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What Is The Last Score You Listened To?

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Alice in Wonderland by Oliver Wallace and company

I miss real Disney music. Disney scores of this era had such a lushness and sincerity that's been completely absent for the past 20-30 years thanks to Alan Menken's Broadway wannabes. I do enjoy the new stuff too here and there, but pretty much every main Disney soundtrack after Little Mermaid leaves me cold in comparison.

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Why is that?  Beauty and the Beast has warmth and nuance.  Feels quite sincere to me.  Hunchback is epic. The Lion King's score is Zimmer's high point, majestic indeed.  (songs are so-so, though).   

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I wouldn't know how to describe it, it's just...a special atmosphere Disney music had prior to the 90's. 

I enjoy those mentioned scores, they're just not on the same level of warmth and charm. And it's not a knock against Alan Menken, as I wouldn't trade Little Mermaid for anything. 

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Listening to The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens - two of the best scores of 2015.

 

I easily prefer TFA and would have given it the Oscar that year, but The Revenant has some superb heights and I agree that it should have been nominated. I would have bumped out Burwell's Carol.

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The Golden Compass by Alexandre Desplat: While I still think Desplat's style is a bit prissy for fantasy outings this one is among his best.

 

The Lost World: Jurassic Park by John Williams: Excellent, simply excellent.

 

Snow Falling On Cedars by James Newton Howard: Mesmerizing atmosphere with a lot of quiet beauty to it.

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The score is indeed among JNH's best. Very understated but nuanced none the less.

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33 minutes ago, publicist said:

 

Still meh.

Yeah it is quite meh.

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Awful movie, (mostly) great score. A bit mushy, a bit melange of older stuff, but conceptually, it shows a real pro at work - Horner had 10 days to write it and though it is very Hollywoodized (Ron Howard was responsible, after all), the different idioms come together beautifully. 

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Doing a Giacchino marathon leading up to this weekend with The Incredibles II and Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

 

The Incredibles: One of his best scores. Full of energy and charm. Is pure fun and is one of his best writings for brass that I have heard from him. The main theme is a classic. I cannot wait what new stuff Giacchino brings in the sequel. I feel it's going to be great!

 

Ratatouille: I would say this is on par with The Incredibles but for very different reasons. Well, the charm is also there, but it also beautiful and romantic. The score is lively and quirky, but it can also get emotional and romantic. The main theme is really lovely and I love the french sound Giacchino incorporates in many of the tracks. It reminds me a bit of the recent The Shape of Water by Desplat.

 

John Carter: I hadn't listened to the album completely and I have to say that in my first listen I liked what I heard. The main theme is really beautiful and it gets some nice variations. And the action tracks are great (not all of them) and remind me a bit of Jupiter Ascending, one of Giacchino's best works in my opinion. I will surely come back to this one soon.

 

Super 8: Nice score, with lovely themes (I especially love the love theme). My main problem with the score is the album presentation. Lots of short cues that don't give time to enter properly in the listening experience and makes it harder to return to the full album. And that's a shame because the highlights are really great. I think this could ahve benefited froma  more compact resentation on album.

 

Tomorrowland: Fun score. The main theme is great and is used a lot in different variations that make it interesting enough. My problem with the album is the action music, which tends to be rather generic and entering in the usual Giacchino tropes. Otherwise, is fun and entertaining.

 

 

By the way, I'm planning on listening to the whole Lost soundtracks for the first time and I'm wondering if anyone has some kind of guide for finding all the themes and motifs that appear through the soundtracks. Thanks in advance!

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Another day of Spotify albums

 

Danny Elfman - Men In Black

Hadn't listened to this in years.  Superfun! Though, admittedly, all the best music is towards the beginning of the album.

 

 

James Horner - Aliens (Deluxe Edition)

 

One of my favorite scores ever!

 

 

Jerry Goldsmith - Link

 

Hehhe, like a silly cousin of Gremlins.  Quirky and fun!

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Fred Zinneman bestowed upon us the ultimate nun movie, hence, 'The Nun's Story', and Franz Waxman wrote one of the great religious scores for it. Waxman's ability to musically reflect inner emotional states was bar to none, and Audrey Hepburn's transformation from willful belgian girl to monastic outsider giving up a normal life in order to join a convent and heal the sick in belgian Congo, he chose a gregorian idiom that subtly switches back and forth between religious and ecclesiastical - changing perspective from the individual perception of church doctrine as experienced by Hepburn to characterization of doctrine itself. 

 

The main title is a wonderful summation, with a broad, joyful fugato leading into an impassioned rising string theme, signaling the life-changing turn Hepburn's character is about to take. The often oppressive string dirges Waxman chose for daily convent life is á propos more than ever for the seemingly anachronistic ecclesiastical rules, though also here, the individual fulfillment shimmers through in warm and sympathetic tones. A 12-tone passage for a mad woman attacking presages Goldsmith's 60's scores ('Angel Gabriel'), interestingly, and a case can be made that Alex North and even Williams might have lend this score an ear, as 'The Nun's Story' finds allusions in both men's scores treading into sacred themes.

 

The music turns more tumultuous and adventurous when Hepburn enters the dangerous Congo, but when she finally decides to leave the monastery, the music beautifully balances secular and church themes into an open end - neither side prevails (naturally cut from the movie), meaning that even after leaving, the experience will stay with her. It's one of Waxman's best, and it shows how much the Silver Age composers learned from this forward-looking composer, always searching for interesting new ways to express himself. 

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Rambo: First Blood Part II by Jerry Goldsmith

Forever in battle with Total Recall for the title of Goldsmith's action opus. I might give the slight edge to this one just for being slightly cheesier in tone, because I love cheese. It's a wretched shame the original awesome end credits cue sounds like trash, but at least Intrada found it. 

 

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My favorite game score of the year so far (this is a series of samples)

 

 

I have a game audio rip that I enjoy, and I'd really like to buy the OST coming out soon, but sadly I've set myself a moratorium on any new soundtrack purchases until late summer/early fall.

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The Empire Strikes Back

Never gets old! From the beginning till The Asteroid Field is a powerhouse...and then the creepy, snarly orchestral effects come in. I want more of this kind of quasi-aleatoricism in SW9 please!

 

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The Rocketeer by James Horner

Stupid confession: I heard this score numerous times, years before I ever watched the movie...so I stupidly assumed the two songs were Jennifer Connelly singing. I imagined she was a nightclub singer, sort of like Cameron Diaz in The Mask. And then I saw the movie and was somewhat disappointed. I know, I know, I could have read the credits on the soundtrack, but younger me was even more of an idiot than I am now.

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Julius Caesar (Intrada re-recording) by Miklós Rózsa: My first exposure to Rózsa years and years ago and still as memorable as the first time I heard it. I admire the way this composer always has his feet firmly planted in both the film and the concert hall world and his music stand so well on its own outside the picture it was composed for. The whole thing is just so well constructed and developed and the culmination of Caesar Now Be Still! feels like such a natural progression from the Brutus and Caesar material first heard in Overture and Praeludium.

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story by John Williams & John Powell: Despite its exhausting frenetic overall feel I have to admit I am quite fond of this one and it keeps revealing little nuances and thematic intricacies on every subsequent listen. Williams' theme has the perfect feel for this kind of self-contained space adventure romp almost having the feel of an extended TV series opener tune (I can almost picture a 1980's style opening credits montage to this music) and Powell's tunes sound very much like a suitable composite where the devices of the classic old fashioned adventure scoring are dressed in a modern set of clothes to brush up the SW sound for the newer audiences. 

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:music: Jupiter Ascending, John Carter and Tomorrowland. Some of the finest Giacchino scores for feature films. Interestingly, also the biggest flops.

 

Karol

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Star Wars OT OSTs

 

Holy fuck are these awesome programs. Even RotJ I completely turned around on.

And just as I suspected, now that I'm not listening through headphones, the problems with the stereo and general mastering of Empire kind of become lost - except for that one portion of Heroics of Luke and Han where it suddenly becomes completely muffled mid-cue and gradually becomes un-muffled. I'm covinced nobody listened to that track before printing it.

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Michael Giacchino - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom


Pretty decent OST.  It takes the themes from the last score in new directions, which I always appreciate, and adds in 3 new themes, lots of choir, and some quick Jurassic Park theme minor cameos.  It sags a bit in the middle but ends strong.  The suite track is actually pretty great.  I do miss the sheer fun of the Hoskins/In-Gen theme from the first score, though, which doesn't appear here at all.

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Just here to check in real quick, does anyone else think "Main Title and Escape" is one of John Williams' strongest bits for the movies in years, a dramatic, juicy, chunky tour de force belonging in a "best of" list? Thanks. I am,

 

Sincerely Yours,

 

Nick

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I wish I could go into AI fresh for the first time.  I was such a younger, different person when I first heard it, who heard music in a completely different way.  It's hard to imagine what I'd think of AI if I was hearing it for the first time now, but I'm sure I'd think it was a grand work of art.

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Kinda gave up on this halfway in. It's not so much that it is compositionally worse than its predecessor but it takes the least interesting parts of it and expands on it, i. e. incessant thumping action music clichés that just don't work without the images that, in Giacchino's case, often have to support the music, not the other way around - or quieter filler that likewise goes nowhere. It's really quite a chore to go through 80 minutes of endless start/stops and little 'flourishes' that seem to signal an end of drought only to suddenly end just where they begun. I liked the stately march in 'Jurassic Pillow Talk', alas, it's a bit wee for all the surrounding boredom. The new themes are mostly undistinguished, like the try at an epic menace tune in 'Nostalgia-Saurus' or 'World's Worst Bedtime Storyteller', beefing up the thin content with trailer music choir (it's enough for most these day, grant you).

 

The 11-minute end credits suite is something you may add to your JP collections, but this franchise has been barely alive for decades now and the new score seems to confirm this sorry state with a vengeance.

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Well that is unfortunate but I somehow had a feeling that the sequel wouldn't be any more special musically than Jurassic World was. Which is sort of sad. But then again the new films feel like a desperate try at revivifying something that doesn't really need a 10 film franchise. 

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Universal accountants will smile benignly at the thought Jurassic World 3, because it probably still will haul in a tidy profit but without the clever catch of the real park opening in JW, also giving the music a scope beyond boring cat-and-mouse games, it's just another loud summer movie that is really not that different from 'Rampage' and 'Jumanji 2017' etc.

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29 minutes ago, kaseykockroach said:

Listen to it a billion more times, then it grows on ya! :P

Oh, wait, nevermind, that's only if it has John Williams' name on it, silly moi.

Obviously John Powell and Michael Giacchino can't do no wrong either. 

 

Alas Giacchino's mediocrity in the recent years has been a source of minor frustration to me. Perhaps Incredibles 2 will turn the tide.

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