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Hi, I’ve been lurking for a few months, and thought I’d join and share my opinions. Disclaimer: I have been musically ignorant for most of my life, slowly improving in this last half a year, as I started reading the LotR/Hobbit posts here. And yes, BloodBoal, I did steal your template. But anyway, I hope I haven't made a complete fool of myself here, and that some of what I say makes sense. It’s less a review than a short commentary with opinions, but oh well. The Quest for Erebor. The logos music gets you right back into middle earth, and the Shire theme over the title is a nugget of pure nostalgia, as is the Bree motif/theme/quest/thing. I did also like the incomplete version of Thorin’s theme, but not too much to see here. Overall: 6/10 Wilderland. Mega chills over the title card - Smaug’s and the Wargs’ themes combining sounds awesome, and Beorn’s theme in the chase sequence is good. Overall: 8/10 A Necromancer. Cool descending thirds (over the panning shot of Dol Guldur in the film) at 0:55 are definitely a plus, and some other classic, dark Necromancer/Sauron material makes this a worthy bonus track. Overall: 7/10 House of Beorn. The first, and all, versions of the Nine’s theme are amazing, and this is no exception. The nice versions of Beorn and Erebor at the end do save this one. Overall: 6/10 Mirkwood. I do like the Mirkwood theme/motif-y thing too much, and it lifts this track up from the filler category for me, but I don't find much else here too interesting. Overall: 7/10 Flies and Spiders. Awesome! Bilbo’s peek out of the canopy, the Erebor theme when he spots the lonely mountain! Love the Mirkwood theme at 2:18 when the spider cocoons Bilbo… The music while Bilbo cuts the dwarves down, oh my gosh, History of Ring! And the Woodland Realm and Tauriel’s themes at the end, superb! Overall: 9/10 The Woodland Realm. Choral Woodland Realm at 0:35 is amazing! And also the martial version of the Woodland Realm theme while the elves are locking up the dwarves. In fact, all the Woodland Realm/Mirkwood material sounds sublime to me, capped off with a nice, quiet version of Tauriel’s themes… Awesome! Overall: 9/10 Feast of Starlight. Beauty incarnate, and I’m not talking about Evangeline Lilly! Absolutely stunning renditions of the Tauriel and Kili themes. I do find that I prefer the NZSO/DoS combination over the LPO/AUJ one for the quieter moments. Overall: 9/10 Barrels out of Bond. Short but sweet, and I do like this version of Bilbo’s Fussy theme quite a lot… Overall: 7/10 The Forest River. Feck, I love this track! Cutting Bolg’s? theme was a mistake though… But especially Tauriel’s theme at 1:10, Thorin’s at 3:28 and Legolas’ at 3:56 make this a perfect track in my eyes. Overall: 10/10 Bard, a Man of Lake-Town. Introduces us to Bard’s and the Politicians of Lake-Town theme, which I do like a fair amount, but not too interesting to me overall. Overall: 6/10 The High Fells. I enjoy the strings 0:11… (Is it a High Fells theme?) And the Nine theme I adore for its choral work, which this track is full of. But not too much otherwise. Overall: 7/10 The Nature of Evil. Awesome dark version of the Woodland Realm at the start. Much appreciated. I also think the foreshadowing of Smaug’s alliance with Sauron works well, with a great-sounding version of his theme. Overall: 7/10 Protector of the Common Folk. Bard’s theme at the start doesn't do much for me, but it’s made up for by a Thorin’s theme and a first taste of the wonderful Lake-Town theme, but I do find the Politicians of Lake-Town theme at the end quite dull… Overall: 6/10 Thrice Welcome. Here we go! The Lake-Town theme starts this track off well, and finally a better-sounding version of Politicians of Lake-Town, and some nicer, whistleable Bard material, a dark rendition of Lake-Town, and Bilbo’s great Fussy Theme round off this track nicely! Overall: 9/10 Girion, Lord of Dale. Girion’s theme sounds good and heroic on its first occurrence at the start of this track. A lively burst of Tauriel’s theme and some lovely-sounding ‘Woodland Realm with tingly instruments in the background’ ensues at 1:41. Bard’s theme and House of Durin theme, sounding very hauntingly beautiful, make this track. Overall: 8/10 Durin’s Folk. Thorin’s theme abounds here (Especially at 2:08!), the Erebor theme gets a few nice renditions, and a great harp? and strings version of the Lake-Town theme sound awesome, starting at 0:28. Quite super. Overall: 8/10 In the Shadow of the Mountain. An amazingly awesome version of the House of Durin starts this track, and Thorin’s theme at 1:01 sounds just as good. And finally, Smaug’s themes get one of their great sounding foreshadowing moments Overall: 8/10 A Spell of Concealment. Some menacing Sauron descending thirds get this track under way, and segue into the Necromancer’s theme, also menacing. A nice break with some House of Durin material brings us straight back into the descending thirds, and an ohmigawd amazing stretch of Sauron’s theme at the end of the track. Dying of awesome. Overall: 9/10 On the Doorstep. Erebor, harps, what more could you want. Oh wait, I know: A cool variation of the Erebor theme at 0:45. And the slightly broken version of Thorin’s theme at 3:01 that for some reason is sonically pleasing. Literally all of the Dwarf material here is literally (really good) music to my ears. The Rivendell theme and the choral work on the reveal of the keyhole is also beautiful. And some haunting Thorin material, and the beautiful Arkenstone theme round off this track with a flourish. Overall: 9/10 The Courage of Hobbits. The Gamelan here are nice, and more of the Shire theme is always good, and the Erebor theme at 1:29, but this one sounds a bit too much like filler to me… Overall: 6/10 Inside Information. Now Smaug’s themes comes back, better than ever. Not sure what the tricky instruments are at 0:42, but I like them. 2:41 is awesomeness itself. End of story, really. Overall: 9/10 Kingsfoil. However much this scene in the film irks me, closing my eyes and just listening works wonders. Tauriel and Kili’s joint theme really does sound great, even if this track suffers from breaking up Smaug’s material. Overall: 7/10 A Liar and a Thief. Back to Smaug! With a nice Arkenstone statement as well. Not sure if it’s just me, but I thought the first descending thirds over the march of the Dol Guldur army felt a bit stale. However, those over Bolg’s midnight raid at 1:34 I do like. The ending, with Smaug’s awesome B theme is great. Overall: 8/10 The Hunters. Still more menacing Smaug material, still sounding great. Girion’s theme again, doing the same. Smaug’s A theme sounds particularly nice at 1:10. Bard’s theme is back, whistleable as ever. I don't particularly care for the part featured in the DoS Appendices at 3:56… But the Woodland Realm theme at 4:49 makes up for it easily, as does the bit of music that follows at 4:59. The House of Durin is back a minute later, full of melancholy dwarfishness. The Bolg-Legolas music should never have been cut from the film… Though this version pales compared to BotFA’s rendition. A bit too long, this one, for good momentum. Overall: 8/10 Smaug. More Smaug, with this time a whole track titled after him! His B theme at 0:54 and A theme at 1:20 both sound particularly awesome. I still like the Arkenstone theme at 3:22, and Smaug’s A theme at 5:01, but there is surprisingly not too much I found outstanding here. Overall: 7/10 My Armour is Iron. That’s better! Smaug’s theme vs. the House of Durin! Smaug A at 0:30, House of Durin at 0:53, all amazing. The Dragon Sickness and Smaug B themes I found really great in the middle of the track, and the choral work over the statue scene is another place where the music can make up foe the cringe worthiness of the film in some places. 3:23 to the end of the track I find chill-inducing. Overall: 10/10 I See Fire. Killed it :/ The start is horrid, especially in the film. As it gets towards the end, it does improve, but I do find it really jarring compared to the other credits songs. But it’s still okay. Overall: 5/10 Beyond the Forest. Sublime. I’m always susceptible to elven material, and this is no exception. Phenomenal choral work, just amazing. Especially Tauriel’s theme’s B-section at the end. The perfect way to end a score. Overall: 10/10 Overall ‘overall score’ for the score: 8 - Pretty damn good - the Elven material was especially good, and the Dwarves themes made this score for me. And Smaug. Always more room for Smaug.