highest register and quickly increases in volume and pitch, ending with an almighty shriek that has you instinctively backing up against the wall, even though you know there’s nothing there (well, at least that’s what it does to me). I can only imaging the visual context for those moments, and given this is a movie with Pennywise in it, I’m afraid to find out the answer.

Benjamin Wallfisch clearly put a lot of work into this score, and if it’s this scary by itself, I shudder to think what it would be like to hear this music with the film it was written to accompany. If you liked the score for the first It, then you will love the music for It: Chapter Two.

Let me know what you think about the soundtrack for It: Chapter Two in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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John Lunn talks Downton Abbey, Soundtrack Will Release Next Week

Decca Records/Decca Gold has announced the upcoming release of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the highly-anticipated feature film, Downton Abbey, scored by composer John Lunn. Composed in a similar style to the two-time Emmy Award-winning music from the series, the score is richly orchestrated, with the familiar title theme making an appearance throughout. In a throwback to the ‘Roaring Twenties’, upbeat jazz arrangements appear alongside lavish waltzes, reflecting the popular styles of the day.

The original television series first aired on PBS Masterpiece in the US in 2011 and has enjoyed six critically-acclaimed seasons. Downton Abbey is scheduled for cinematic release on September 13th in the UK, and September 20th in the United States. The film picks up where the story left off in the autumn of 1927, joining Lord and Lady Grantham and the extended Crawley family as they prepare for a visit from the reigning King George V. With a script by Julian Fellowes, original cast members including Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Dame Maggie Smith star alongside new cast members Imelda Staunton, David Haig and Geraldine James.

Scottish composer John Lunn writes music that possesses a unique voice and spans a wide spectrum of musical styles. He received two Primetime Emmy Awards for his music for Downton Abbey, and two BAFTA nominations in 2012 and 2016. Other recent television work includes The White Queen (Starz), Grantchester (ITV), Shetland (BBC One), The Last Kingdom (BBC Two) and Jamestown (Sky). Lunn received critical acclaim for his scores for three BBC Charles Dickens adaptations: The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Little Dorrit, and Bleak House.

Lunn was the first choice to score the film and recalls when the project was first proposed:

“I was delighted to be approached to create the feature-length film score to a series which has had a huge impact on audiences and fans all over the world. At first it was like discovering a long-lost friend, but gradually I realized that we’d never really been apart; by the end it was just such a joy to revisit this material and have the opportunity to take it to a whole new level.”

Downton Abbey: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will be released by Decca Records/Decca Gold on September 13th, 2019.

Tracklist

1. A Royal Command
2. Pillar of the Establishment
3. Gleam and Sparkle
4. God Is a Monarchist
5. Two Households
6. Incident at A Parade
7. Sabotage
8. Maud
9. Honour Restored
10. Never Seen Anything Like It
11. Not Entirely a Bad Night
12. May I?
13. Taking Leave
14. Resolution
15. You Are the Best of Me
16. Sunset Waltz
17. One Hundred Years of Downton

Once it comes out, let me know what you think about the Downton Abbey movie and its soundtrack in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Soundtrack Review: Stranger Things 3 (2019)

Stranger Things 3 features music by Emmy-winning and two-time Grammy-nominated composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, digitally on June 28. Half of the Austin band      S U R V I V E, Dixon and Stein have been on board with the series since the first season, creating strikingly dynamic music that has become a trademark of the show.  In Season 3 evil has not ended, it has evolved, and the duo has evolved with it as they continue to explore new sonic territory and instrumentation, such as the pop sensibilities and melancholic undertones of 50’s doo-wop, that go beyond the 80’s & 90’s R&B inflections of past seasons. They also return to familiar themes that are elevated by bold stylized reworkings that reflect the growth of the characters and intensity of the new storyline.

With the Season 3 soundtrack, we’ve made an album that doesn’t feel like a ‘score’ necessarily, but one that feels more like a stand-alone record than a collection of brief cues. We’ve incorporated the main narrative elements of the series and stayed true to the original sound while at the same time expanding on our musical palette—we often pushed it to the limit. We’ve really made an effort to curate this album to showcase the moments we think are really special.

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The soundtrack for Stranger Things 3 has indeed evolved from where it was two years ago for Stranger Things 2. While the 80s vibe is definitely constant (not a surprise considering the show has reached 1985), there are also tracks that are much, MUCH darker than anything heard before. For example, “The Week is Long” has a very dark undertone to it, while “Rats” sounds like something out of a 1950s sci-fi film.

In terms of the general 80s vibe though, my favorite track has to be “Starcourt” since the entire piece SCREAMS “this is the 1980s and don’t you forget it.” The synth beats are in full effect, it’s peppy, it’s upbeat, it sounds like it was extracted straight out of that decade and brought to the present. I can also hear the resemblance to a stand-alone record that the composers were going for. The soundtrack does indeed sound like a record or tape from the 1980s that would sit down and listen to (well, for the most part anyway).

If you’ve been a fan of Stranger Things all this time, then you will definitely like the soundtrack for Stranger Things 3. Let me know what you think about Stranger Things 3 and its soundtrack in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Soundtrack Review: Stranger Things 2 (2017)

Film Soundtracks A-W

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