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Listened to the whole thing now. Cut it in half and it would be a decent listen. Breadcrumbs is a enthusiasm-lacking, tired, small sounding retread of The Name Is Bond from CR. The finale cues lack any finesse and often sound like one of the Remote Control goons were asked to do additional music.

The electronics are more imposing on my ears and nerves than Arnold's, and it makes much of the score small-sounding.

It is also probably the first Bond score to date that didn't develop any sort of main theme material. To treat the Bond theme as the main theme is cheap.

Gargantuan dissapointment.

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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 collective thoughts : It's really not a bad score, and there are some awesome cues on here (Grand Bazaar, New Digs, Severine, Quartermaster, The Chimera; Adrenaline, and Mother), but the rest is either good-filler.

It's a really fine score on its own, but it's a frustrating one, because while as a whole I enjoy the experience, it doesn't feel that bondish to me. Love you Newman, but I hope Arnold comes back for Bond 24.

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Apart from The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, Angels in America and The Adjustment Bureau, one should also mention WALL-E - a grand, orchestral score, very powerful, with a big scope - and The Good German. Little Children had one of the most powerful End Titles in recent memory. Highly recommended. Thomas Newman is more of a minimalistic composer, but he excels in smaller, intimate dramas or character centered material and built his career out of this special talent.

The trouble with Skyfall is quite simply that Mr. Newman was miscast as a Bond composer. It's like hiring Carter Burwell to write music for an Indiana Jones picture. Newman has written some iconic cues for the movies, but he is certainly no virtuoso who can do it all, genres of any kind.

Skyfall, the album, will probably grow on me when I give it more spins, but it will take a while, as it is too subtle for its own sake (and not energetic enough when Newman tries to imitate a recent-Harry-Gregson-Williams-action-score-sound). But as the great John Barry put it years ago:

"Subtlety is no virtue in a Bond score."

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"Subtlety is no virtue in a Bond score."

I respect John greatly and admire his music, but that statement is a load of self-deprecating bollocks.

Barry's Bond was often very subtle. Far more so than Arnold, Martin, Hamlisch, Conti or Kamen.

I loved Newman's SKYFALL BTW, but hey, you already knew that. Dreading the return of Arnold.

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I'm not sure I can trust your opinion anymore. You seem so eaten up by your hate for Arnold that you probably would love anything that is not Arnold.

I'm not sure what is the exact difference between Arnold's use of synths and Newman's that you prefer one to the other, but I am very sure that you would crap over Skyfall for them or the lack of themes, had it Arnold's name on the cover.

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My collective thoughts : It's really not a bad score, and there are some awesome cues on here (Grand Bazaar, New Digs, Severine, Quartermaster, The Chimera; Adrenaline, and Mother), but the rest is either good-filler.

It's a really fine score on its own, but it's a frustrating one, because while as a whole I enjoy the experience, it doesn't feel that bondish to me. Love you Newman, but I hope Arnold comes back for Bond 24.

Sure I'd like to have Arnold back, but I'm listening to Skyfall right now and I like it too, particularly Voluntary Retirement, New Digs and the beginning of Quartermaster.

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but I am very sure that you would crap over Skyfall for them or the lack of themes

I like because they're more in the foreground, like in Serra's GE, Barry's TLD or OMHSS. There's also a good amount of thematic material here, though whether or not you find it memorable is highly subjective.

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Well there's Bond in Nature, Bond in Fellowship, Raoul Silva four beat pattern is ever present, often merging with other 65 themes. M is graced by at least three themes: Shieldmaiden of MI6 is one of them. MI6 in Ascension is more and more present as the story progresses. The melody is derived from MI6 in Decline, but Newman shifts a few chords and changes the shape a little bit.

And so on... ;)

Karol

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Well, Newman hardly ever writes themes in the same way that, say, John Williams does. It's just a different approach. Personally, I prefer the more experimental stuff that Newman has done. I don't dislike his orchestral scores, but I can't listen to Meet Joe Black that often because it's less exciting than the American Beauty score. Like I prefer a film like White Oleander to a film like Titanic, if that makes sense.

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I haven't heard this score yet, but based on the reactions, I'd guess that the best I'm going to be able to do is tolerate it; sounds like actually liking the damned thing is highly unlikely.

What a shame. As somebody else pointed out, Newman was just miscast in his role here; he never had a chance. I hate that, because the Newman scores I like, I love (especially Finding Nemo and The Shawshank Redemption); I was hoping he might have some kind of an ace up his sleeve, but that certainly seems to have not been the case.

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There's nothing wrong with letting a different composer take a shot at Bond, but you need to let them do their own thing. Now it may backfire....coughgoldeneyecough..

But I don't blame Mendes for wanting to work with people he's comfortable with. If Spielberg direct a Bond film I would expect Williams to do the music, if JJ Abrams directed a Bond film I'd expect Giacchino to do the music.

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There's nothing wrong with letting a different composer take a shot at Bond, but you need to let them do their own thing. Now it may backfire....coughgoldeneyecough..

But I don't blame Mendes for wanting to work with people he's comfortable with. If Spielberg direct a Bond film I would expect Williams to do the music, if JJ Abrams directed a Bond film I'd expect Giacchino to do the music.

Very true. I'd be perfectly okay with either of those, by the way...

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Whilst I am personally underwhelmed by what Newman has delivered (there's a number of moments that approach that feeling of "here it comes - that badass brass moment!", only to then stop dead before that moment actually arrives), I am willing to give it the benefit of matching it with the visuals. I also don't think this is too far off the direction Arnold was heading in with Quantum of Solace. A lot of the percussion sounds similar and some of the quieter moments have what sounds like holdover synth sounds from Arnold's library. The action isn't too bad, but again I was waiting for that "wow" moment the whole album - even Newman's adaptation of the Bond theme in Breadcrumbs stops before it begins. I enjoy this score for what it's worth, but being a huge Arnold fan I can't help but be a little let down. At least, this could pave the way for a triumphant return of Mr Arnold.

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Anyone know the name of the instrument that does the "clapping" sound at :52 in Brave new world?

I honestly don't know - but I do know that it was also used by Danny Elfman in Mission Impossible.

Could it be "claves"?

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I actually decided to take this for a second spin before I completely disregard it. While I may not be a fan of Snoozeman's previous works, I do try to be realistic and fair, and I know for a fact there are a lot of scores that didn't quite hit the spot the first listen. Sometimes I have to listen again, and when I do facets of the score emerge that I'd missed before.

In all honesty, while the second listen did made me appreciate some really wonderful moments more, it did drive home the fact that the score is very loosely and poorly constructed. From beginning to end there's no satisfying narrative flow, no revelation, no realization, nothing that would make me feel rewarded for putting in the time and effort to listen.

There's one point in the score that I felt could have easily been scooped up and used as an overarching theme for Skyfall. 3:20-3:52 of the Grand Bazaar track we get this really fantastic, dare I say cohesive stretch of music that actually embodies a sense of narrative. A struggle of sorts, between a James Bond theme (with a really cool, refreshing take on it by Newman) and another motif/theme of sorts constructed around the Bond theme.

It's sublime. The highlight of the score. It should have been dug into and pillaged for all its worth throughout the entire score, because it has a lot of worth. But no 3:57 we're back to some dreadfully boring monkey beating of drums and strings, never to hear this lovely phrase of music ever again.

Or do we?

Holy shit, WE DO! One more god damned time! Lovely theme, on strings at the beginning of Komodo Dragon! It even twists for a little bit of naughty evil. It taunts you. This little motif or theme or whatever it is has the potential to be a terrific theme in the Bondverse. Why don't we get more of this? Why doesn't Newman continue to develop this little theme?

Alas, we do hear its cousin melded into Newman's version of the Bond theme once more, much like it's appearance in Grand Bazaar in "The Bloody Shot" and again, it's the highlight of the track (1:49-2:23).

BUT WAIT...the awesome motif gets one more appearance 0:24-0:33 in Enquiry, and segues nicely into the Bond theme again, and then it all disappears just as quickly. The theme reemerges, briefly of course, in "She's Mine" 0:41-1:04 again segueing into the Bond Theme. The Newman Bond theme comes to play around 2:40-3:03 of this track as well.

The Newman Bond Theme comes back again for an actual extended stay around 1:12-1:38

That's the problem with the score. Both at the level of each individual track and at the level of the score as a whole. Brilliant ideas emerge and disappear in seconds, each track feels like a variety show of ideas. Where Newman should stick to one idea and construct around it, he just rapidly shifts gear, all over the place. He should have picked one or two ideas, and constructed the score around them and the Bond theme.

It's a damn shame, because when you listen to that theme in 3:20-3:27 of Grand Bazaar , flowing into Newman's take on the Bond theme, which is constructed with pieces of that 3:20-3:27 theme...

And then you hear it in the opening of Komodo dragon...twisted into this gorgeous classic Bond villain style theme...

You want to hit your head on a brick wall. Because Snoozeman didn't deliver an outright boring score. He delivered a score with too many ideas, with a couple being absolutely sublime...and then he fell asleep on them.

Jerk.

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Anyone know the name of the instrument that does the "clapping" sound at :52 in Brave new world?

I don't think it's an instrument, I think it's a percussive element probably added in after the scoring session. Sounds like two pieces of wood being hit together, or dropped. Double tracked as well to give a slight reverb. Definitely not claves though.

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I've tried to make myself like Thomas Newman more, I've listened to quite a few scores. And I DO like parts of Finding Nemo, Angels in America, Wall-E very much. But after a while, I just tire of his sound. I guess he's just not my cup of tea. And after hearing Skyfall, I've decide that I think its a so-so score...and I'm sad because being a big Arnold fan, I wish he'd have done it. The only thing I enjoyed hearing in it were the bond theme quotes.

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To me, a pretty good indicator of how memorable a score is would be how easily you can compile a concert suite of it. Each and every Bond score has its couple of defining themes. Even GoldenEye. If I had to pick a theme to define Skyfall, what would I pick? What could you pick? Not much.

I wonder why people call Skyfall refreshing.

It sounds like any other action score today. Are people considering that with all the blandness released these days, a formulaic James Bond score is in itself refreshing for the market?

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Listening through the score now, Newman's usage of some kind of Santoor/Asian instrument plus strings as a rhythmic device in literally EVERY track from the very beginning grates on me a lot - it's like he decided to base every cue on the same framework. A very bland score thusfar IMO, the only two themes I've distinguished have been the Bond theme and the Adele Skyfall theme. Sounds very much like one of Tyler's sci-fi/fantasy scores - the ones he churns out in their dozens every year.

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Making of Skyfall score

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Thanks for posting that, very cool. Thomas Newman seems like a nice guy.

I think he put a lot of effort into this score, it doesn't sound lazy to me, but it doesn't sound like he's the right man for the job. I don't enjoy the constant 16th note rhythmic vamps in some of the CD, and sometimes its like a low bass instrument (electric bass?) Playing it too. I tire of too much rhythmic motion without something melodic happening.

But on 2nd listen, I enjoy the action writing much more, its got some great energy. I like how he used the bond theme but I'm wishing I could hear a full statement of the theme. My favorite section of the bond theme, the part where it gets more jazzy with a strong backbeat and high octave trumpets (when Bond starts driving the remote control car in the hanger in "company car" from TND for.example). There's no full quote of it... I was like damn..too bad!!

Overall I like the score better on 2nd listen.

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I've tried to make myself like Thomas Newman more, I've listened to quite a few scores. And I DO like parts of Finding Nemo, Angels in America, Wall-E very much. But after a while, I just tire of his sound. I guess he's just not my cup of tea. And after hearing Skyfall, I've decide that I think its a so-so score...and I'm sad because being a big Arnold fan, I wish he'd have done it. The only thing I enjoyed hearing in it were the bond theme quotes.

It's more of a case of a composer getting through to you. I listen to Newman exclusively because it's enough for me. I couldn't really get a picture of a composer's work if I listened to a dozen other composers at the same time. I would never try to make myself like a composer. I just try to be fair in judging other composers.

I can't think of another composer like Thomas Newman. He's not part of a scene or something. I couldn't even say where I'd position him in the film music universe.

And convention for me usually is a bad thing. Hans Zimmer sometimes sounds too similar, but that's probably because he works on so many projects. You can't always get what you want, I guess.

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I maintain that the last classic Bond score in the vein of John Barry was The World Is Not Enough.

Arnold wrote the title song, used it plenty in the score, did a top notch romantic theme, did standalone action setpieces (Ski Chase, Thames Chase), wrote a secondary song for the casino scenes in the vein of OHMSS (We Have All The Time In The World) and did a complete rearrangement of the James Bond theme.

Casino Royale is somewhat similar, but there Arnold only co-wrote and it was thematically more monothematic.

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Thomas Newman's score has a lot of...motifs and themes.

That's the problem. He has too much. So you have to listen like 4-5 times to actually get a grip because the sheer quantity reduces the chances they appear often enough to learn in one setting.

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