Jump to content
Thekthithm

Anyone else losing interest in film scores?

Recommended Posts

It's become an awful rot that's setting in my life that film scores just don't have the same appeal to me like they used to. And I'm not just talking about the declining standards in scores from modern Hollywood blockbusters, I'm even losing my interest in the classics I grew up with. I don't know, I think at 34 years old, I don't really have the sense of excitement, romance and adventure I might have had a decade-and-a-half ago. It's all just kind of run away from me and an accumulation of life experiences has moulded me into someone I don't recognise.

 

And not to mention a certain hearing injury has led to music playing a significantly reduced role in my life over the last 15 months - I go months without listening to anything at all now because of the irritation music causes (I rarely go out anymore due to sound hazards in public places that could exacerbate my existing injury). I'm definitely not the same way as I was before the accident. I like to look at my CD collection and sound system and just admire it though, so there's that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear of your troubles @Thekthithm. I've experienced similar things and I think a large part of the entertainment one derives from scores is linked to mood and also the headspace one was in when they first fell in love with (or hated) it: I find myself listening to music I've bought and wondering 'why did I even find this interesting?' It doesn't do what it once did for me. Time and distance and tastes all affect this and obviously hearing problems affect that moreso. I might be going deaf and I'm not able to pick up on certain moments which once made me love a piece. It's sad but perhaps it's a chance to rediscover or reconnect with music, and/or find new music?

 

Sometimes I get sick of filmscores and turn on something more energetic or breezy to just relax - which is weird - I rarely relax to film music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Thekthithm said:

Anyone else losing interest in film scores?

 

I like curling up in the spa with a good game of Space Chess and an esoteric novel. You could always change your musical tastes to something more avant garde, that is, plenty of musical sounds more noisy and agitating. Though I'm sure, this is all too lowbrow for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Dixon Hill said:

It's a stagnating industry/art form.  That's what makes me feel apathetic about it.  The good stuff still does it for me.

 

This is me, on a good year. 

 

Once a blue moon there's a half decent soundtrack that I notice, and I'll listen to it for a few weeks. But longevity in film music is dead. 

 

I wouldn't call film music a hobby anymore. However, I'm sort of past the sad lament aspect of it by now, and I just find other things interesting instead. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I don't, I think we're living in a Golden Age of film music. But then I like to explore far beyond the confines of mainstream Hollywood. I can certainly see why, if you're limiting yourself to the latter, it eventually becomes stagnant.

 

But regardless of quality, I often find myself not wanting to listen to any film music at all, from any periods. I'd rather listen to pop, rock, electronic, jazz, classical or whatever instead -- composed for their own sake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Thor said:

No, I don't, I think we're living in a Golden Age of film music. But then I like to explore far beyond the confines of mainstream Hollywood. I can certainly see why, if you're limiting yourself to the latter, it eventually becomes stagnant.

 

As I said, I'm losing interest in older scores and music as a whole. I've reached a point where I simply opt for silence whenever possible, because for me, it's safer - this is why I no longer recognise myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Thekthithm said:

 

As I said, I'm losing interest in older scores and music as a whole. I've reached a point where I simply opt for silence whenever possible, because for me, it's safer - this is why I no longer recognise myself.

 

That's perfectly fine. I get that need too (although complete silence is no longer useful for me, due to the tinnitus).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

That's perfectly fine. I get that need too (although complete silence is no longer useful for me, due to the tinnitus).

 

Mine's very reactive, so silence keeps it calmer. That said, you and I will probably never hear true silence again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I've been in a pretty disinterested phase when it comes to film music for the past 3-4 months actually.  I think I've maybe listened to a soundtrack from start to finish once, maybe twice, since May.

 

Something about the structure (or lack thereof) of film scores just hasn't been doing it for me.  I'm more interested in instrumental music that is able to have its own innate logic and structure...... aka classical!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Thekthithm said:

 

Mine's very reactive, so silence keeps it calmer. That said, you and I will probably never hear true silence again.

 

Lucky you, in a way. Wish I had reactive tinnitus instead of the constant, 24/7 buzzing noise that can only be remedied by having some sort of noise in the room or surroundings as a distraction for the brain.

 

I used to adore complete silence. Now it drives me insane. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Thekthithm said:

 

As I said, I'm losing interest in older scores and music as a whole. I've reached a point where I simply opt for silence whenever possible, because for me, it's safer - this is why I no longer recognise myself.

I feel exactly this way, but it's a part of generally losing interest in anything in life...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Thekthithm said:

It's become an awful rot that's setting in my life that film scores just don't have the same appeal to me like they used to. And I'm not just talking about the declining standards in scores from modern Hollywood blockbusters, I'm even losing my interest in the classics I grew up with. I don't know, I think at 34 years old, I don't really have the sense of excitement, romance and adventure I might have had a decade-and-a-half ago. It's all just kind of run away from me and an accumulation of life experiences has moulded me into someone I don't recognise.

 

And not to mention a certain hearing injury has led to music playing a significantly reduced role in my life over the last 15 months - I go months without listening to anything at all now because of the irritation music causes (I rarely go out anymore due to sound hazards in public places that could exacerbate my existing injury). I'm definitely not the same way as I was before the accident. I like to look at my CD collection and sound system and just admire it though, so there's that.

 

Is this just because they don't let you talk about politics here anymore?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you - also as a 34 year old, it's much less frequent that I'm swept away by any score, new or old.  It probably has more to do with my listening habits (car and iPod/sports headphones) and less to do with the quality of music. I've also lost interest in the hunt for "more, more, more!" of film scores, UNLESS there is some particularly choice track that I notice and love in the movie but don't hear on the album - which rarely happens because albums are usually super long now.  The OST usually has enough for me.  But I'm still interested in scores - I still hear 5-10 new scores every year in movies that strike my interest, usually a mix of adventure movies, horror movies, and animated movies since that's what we tend to watch. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Thekthithm said:

And not to mention a certain hearing injury has led to music playing a significantly reduced role in my life over the last 15 months - I go months without listening to anything at all now because of the irritation music causes (I rarely go out anymore due to sound hazards in public places that could exacerbate my existing injury). I'm definitely not the same way as I was before the accident. I like to look at my CD collection and sound system and just admire it though, so there's that.

I'm sorry too about your infirmity. Hearing damage must be particularly vicious to bear for a music lover. Don't despair, though; there is a solution, a way forward, out there. Bone conduction? Artificial replacement of the damaged body parts? Some kind of brain-rewiring therapy? It's basically the 2020s now, there has to be something that can be done.

 

To your question specifically, I'll say that my interest in film scores is actually growing at the moment, but almost entirely for scores written during the 70's though the aughts. Like others here, my interest in current film scoring is very limited: JW, of course, plus Desplat and Elfman, and that's really about it. And that's actually quite ok for me. It's less daunting knowing that I can focus on learning and appreciating the work of the masters and not worry much about keeping current with the new generation.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I can't. I can speculate, of course. I have a theory that it was 6 months when I biked to work with plug-in headphones back in 2009 or thereabouts, but I can't be sure. In therapy, I've learnt that it's not particularly fruitful to speculate on the cause of the coclear damage, but rather cope with present-day conditions. But hey -- this should all be in the tinnitus thread over on the other side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Dixon Hill said:

It's a stagnating industry/art form.  That's what makes me feel apathetic about it.  The good stuff still does it for me.

 

9 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

Yes, I've been in a pretty disinterested phase when it comes to film music for the past 3-4 months actually.  I think I've maybe listened to a soundtrack from start to finish once, maybe twice, since May.

 

Something about the structure (or lack thereof) of film scores just hasn't been doing it for me.  I'm more interested in instrumental music that is able to have its own innate logic and structure...... aka classical!

 

This. Also how painfully obvious that most film music rarely aim for more than functionality. Too many hours of organized sound that purely exist to get buried under the CG and sound effects.

 

Whereas something like classical music always works with an intention of its own, and relies on autonomous structure to make its point (at least the good stuff does). I just don’t have much to learn and enjoy from film music these days.

 

But like Grey, the good stuff still does it for me. And every now and then, I’ll find myself surprised by how much I’m taken by a score (old or new), that just pops up in shuffle mode on my phone or Spotify. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve been collecting film scores for over 40 years, there were a few times I thought I had lost my passion but it wasn’t me.

 

Staying away from  / limiting my time on most of the message boards and enjoying the music on my own does wonders for my enjoyment.

 

I find most contemporary music since the mid 90’s ,to be dreadful and lacking in quality. So outside of 70’s and 80’s music, film scores are my primary music source.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm only losing interest in current new scores being made, but that doesn't mean I don't check out a ton of them every year, it only means the percentage of ones I check out that I'd actually want to return to are less than, say, any random year from the early 90s or something.

 

I still have just as much interest in classic film scores, both ones I already liked that get new expansions, or ones from that era I wasn't that into that gets a new expansion or premiere release.

 

I still desire unreleased music from scores I love, I am still thrilled when one of my favorites gets a complete release.  I still listen to film music on an almost daily basis.

 

Modern Hollywood film scoring is 95% music I don't care for, but I have been discovering more and more video game music in recent years and that has been thrilling to find new scores to fall in love with and composers to begin investing their entire catalog.

 

Film music rocks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been rapidly losing interest in newer scores from what used to be my favourite composers, due to changing styles or more limited output. Now I just come across scores randomly, either via Netflix, a TV show or some other medium, and buy the ones I like, whoever composed them.

 

A huge source is discovering older scores when they're used in a TV show (such as Top Gear/Grand Tour).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

A huge source is discovering older scores when they're used in a TV show (such as Top Gear/Grand Tour).

 

What's an example of the kind of film score that gets tracked into Top Gear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This decade I think the only new soundtrack albums I've listened to more than once or twice have been by John Williams plus the first two Hobbits, the first Fantastic Beasts, and Solo, so film music is mostly a nostalgia kick for me lately.

 

Otherwise I do still typically notice and buy a handful of individual film score tracks throughout the year, old and new, but those typically have short shelf lives with me. It's been awhile since I found a full score or OST album that I had no expectations for and just got obsessed because it blindsided me with how good it was. Unfortunately a lot of what stands out as unique in film music doesn't intersect as often as I'd like with what I just have fun listening to, but I still have those "middle of the venn diagram" experiences with other music. In the last year alone I've had first listens to a handful of albums that I've now listened to many times and treasure, though nothing that was newly released.

 

And that said I do still often find the use of music really fun and enjoyable when I'm watching movies. So far this year Michael Abels really creeped me out in Us, Alan Silvestri and Randy Newman made me smile toward the end of their scores, and Tarantino's soundtrack reliably showed up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've conducted a quick test to determine the supposed quality of the scores of the more recent box office hits:

 

2017

#

Film

Worldwide BO

Composer

Score grade

1

Star Wars - The Last Jedi

US$ 1,33b

John Williams

8.5/10

2

Beauty and the Beast

US$ 1,26b

Alan Menken

6/10

3

The Fate of the Furious

US$ 1,23b

Brian Tyler

3/10

4

Despicable Me 3

US$ 1,03b

Heitor Pereira

(haven’t listened to the score or watched the movie)

5

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

US$ 962m

Henry Jackman

4.5/10

6

Spider-Man: Homecoming

US$ 880m

Michael Giacchino

8/10

7

Wolf Warrior 2

US$ 870m

Joseph Trapanese

(haven’t listened to the score or watched the movie)

8

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

US$ 864m

Tyler Bates

7.5/10

9

Thor: Ragnarok

US$ 854m

Mark Mothersbaugh

6.5/10

10

Wonder Woman

US$ 821m

Rupert Gregson-Williams

7/10

11

Coco

US$ 807m

Michael Giacchino

6/10

12

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

US$ 795m

Geoff Zanelli

5.5/10

13

It

US$ 700m

Benjamin Wallfisch

7.5/10

14

Justice League

US$ 658m

Danny Elfman

7/10

15

Logan

US$ 619m

Marco Beltrami

5/10

 

Average score grade = 6.31

Highest grade = The Last Jedi, with 8.5/10

Lowest grade = The Fate of the Furious, with 3/10

 

2018

#

Film

Worldwide BO

Composer

Score grade

1

Avengers: Infinity War

US$ 2,05b

Alan Silvestri

8/10

2

Black Panther

US$ 1,35b

Ludwig Goransson

8.5/10

3

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

US$ 1,31b

Michael Giacchino

8/10

4

Incredibles 2

US$ 1.24b

Michael Giacchino

8/10

5

Aquaman

US$ 1,15b

Rupert Gregson-Williams

7/10

6

Bohemian Rhapsody

US$ 904m

(no original score)

(no original score)

7

Venom

US$ 856m

Ludwig Goransson

5/10

8

Mission: Impossible - Fallout

US$ 791m

Lorne Balfe

6/10

9

Deadpool 2

US$ 779m

Tyler Bates

5.5/10

10

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

US$ 654m

James Newton Howard

8.5/10

11

Ant-Man and the Wasp

US$ 623m

Christophe Beck

7.5/10

12

Ready Player One

US$ 583m

Alan Silvestri

8/10

13

Operation Red Sea

US$ 579m

Elliot Leung

(haven’t listened to the score or watched the movie)

14

Detective Chinatown 2

US$ 544m

Nathan Wang

(haven’t listened to the score or watched the movie)

15

The Meg

US$ 530m

Harry Gregson-Williams

(haven’t listened to the score or watched the movie)

 

Average score grade = 7.27

Highest grade = Tie between Black Panther and The Crimes of Grindelwald, with 8.5/10

Lowest grade = Venom, with 5/10

 

2019 so far

#

Film

Worldwide BO

Composer

Score grade

1

Avengers: Endgame

US$ 2,79b

Alan Silvestri

8.5/10

2

The Lion King

US$ 1,64b

Hans Zimmer

6.5/10

3

Spider-Man: Far from Home

US$ 1,13b

Michael Giacchino

8.5/10

4

Captain Marvel

US$ 1,12b

Pinar Toprak

7/10

5

Toy Story 4

US$ 1,07b

Randy Newman

7.5/10

6

Aladdin

US$ 1,05b

Alan Menken

5.5/10

7

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

US$ 758m

Tyler Bates

5.5/10

8

Ne Zha

US$ 700m

Wan Pin Chu

(haven’t listened to the score or watched the movie)

9

The Wandering Earth

US$ 699m

Roc Chen

(haven’t listened to the score or watched the movie)

10

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

US$ 520m

John Powell

9.5/10

11

It: Chapter Two

US$ 438m

Benjamin Wallfisch

7.5/10

12

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu

US$ 432m

Henry Jackman

5.5/10

13

The Secret Life of Pets 2

US$ 429m

Alexandre Desplat

7/10

14

Alita: Battle Angel

US$ 405m

Tom Holkenborg

7.5/10

15

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

US$ 386m

Bear McCreary

8/10

 

Average score grade = 7.23

Highest grade = The Hidden World, with 9.5/10

Lowest grade = Aladdin, Hobbs and Shaw and Pikachu, with 5.5/10

 

Yeah, 2017 was a pretty mediocre year, despite a new Star Wars by Williams. 2018 and 2019 were a little better, with this year offering at least a new masterpiece, by our great John Powell.

 

Now, let's run the same test, but 20 years before:

 

1997

#

Film

Worldwide BO

Composer

Score grade

1

Titanic

US$ 1,8b

James Horner

8/10

2

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

US$ 619m

John Williams

9/10

3

Men in Black

US$ 590m

Danny Elfman

8/10

4

Tomorrow Never Dies

US$ 333m

David Arnold

8/10

5

Air Force One

US$ 315m

Jerry Goldsmith and Joel McNeely

8/10

6

As Good as it Gets

US$ 314m

Hans Zimmer

7.5/10

7

Liar Liar

US$ 303m

John Debney

(haven’t heard the score and don’t remember the movie)

8

My Best Friend's Wedding

US$ 299m

James Newton Howard

7/10

9

The Fifth Element

US$ 263m

Eric Serra

(haven’t heard the score and don’t remember the movie)

10

The Full Monty

US$ 258m

Anne Dudley

(haven’t heard the score or watched the movie)

11

Star Wars Special Edition

US$ 257m

John Williams

10/10

12

Hercules

US$ 253m

Alan Menken

7.5/10

13

Bean

US$ 251m

Howard Goodall

(haven’t heard the score or watched the movie)

14

Face/Off

US$ 245m

John Powell

7/10

15

Batman and Robin

US$ 238m

Elliot Goldenthal

7.5/10

 

Average score grade = 7.95

Highest grade = Star Wars, with 10/10

Lowest grade = My Best Friend's Wedding and Face/Off, with 7/10

 

All right, this one is cheating a little, because of the rerelease of Star Wars, lol. But even taking that out, the average is still 7.75.

 

1998

#

Film

Worldwide BO

Composer

Score grade

1

Armageddon

US$ 554m

Trevor Rabin

6/10

2

Saving Private Ryan

US$ 482m

John Williams

8/10

3

Godzilla

US$ 379m

David Arnold

8.5/10

4

There's Something About Mary

US$ 370m

Jonathan Richman (?)

(haven’t heard the score and don’t remember the movie)

5

A Bug’s Life

US$ 363m

Randy Newman

8.5/10

6

Deep Impact

US$ 350m

James Horner

8/10

7

Mulan

US$ 304m

Jerry Goldsmith

8/10

8

Doctor Dolittle

US$ 295m

Richard Gibbs

(haven’t heard the score and don’t remember the movie)

9

Shakespeare in Love

US$ 289m

Stephen Warbeck

(haven’t heard the score or watched the movie)

10

Lethal Weapon 4

US$ 285m

Michael Kamen

8/10

11

The Truman Show

US$ 264m

Burkhard Dallwitz and Philip Glass

7.5/10

12

You’ve Got Mail

US$ 251m

George Fenton

(haven’t heard the score or watched the movie)

13

Enemy of the State

US$ 250m

Harry Gregson-Williams and Trevor Rabin

6.5/10

14

The Mask of the Zorro

US$ 250m

James Horner

8/10

15

Rush Hour

US$ 244m

Lalo Schifrin

7.5/10

 

Average score grade = 7.68

Highest grade = Godzilla and A Bug's Life, with 8.5/10

Lowest grade = Armageddon, with 6/10

 

1999

#

Film

Worldwide BO

Composer

Score grade

1

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

US$ 983m

John Williams

9/10

2

The Sixth Sense

US$ 673m

James Newton Howard

7.5/10

3

Toy Story 2

US$ 497m

Randy Newman

8.5/10

4

The Matrix

US$ 463m

Don Davis

8.5/10

5

Tarzan

US$ 448m

Mark Mancina

8/10

6

The Mummy

US$ 416m

Jerry Goldsmith

8/10

7

Notting Hill

US$ 364m

Trevor Jones

(haven’t heard the score or watched the movie)

8

The World is not Enough

US$ 362m

David Arnold

8/10

9

American Beauty

US$ 356m

Thomas Newman

8/10

10

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

US$ 312m

George S. Clinton

(haven’t heard the score and don't remember the movie)

11

Runaway Bride

US$ 309m

James Newton Howard

7/10

12

Stuart Little

US$ 300m

Alan Silvestri

7/10

13

The Green Mile

US$ 287m

Thomas Newman

8.5/10

14

The Blair Witch Project

US$ 249m

?

Does this thing even has an original score?

15

American Pie

US$ 235m

David Lawrence

(haven’t heard the score and don't remember the movie)

 

Average score grade = 8

Highest grade = The Phantom Menace, with 9/10

Lowest grade = Runaway Bride and Stuart Little, with 7/10

 

The late 1990s had some wonderful animated scores, new classics by Williams, Goldsmith and Horner that would become some of the most celebrated scores of their respective careers, David Arnold on his peak, Don Davis with his first Matrix score, and so it goes...

 

Of course, this test is entirely personal and anything but scientific. Many of the scores here I heard years ago. And also, the choice of limiting to the 15 biggest movies of every year is problematic on the more recent years, because of these awful chinese movies that preclude the entry of stuff like Giacchino's War for the Planet of the Apes and Powell's Solo, which would certainly bring the average of their years up.

 

But, if anyone wants to do something similar, feel free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/5/2019 at 9:57 PM, Quintus said:

How did you tinnitus sufferers actually become afflicted with the condition, what was the suspected cause? Loud rave music back in your youth? Noisy building site work? Can you pinpoint the origin? 

 

MS, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I've lost interest in film scores on their own and become more aware and appreciative of their effectiveness in their original film context. If they work there, great, they improved the movie. But on album? I dunno I don't really care anymore, take it or leave it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it's still the same: i want good music, and more often than not, movies and tv series don't accommodate that (exceptions prove the rule, of course). Music is still a damn important factor when it's source or diegetic, but much of the stuff originally written for the screen, it's just functional. Recently, Micah Levi did some interesting stuff, MIDSOMMAR by Bobby Krlic had some, but the blockbuster stuff has become revolting, and on such regular basis it's just no use, anymore. I still listen to it occasionally, but apart from old pro's like JNH that at least can deliver competent scores in that Hollywood idiom there seems hardly an american composer left who's worth watching. They all come from different places now. It's not just the commerce. The late 90's were the afterglow of the influence top musicians (going back to the refugees from Hitler's Europe) held over Hollywood. Now it's just dudes doing scores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...