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The OST to Skyfall composed by Thomas Newman will be released on Monday October 22nd (International) / Tuesday November 6th (USA) by Sony Classical. More info as soon as I get it. UPDATES: Amazon

Well I've listened to the entire OST CD. Here are my thoughts from ONE listen of it -Newman makes heavy use of the James Bond Theme, to the extent that its basically the main theme of the score. It

Very interesting "listening guide" of some of the key tracks, courtesy of Tom Newman himself: http://www.empireonline.com/interviews/interview.asp?IID=1578&fb_action_ids=10151255078652229&fb_a

My big complaint about this series since Jonathan Price's villain is actually how they have reduced the villains to russian oil magnates and such - there's no fantasy, no guts in the villains' scheme.

I agree. I was hoping that they would build up the character of Mr. White (played by Jesper Christensen) to be a real main villain for future movies.

I think Javier Bardem is going to be an old-school Bond villain in Skyfall.

Well, originally the ending had closure to Mr. White. But for some reason, it remains unreleased.

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Christian Clammensen - "Skyfall: Initial reaction to full listen"

Some early notes about the Skyfall score album:

1. Very long album that drags in several places. Significant downtime and vaguely exotic atmospherics occupy entire tracks. The score cue "Skyfall" is damn near inaudible for its 2:33. Same with "Modigliani," "Enjoying Death," "Voluntary Retirement," "Close Shave," and "Someone Usually Dies." That's a lot of nearly dead airtime.

2. Bond theme not utilized fully or hinted more than a few token insertions. Only one full statement of the theme in "traditional" form (first minute of "Breadcrumbs"). Pacing in that one performance is hurried. The full fanfare for brass is not heard once on the album.

3. Tom Newman has lost the ambitious jazz and pop elements of the franchise's past and sticks to more linear action structures closer to post-2000's Hollywood norms, including standard ostinatos.

4. Action cues are largely tepid. Too few lines of activity in the orchestra on many occasions. The exception is "She's Mine," which is the Bond theme-infused cue we've heard in the train sequence, I believe.

5. There are serious flow issues with the score. The action stumbles through spurts and does not sustain itself in David Arnold fashion. The electric guitar-laden "Grand Bazaar, Istanbul" tries to emulate the usual kick-ass Arnold opening, but it doesn't feature enough ball-busting force to be effective.

6. The Adele "Skyfall" song melody is heard in masked fragments throughout (though that's possibly attributable to its close adherence to the Bond theme itself, which Newman might instead be hinting at). Only one obvious reference exists; "Komodo Dragon" is this throwback "location cue" to the Barry/Arnold formula and is, not surprisingly, the highlight of the score.

7. The mixture of symphonic, electronic, and exotic elements is very good, an action cue like "The Bloody Shot" balancing them well despite sputtering through its sequences. The lack of fluidity is a bit baffling.

8. A lot of tapped cymbal rhythms... the best alternative to the outward jazz to infuse some ambient coolness. Newman tries to use a solitary, thumping electric bass for the same purpose, but it's too muted to have much effect.

9. The score lacks its own dominant theme, and it does not clearly reference any of Arnold's ideas from the Quantum-related films.

10. Noble horn interludes, possibly for "queen and country," are an almost awkward diversion in "Voluntary Retirement" and "Mother."

11. No narrative development in the score whatsoever. No transitional location cues other than "Komodo Dragon" (and maybe "The Chimera") and no clear momentum swings or satisfying finale. Lots of stuttering crescendos. The album closes with the disappointing exotic rhythms of "Adrenaline," almost something Mychael Danna would write for a lesser drama.

12. The only romance in the score is "Severine," which is extremely underplayed. The violins seem undermixed in many cues, oddly.

13. Obviously no title song on the score-only album. This is simply unacceptable.

Overall, the score is sufficient. Parts are quite enjoyable. Newman has made an attempt to incorporate the franchise's sound with his own, but without anywhere near the same success as Arnold. Newman doesn't capture the established tone of his predecessors and really misses the mark in the romance department. There's none of the expressed turmoil and tragedy associated with the character, and the score is mostly devoid of truly gripping suspense. The action is not as snazzy as Arnold's (don't expect much wailing brass), but it suffices.

More interestingly, Newman doesn't really show any enthusiasm for the concept in this work. Much of his music here is procedural. He doesn't try particularly hard to leave his comfort zone, and that zone isn't exactly similar to the Bond sound to begin with. Arnold, on the other hand, slipped into the franchise without much alteration to his style necessary, and you could tell in each of his scores, even the poorer ones, that he loved what he was doing. He's a fan. Conversely, there is no passion from Newman. The lack of passion is devastating.

The title song easily out-classes the score. Don't be surprised if you find yourself enjoying about 10-15 minutes of Newman's action material and being bored by most of the rest. While Newman shouldn't be flogged for this entry (in fact, it might earn 3 stars from me), I suspect there will be significant fan demand for Arnold to return to the franchise.

I'm not sure when I'll get to a formal review of Skyfall... That's why I wanted to post these initial notes. Things are hectic here, and judging from the screaming in the attic at the moment, I do believe that one of my sons just pissed on the carpet. As Mitt Romney suggested in his rather humorous loss at last night's debate, I clearly need a binder full of women to help out around this place!

Christian

Source: http://www.filmtracks.com/scoreboard/index.cgi?read=117420

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Yes. Considering he might not get the time to post his Skyfall review soon, he just put up his initial thoughts. And judging by what he wrote, it doesn't seem like I'll be a big fan of this one. A shame.

Erik and Southall seemed to love it though.

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Is Dr. No no one's favourite?

From the films I have seen so far, it is one of the better films.

Ah, but I haven't seen Moonraker yet, this will be so much fun, I can already tell.

dark hair + clear blue eyes = th_drool.gif... but no, I would never think of precious snoozeman that way.

You see that photo of Snoozeman Alice?

He is so boring, he is actually wearing 90s daddy jeans.

get with the times, old man. they're back in fashion.

Yeah, they're pretty stylish jeans. ^^

tumblr_lt31yebUtq1r4rubto3_500.jpg

I think Newman is actually older than Horner.

Nah, he's 3 years younger than Horner.

Best wishes for good old Howard, by the way, who turns 66 today!

4-4 isn't a loss! Although one could argue it is after being 4-0 ahead...

He really gets slagged off for that game at the moment. Those bloody football fans. They hate him because it didn't work out well in two games - out of 20! I don't understand fans sometimes...

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Sounds like some random action score that fares slightly above average.

Nothing Bond in there. Which is kind of bad when you are doing a Bond movie that, contrary to some believe here apparently, should have some resemblance to Bond music.

What I don't get, and this includes Arnold, is why the f*ck they are afraid to play the Bond theme in full in the movie since Die Another Day, and I mean other parts than the fairly unobtrusive chromatic vamp. No wonder they are tracking Arnold's recording in the film

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I heard quite a bit of Bond in there. Bond theme frequency was about on par with late 70s-80s Barry (no problem here, the Brosnan ones overdosed on it), and the rest sounded like Newman (as it should) with a few Barry influences.

Komodo Dragon, exactly what I'd hoped out of this project - a distinctly Newmanesque take on those famous chords, some brass/string work that pays homage to Barry, and a nifty interpolation of Adele's melody. Great stuff.

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Well I've listened to the entire OST CD. Here are my thoughts from ONE listen of it

-Newman makes heavy use of the James Bond Theme, to the extent that its basically the main theme of the score. It starts with just the backing chords sprinkled throughout the first 10 tracks or so, but then more and more parts of the theme come into various tracks until by the end of the end of the CD its playing in just about every other track. The first half of "Breadcrumbs" is based heavily on the beginning of "The name's Bond... James Bond" from Casino Royale

-I could discern NO original theme myself - no action theme, love theme, villain theme, nothing - and did not hear the melody of Adele's song in there at all

-A few times it seems like he was forced to stay simliar to temp tracking from Arnold's Casino Royale score... I kept expecting the beginning of Komodo Dragon to go into the You Know My Name theme!

-The action music gets boring and repetitive real quick. It's all in the modern action styling like the least interesting tracks from a modern JNH or Powell score, with awful electronics over it

-A Lot of the score sounds like he's imitating David Arnold's Bond style, but poorly. This is especially true in the opening cues. The guitar in the opening track in cringe-inducing.

-The movie is either almost relentless action, or they picked every single action track to be on the CD - the pace is high the entire time, seems like it never quiets down at all. The occasional moments where it does slow down are completely un-memorable, very forgettable underscore

-The CD ends in a really weird way. Track 28 is the big climax and then tracks 29 and 30 are just... there. They don't feel like denoument or finale tracks at all, they just seem like random interstitial cues from the score. Very odd way to end the CD. The entire CD is clearly out of chronological order, as the track containing the music heard in both film clips that have come out (Bond climbing onto the train and M telling the girl to shoot Bond and the man he's chasing on the train) - which we know are from the pre-title sequence - appear in track 14!

-I do LIKE some of the Bond Theme variations, and definitely want to give the CD a second chance..... but MAN was I COMPLETELY underwhelmed (BTW, I went in with no prior knowledge of Thomas Newman - I've never heard any of his scores before, so I cannot comment on whether this is typical Newman stuff or not. But it seems clear to me he was told by the producers to use the Bond Theme a lot and to sound like David Arnold)

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(BTW, I went in with no prior knowledge of Thomas Newman - I've never heard any of his scores before, so I cannot comment on whether this is typical Newman stuff or not. But it seems clear to me he was told by the producers to use the Bond Theme a lot and to sound like David Arnold)

What?!

Actually, I just remembered I got the Shawshank Redemption OST from BMG Music Club back in the day, and in college a friend burned the Green Mile OST for me. But those are the only two scores of his I've ever listened to, and its been over 10 years since I've pulled either off the shelf.

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ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZ

Aaaahhh! What?! Oh...hi...sorry...don't know what happened. I was just listening to the Skyfall OS---ZzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzz.

Granted, I do want to be fair and give the man some credit he does use the Bond theme in some seriously cool ways.

But my god, with the exception of the parts where has the music of a real composer to play with, this is a third-rate work by a third-rate composer through and through.

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Yes the Bond Theme parts were the only parts that stood out to me. Everything else was dull underscore or repetitive action droning

Rise of the Guardians, Lincoln, and The Hobbit can't get here soon enough!

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Indeed.

One more thing...the score has a very video gamey distant...Jeremy Soule/Elder Scrolls/Skyrim...style mix. Good luck hearing any textural detail or getting any oomph. But yet on the flip side the electronics have a close small room sound. It's awkwardly mixed.

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Like I said I just listened to it one time only so far. And I was doing a bunch of stuff at the time so could not give it my total attention

With all due respect, you also listened to THE SHADOW while doing 'a bunch of stuff' and thus one of the most engaging Goldsmith adventure scores of late became a dud.

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Like I said I just listened to it one time only so far. And I was doing a bunch of stuff at the time so could not give it my total attention

With all due respect, you also listened to THE SHADOW while doing 'a bunch of stuff' and thus one of the most engaging Goldsmith adventure scores of late became a dud.

"Of late"?

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Like I said I just listened to it one time only so far. And I was doing a bunch of stuff at the time so could not give it my total attention

With all due respect, you also listened to THE SHADOW while doing 'a bunch of stuff' and thus one of the most engaging Goldsmith adventure scores of late became a dud.

I'm gonna give The Shadow another chance soon. Listened to Skyfall again last night and its still a did. And the Bon Theme isn't used as liberally as I thought aftrr my first listen. The whole CD is really unfocused

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So it's basically The Debt and The Adjustment Bureau repurposed for Bond. Figured.

Modern action cinema is where originality goes to die.

I generally agree that action music these days is rather dull, but I was actually surprised by The Adjustment Bureau because it doesn't sound as generic as people say. And I only know some of the tracks because I haven't bought the album yet.

Actually, I just remembered I got the Shawshank Redemption OST from BMG Music Club back in the day, and in college a friend burned the Green Mile OST for me. But those are the only two scores of his I've ever listened to, and its been over 10 years since I've pulled either off the shelf.

I still haven't given The Green Mile a real chance. I felt rather underwhelmed by the score. But The Shawshank Redemption is really good. It was difficult for me to get into it at first because... orchestra, I guess. Pretty ironic, huh? And people complained about American Beauty, which is a perfect score.

Jason, Angels in America. That's the one that turned me onto Newman. I heartily suggest you give it a whirl.

If you listen to only one T. Newman score, listen to that one. A nicely representative sampling of what Newman can give you at his best.

Although you have to be in the right mood for that one. It's quite long. ^^ I don't listen to the score that often.

It's quite funny because with rock songs, I hate when they don't run longer than three minutes. 6 minutes is an ok length for me. But with film scores... It has to be really good to "excuse" its length. Newman often gets criticized for his short cues, which I often prefer to the longer ones.

Maybe I should stop coming here until I have seen the film. ^^ It's a bit difficult for me to judge on a film I haven't seen yet. I feel like it's almost useless to see the film now because the score is apparently that bad. But then again, I really liked the Adjustment Bureau score... It's almost more exciting than The Iron Lady, which was good already.

Or I'll just listen to Lemony Snicket for the next days. Really good score. For a good average film.

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Like I said I just listened to it one time only so far. And I was doing a bunch of stuff at the time so could not give it my total attention

With all due respect, you also listened to THE SHADOW while doing 'a bunch of stuff' and thus one of the most engaging Goldsmith adventure scores of late became a dud.

I think The Shadow is an amazing score and I agree with Jason on Snoozefall.

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(BTW, I went in with no prior knowledge of Thomas Newman - I've never heard any of his scores before, so I cannot comment on whether this is typical Newman stuff or not. But it seems clear to me he was told by the producers to use the Bond Theme a lot and to sound like David Arnold)

What?!

Actually, I just remembered I got the Shawshank Redemption OST from BMG Music Club back in the day, and in college a friend burned the Green Mile OST for me. But those are the only two scores of his I've ever listened to, and its been over 10 years since I've pulled either off the shelf.

So you've never seen a Sam Mendes film?

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After listening to Erik's show, I am optimistic about the score more than I am about the soundtrack album. The latter looks to be quite a mess, but the score itself seems to have a handful of highlights. While they don't excite me like some of Arnold's music, there is no denying they're enjoyable and well-written. Good there's quite a lot James Bond theme after all.

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(BTW, I went in with no prior knowledge of Thomas Newman - I've never heard any of his scores before, so I cannot comment on whether this is typical Newman stuff or not. But it seems clear to me he was told by the producers to use the Bond Theme a lot and to sound like David Arnold)

What?!

Actually, I just remembered I got the Shawshank Redemption OST from BMG Music Club back in the day, and in college a friend burned the Green Mile OST for me. But those are the only two scores of his I've ever listened to, and its been over 10 years since I've pulled either off the shelf.

So you've never seen a Sam Mendes film?

Where in the world did you get that idea? I've seen tons of films scored by Thomas Newman, I just haven't listened to any OSTs by him in 10+ years until Skyfall

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(BTW, I went in with no prior knowledge of Thomas Newman - I've never heard any of his scores before, so I cannot comment on whether this is typical Newman stuff or not. But it seems clear to me he was told by the producers to use the Bond Theme a lot and to sound like David Arnold)

What?!

Actually, I just remembered I got the Shawshank Redemption OST from BMG Music Club back in the day, and in college a friend burned the Green Mile OST for me. But those are the only two scores of his I've ever listened to, and its been over 10 years since I've pulled either off the shelf.

So you've never seen a Sam Mendes film?

He hasn't read The Onion, either!

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I love The Onion

Looking at Thomas Newman's wikipedia page, I've seen these movies scored by him: Deperately Seeking Susan, The Lost Boys, Career Opportunities, Scent of a Woman, Threesome, Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, Green Mile, Erin Brockovich, Pay It Forward, In The Bedroom, The Salton Sea, Road To Perdition, White Oleander, Finding Nemo, Lemony Snicket, Jarhead, LIttle Children, WALLE, and The Adjustment Bureau. Nothing about the scores in any of those films made me want to seek out their OSTs

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(BTW, I went in with no prior knowledge of Thomas Newman - I've never heard any of his scores before, so I cannot comment on whether this is typical Newman stuff or not. But it seems clear to me he was told by the producers to use the Bond Theme a lot and to sound like David Arnold)

What?!

Actually, I just remembered I got the Shawshank Redemption OST from BMG Music Club back in the day, and in college a friend burned the Green Mile OST for me. But those are the only two scores of his I've ever listened to, and its been over 10 years since I've pulled either off the shelf.

So you've never seen a Sam Mendes film?

Where in the world did you get that idea? I've seen tons of films scored by Thomas Newman, I just haven't listened to any OSTs by him in 10+ years until Skyfall

You said you had never heard any of his scores before.

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I love The Onion

Looking at Thomas Newman's wikipedia page, I've seen these movies scored by him: Deperately Seeking Susan, The Lost Boys, Career Opportunities, Scent of a Woman, Threesome, Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, Green Mile, Erin Brockovich, Pay It Forward, In The Bedroom, The Salton Sea, Road To Perdition, White Oleander, Finding Nemo, Lemony Snicket, Jarhead, LIttle Children, WALLE, and The Adjustment Bureau. Nothing about the scores in any of those films made me want to seek out their OSTs

Admittedly, I didn't notice much of the score in Shawshank Redemption. It just takes time to get into it, I guess. Well, if I didn't notice too much it only means that it blends in well. But Lemony Snicket managed to have a more prominent score, which happens in a lot of children's films, like Harry Potter. Or Finding Nemo. Which, even though it doesn't sound as cool as American Beauty or Road to Perdition, made me notice the man.

White Oleander has an excellent score, too. When I listened to the score after having seen the film I was really overwhelmed.

In Desperately Seeking Susan I found the score pretty distracting sometimes, but "Battery Park/Amnesia" will forever be flawless. I've listened to it at least a hundred times - which, yes, is not difficult for something that's only one minute long. But it never gets old.

I can safely say that - had I not been obsessed with Finding Nemo for a couple of years - I probably would still be listening to my random British rock bands and not care more about film music than I did a year ago. Which was basically no interest at all. Except for maybe five film scores.

So, for now... I'll just leave the board quietly and continue listening to Rick Cox. Good album, even though it's not very exciting. But well, more interesting than Sigur Ros, imho. Just without vocals and invented Icelandicish languages.

And I made cake.

For tomorrow.

It will be fun.

Good night.

PS: Koray Savas' signature quote always cheers me up. Ah, well... He's next on my list.

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Okay, I just listened to the whole soundtrack. It's like I assumed mostly a mess with a couple of highlights. Most of action material is competently written, but completely generic, devoid of any narrative function, just like the album lacks structure. Erik Woods' suites are creme de la creme of Skyfall soundtrack, possibly the best presentation of it. The score on the other hand may suit the movie well, so I leave my final opinion on Newman's work untill I see the picture.

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