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John Powell's SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY (2018)

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36 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

The Crait thing, he's most likely talking about that bit from "Adventures of Han" that sounds similar and gets referenced in that sequence. 

 

I figured that Williams included the adapted Crait-like passage in the "Adventures of Han" demo as a way of providing Powell with an action-oriented motif to allow for aesthetic continuity. The impression Powell gave from the interviews was that he was keen to take any material that Williams could provide.

 

 

 

Separately, on the action music - I don't share the view that the score is particularly 'RCP-esque' (save for the PotC harmonic bullshit in Corellia Chase at around 2:00). I think it just lacks restraint and sophistication. It's basically a "child in a sweet shop" style of writing. Although I'm sure that suits the film fine, by the sounds of it. Makes for a bit of an exhausting album listen, though... And Luke's Theme gets fucking butchered beyond belief in this score and stretched in ways it was never meant to. Cringey bad.

Second half of Flying with Chewie is derivate HTTYD2 Romantic Flight material, but with weaker thematic ideas, and thinned out orchestrations that make it sound like cheesy TV award show music. Don't get the aesthetics??? Weird. Jarring.

The Reminiscence Therapy 'thing' was executed far more successfully, and coherently (less jarringly) by Williams very recently.

I think the kids will love it though!

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The more that the score goes back and forth from lush and classical hollywood orchestration, straight into RCP style, convinces me that Williams didn't just write a theme and throw it to Powell. Me thinks Williams did more. 

 

Powell even said he sat with Williams and spotted the film, so even where to place and how to make the music feel was probably 90% Williams' input.

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The whole thing's a mish-mash. Including Alan Silvestri (Marauders Arrive and others), David Arnold (Train Heist), Randy Newman, Don Davis (Into The Maw), Zimmer (Corellia Chase), Powell (imitating Chicken Run, HTTYD), and Williams (obvious). A whole load of 'chicken in the pot', there.

 

Why do some of Powell's harmonic cadences just sound... wrong? Can anyone explain what the fuck 1:30 [cadence at 1:35] in Flying with Chewie is? This is basic shit. I mean, at least Powell does a better job than Gia. But really this is just a poor state of things from a compositional perspective.

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Oooo ouch! The way Williams' theme goes from his orchestration in track 1, to Powell's orchestration in track 2 is painful. It sounds like there was an explosion at the RCP factory and shrapnel from 2.5 million percussionists was embedded into Williams' theme.

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Very disappointing. I had high hopes for this but those f'ing percussion loops are completely inappropriate for SW. And on Here They Come, no less! Really JP?

 

Did JW honestly give this score his stamp of approval (but not Giacchino's)?

 

As a score it's fine, just not for SW. I'll stick with Rogue One, thanks.

 

Let the eye-rolling commence.

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4 hours ago, MikeH said:

That trumpet lick is the most insane thing I’ve ever heard Williams write for brass. 

 

You haven't heard his Trumpet concerto.

 

Separately, The playing in "Adventures of Han" is horrible. Brass, especially. They sound seriously bad compared to the London players. 

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Help!!!! Horn motif in Train Heist, 2:18 - 2:25. I've heard it before. Don't know where. Not saying it's an intentional quote. But it's something. I can't put my finger on it. Anyone???? Thanks!!!!!

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3 minutes ago, lemoncurd said:

Help!!!! Horn motif in Train Heist, 2:18 - 2:25. I've heard it before. Don't know where. Not saying it's an intentional quote. But it's something. I can't put my finger on it. Anyone???? Thanks!!!!!

 

It's a Bond (David Arnold / John Barry) meets Goldsmith mashup! Probably due to the temp track.

 

As for the notes played by the horns, it could really be any generic, octatonic, spy-film motif. (I don't think it is a motif).

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Well, the original official announcement mentioned it will honour the SW material while retaining Powell's sounds. The score delivered just that.

 

Karol

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I love this score! I think it’s my favourite Star Wars score since Revenge of the Sith. 

 

 

Such a massive improvement on Rogue One. More Powell Star Wars please!

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I think JNH will get first dibs on any new spinoff, whatever it may be. JNH said they approached him way before to do Solo, but he had other projects so had to "painfully" in his words turn it down. So he definitely wanted to do it. We now know that Williams had a list of people he recommended. Powell being one of them, but JNH was obviously top of that list or he wouldn't have been asked so early. He and Williams are friends apparently. And Williams has visited JNH's studios many times to mix stuff. So I wouldn't be surprised if JNH has already been asked for *insert a star wars story here*

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1 hour ago, Jack said:

 

You haven't heard his Trumpet concerto.

 

Separately, The playing in "Adventures of Han" is horrible. Brass, especially. They sound seriously bad compared to the London players. 

No, diddly-do.

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16 minutes ago, Mr. Who said:

I hope JNH doesn't choose to do a Star Wars movie instead of one of the Beasts sequels...

 

He recently confirmed he's doing two more. So FB 2 and 3. Those will be locked in contract.

 

I hope he leaves space for Star Wars in his schedule.

 

Let's be honest; imagine this in Star Wars. This action music blows any action material Powell did completely out of the water. I also think this theme is better and more suited for Han than even Williams theme is.

 

THIS is how you write action music without covering it in generic percussion.

 

 

 

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I'll be very happy if JNH gets a Star Wars movie at some point too!

 

Also Alan Silvestri, Christopher Gordon, Bruce Broughton, David Arnold, Edward Shearmur and John Debney.

Just keep making Star Wars movies until they've all had their chance!

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1 hour ago, Jack said:

Can anyone explain what the fuck 1:30 [cadence at 1:35] in Flying with Chewie is? 

 

D minor 1st inversion (F in the bass) - F with aug6 - E4 then going to F (instead of immediately to A minor).

 

 

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Yeah if JNH truly channels his inner Disney era self, and being a huge powell fan myself, i would dare tosay that the end result will be on par, if not restrainedly better than Powell's solo

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Newton Howard is better than Powell of course, but why not Goldenthal? There's your competent guy.

 

Christopher Gordon maybe, but not the other guys you mention.

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My initial thoughts on Powell's score -

 

- 50% Williams' 2 Themes scattered throughout.

- 25% Powell either copy and pasting or butchering Williams original trilogy themes. (Here They Come with Powell's RCP percussion made me want to vomit.)

- 25% Original Powell music. Made up of some nice soft melodies, rippoffs from Williams Sith male choir, Giacchino's John Carter Choir, and Horner's Avatar Choir.

 

I also strangely heard a lot of Goldenthal's Batman and Arnold's Bond stuff here and there.

 

I don't want to be a douche, but this score is not good on first listen. Hopefully it improves once my understanding of his themes improves.

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Just now, leeallen01 said:

My initial thoughts on Powell's score -

 

People didn't like Rogue One so I'm going to shit on this at every available opportunity. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Bilbo said:

 

 

That's horseshit and you know it. I like Powell. I was expecting this to be as good or better than Rogue One. It is not even close. 

 

 

If you actually like how he plastered Williams themes all over the score with barely a 30 second stretch without it, and his overuse of bland RCP percussion, and his sickly butchering of Williams original themes like Here They Come, and his copy and paste of Battle of Crait, Asteroid Field etc with zero alteration, then all the power to you. 

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Listening to this score bothers me how Giacchino had 4 weeks and he still wrote 95% new material, with mere minutes of Williams original material, which he completely made his own. Yet Powell had countless time and his score is 75% Williams new and old material and 25% original material.

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I find myself saying "ooo lovely melody" in pieces like "Good Guy" thinking I'll hear a lovely long piece of Powell's new love theme, and then again it goes back to Williams Han theme. Powell didn't seem to have the confidence to let his stuff shine. He has some great ideas and really nice melodies that last for 5 seconds and then he quickly goes back to Williams like he's insecure to own the score himself. I wish he did it all alone. 

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10 minutes ago, Holko said:

On the Here They Come with percussion - maybe I'm just young, or have no taste, but I like it. It adds a different texture to it, a different flavour that makes it a bit more fresh instead of another straight-up rehash (I loved it in Battle of Crait, but this is way too close to it in time). This is not Episode IX, people, this is just a spinoff. I've no problem with it moving away from the Williams sound a bit here and there. It still does it enough that it feels like the same universe.

 

Agree

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Well I really enjoyed this score, much better than Rogue One in my opinion. Part of me wishes JP could have done it all himself but I do love JW's new theme. Now, I hate RCP as much as anyone else, but I don't feel their influence on JP really affected my enjoyment of the score. If anything, it kind of freshened it up a bit. (If Zimmer were to write something like this for Star Wars, I would be very satisfied)

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1 hour ago, leeallen01 said:

THIS is how you write action music without covering it in generic percussion.

 

 

 

That's certainly a very well composed cue (it's JNH after all) but it's also standard-fare style action music which was all over the place around that time. There's nothing wrong with that of course, but Powell's score on the other hand sounds quite different from anything I've heard before. I feel like he's taken the "feel" of JW's action writing and combined it with his particularly hyper-active style of orchestral writing to deliver a genuinely fresh-sounding score.

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1 hour ago, Lewya said:

Newton Howard is better than Powell of course, but why not Goldenthal? There's your competent guy.

 

Christopher Gordon maybe, but not the other guys you mention.

Never heard anything by Goldenthal before.

With approximately 100 movies on the horizon, I'd say: give them ALL their chance!

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3 minutes ago, Loert said:

 

That's certainly a very well composed cue (it's JNH after all) but it's also standard-fare style action music which was all over the place around that time. There's nothing wrong with that of course, but Powell's score on the other hand sounds quite different from anything I've heard before. I feel like he's taken the "feel" of JW's action writing and combined it with his particularly hyper-active style of orchestral writing to deliver a genuinely fresh-sounding score.

 

There's nothing 'standard' about that piece. It's incredibly written action music. And calling Powell's score fresh, when it's 75% old material with a few drums beats added is funny.

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Just now, leeallen01 said:

 

There's nothing 'standard' about that piece. It's incredibly written action music. And calling Powell's score fresh, when it's 75% old material with a few drums beats added is funny.

 

I argue that the style of the piece is pretty standard action film scoring, at least for that time. And I argue that the score to Solo is less so.

Of course it's incredibly written action music, but that's not the issue here.

 

And calling Powell's score "75% old material" is a gross over-simplification. Just because Powell uses a JW theme doesn't make it "old material".

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5 minutes ago, Loert said:

 

And calling Powell's score "75% old material" is a gross over-simplification. Just because Powell uses a JW theme doesn't make it "old material".

 

Well I was expected at least most of the score to be new Powell music. But there isn't a single piece and no more than 30 seconds in a piece without something from Williams. It seems like this is a Chamber of Secrets. Powell was way way way too over-reliant on Williams. 

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It would be interesting to know what the mandates of the production were, via temp tracks and so on. Given the anachronism that Williams style is today, especially in the differently edited movies, i hardly think they temp track old SW scores over them - how would that work, anyway? Probably there are spots were the obligatory rebel fanfares and such appear, but Powell's hyperactive action style alludes to a whole different kettle of fish, namely recent blockbuster stylings.

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I think we need to create a spreadsheet or flow chart with guidelines for composers to follow as to what is and what isn't permitted in a SW score: "You can use Force if: a) Force-related action occurs on the screen b) character contemplates his future/destiny c) to portray the inner spiritual concepts of SW universe...."

 

Karol

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On 5/24/2018 at 9:37 AM, Disco Stu said:

Maybe it's just an Amazon Prime thing, but I have never had to worry about it.  They've never failed to deliver on release date yet.

 

image.png

 

Well @Breadstick Basilisk I jinxed myself.  For the first time that I can remember I've had a preordered soundtrack CD delayed from Amazon.  Just got an email.

 

I'm not seeing the movie until Sunday and I'm still going to wait to listen to even a note of the score until I get the CD, which might be Monday now.  I'm a patient man.

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