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Thomas Newman's SPECTRE


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Funny you should say that.

Speaking of Spectre, the very opening of track 1 isn't from the beginning of the film. You get a statement of a Bond theme over logos, then the traditional gunbarrel, and then it jumps straight into the percussion in the first track. But it takes the time before we hear Bond's theme. It's either trimmed for album or looped in the film, can't really tell. And vibraphone-like thing at the beginning is Mr. Hinx's theme.

Karol

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Correcting a typo with another typo! Bravo!

David Arnold had 11 years to play around with this world. In two different incarnation, no less. His scores might satisfy the nostalgic fans but I never felt like has gone anywhere but skin deep into

Thomas Newman is the closest we'll get to having John Williams score a Bond movie.

Curiously, the album has no gunbarrel or end credits arrangements of Bond theme. But then, it's 79:45 already so...

Karol

Why curious?

If the film uses Arnold's arrangement, and he gets royalties or something, it's left off purely for monetary reason.

The album could have really left off some Newman filler in favor of the theme though.

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DEPTH?

Since when does sound design count as depth? It's the most empty an anonymous Bond score ever. Not to mention lazy. Yes, lazy. I don't care how much time was invested, the result sounds fragmented and lazy as fuck. The only short stretches that go anywhere are the ones where Newman dares to play the Bond theme's chromatic vamp.

Highlight of the whole album is the orchestral version of the title song, and that's because it's the only piece resembling a lengthy, coherent, melodic piece of music on the whole album.

Speaking of which, releasing an album with neither title song, nor gun barrel, nor Bond theme recording, is insulting.

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Haven't heard the album yet but based on how it's used in the film I enjoyed the score more than Skyfall. There are definitely better abound scores though.

Sam Smith's song is awful. Glad it's not on the album because skipping it every time would be a nuisance.

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After having listened to the score in the context of the film, I've gotta say I prefer Newman's Skyfall. It complimented the action the better and there was more variation in tone. While more cohesive, Spectre feels monotonous and often bludgeoning.

That's not to say I still don't enjoy Snow Plane, Secret Room, Vauxhall Bridge, Donna Lucia, Madeleine, Los Muertos Vivos Estan and Silver Wraith and their reprisals--but it does come like a overlong footnote to Skyfall--which is good description of the film.

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After having listened to the score in the context of the film, I've gotta say I prefer Newman's Skyfall. It complimented the action the better and there was more variation in tone. While more cohesive, Spectre feels monotonous and often bludgeoning.

That's not to say I still don't enjoy Snow Plane, Secret Room, Vauxhall Bridge, Donna Lucia, Madeleine, Los Muertos Vivos Estan and Silver Wraith and their reprisals--but it does come like a overlong footnote to Skyfall--which is good description of the film.

Agreed. SPECTRE I can enjoy for the way it extends some a lot of the musical cells from Skyfall. But the first Newman Bond score is just more diverse and original. It might be less cohesive, but it makes up for it with a lot more character. Skyfall oozes more Bond than SPECTRE does.

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He's solid and his action writing is powerful, with a tight use of electronics. He captured every Bond he worked on better than Newman has so far.

He captured Brosnan's Bond yet not Craig's. Newman's tighter, leaner, less flowery sound fits his performance to a T.

Au contraire, Newman's sound is thin and unresponsive. Much of it is good as Newman music, though not all, and his broad sweeps through pulsating action music all of equal tempo sound like they can't quite match the kinetics hammering on screen in these movies.

Arnold nailed Casino Royale and QoS with action music that flew with differing momentums and flew very well without the 'Brosnan era' action music, characterised mostly by its 'thematic dependencies'. Arnold's last two sport a confident style that could stride into swagger when needed and paint locations provocatively; they show variety in most of his action, espionage and quieter passages; and they both feature smart and subtle theme-play rewarded with multiple full listens. And he definitely acted as the voice for Bond's evolution as a character in those films (for example, the emerging Bond theme at the end of CR - Fall of a House in Venice, but also many other tracks in QoS involving new riffs).

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Au contraire, Newman's sound is thin and unresponsive. Much of it is good as Newman music, though not all, and his broad sweeps through pulsating action music all of equal tempo sound like they can't quite match the kinetics hammering on screen in these movies.

Bond action music shouldn't match the kinetics on screen (a fool's errand), it should compliment it. As Barry demonstrated by stepping back with his slower pacing and deliberate writing, it allowed the sound effects and cutting to provide the energy and momentum, while the music offers a dialogue. Arnold/Dodd's orchestral histrionics overwhelmed the listened and overcrowded the mix, signposting every dramatic beat from a mile off.

"Music of it is good as Newman music, though not all" - I don't understand what you're saying here.

Arnold nailed Casino Royale and QoS with action music that flew with differing momentums and flew very well without the 'Brosnan era' action music, characterised mostly by its 'thematic dependencies'.

This reads like grandstanding waffle designed to sound clever but saying nothing much at all. 'Thematic dependencies?' All of Arnold's Bond scores were thematic--that's not what I've been addressing.

Fluid is not how I'd describe Casino Royale and QoS's action music. Every 8 bars or so a thematic idea or ostinato or broken up by these silly brass crescendos that accentuate something dangerous onscreen, and then the music proceeds by modulating up a minor third. It's like it's written to an instruction manual.

Arnold's last two sport a confident style that could stride into swagger when needed and paint locations provocatively; they show variety in most of his action, espionage and quieter passages; and they both feature smart and subtle theme-play rewarded with multiple full listens.

I'm not denning that QoS had its highlights in the more ambient stretches, and the action music was conciser than before. But even then, it's far too ADD than its needs to be. Listen to Target Terminated--some good thematic ideas following one after another, all undermined by an inability to focus and unnecessary counter-figures.

And he definitely acted as the voice for Bond's evolution as a character in those films (for example, the emerging Bond theme at the end of CR - Fall of a House in Venice, but also many other tracks in QoS involving new riffs).

The slow introduction of the Bond theme is a novel idea, but I'm talking about Arnold's sound. His harmonic rhythm (how long he sticks with a single chord), voicing (thick/thin/open/closed), sound design (sampling/synths/experimentation), his orchestral ensemble etc. Take the use of the Bond out of the frame and you'll find there's very little difference between Arnold's sound for Craig and Brosnan. Somewhat less florid (according to the John Burlingame book, Arnold asked Dodd to write less counter-lines), more avant-garde moments and token electric guitar power chords--but these are minor differences. With Newman, it's a whole different world.

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I have seen the movie and I must say I love both the score and the film. Newman manages to build on what was great about Skyfall (which I liked very much) and develop it even further. The action music really works and in the cinema it's loud and brutal, like it should be. He also manages to write really beautiful quiet pieces of music for certain scenes which I won't spoil. All in all a great effort from Thomas Newman.

Btw, is it just me or does the ost have an extremely low volume?

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Finally saw the film yesterday evening, and I really have to say the score worked absolutely wonderfully in the film. There are some really gorgeous moments where the score perfectly complements the visuals - most notably moments of either sheer dissonance (I'm thinking of the Austria sequences) or splendid creativity (e.g. the wild synth flute in Tempus Fugit).

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Heads-up if you ordered this CD from Amazon, or were planning on it: for some reason, they never dropped below the list price (of $18.98) on this one, like they usually do. Even their Marketplace sellers have it new for way less than that. DeepDiscount even has it for $11.63. I politely emailed Amazon about it, and they they said even though it's not their policy to do so, they refunded me the difference between DeepDiscount's price and their own.

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Barry was dead wrong in that statement, as he was when he recommended David Arnold to Barbara Broccoli, or when he dismissed his Bond scores as "Million-dollar Mickey Mouse music."

Just to chime in, if I may. Barry's comment about Mickey Mouse music was not meant in a derogatory way (even though Harry Saltzman took it that way). Jon Burlingame covers the incident in his rather excellent book.

Interesting that Coolman seems perfectly content to use Arnold's arrangement of the Bond theme rather then having a go at doing one himself

Or the Broccoli's just love it so much that they keep reusing it. It's like the new "James Bond Theme" for the 21st century; even all the promotional tie-in shows on TV and radio are using it. As someone said earlier, it was even tracked into the Breadcrumbs cue in Skyfall for a second or two, before crossfading into Newman's cue.

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I believe those were new recordings by Newman, he simply used the Arnold's "The Names Bond... James Bond" arrangement and put in his own touches. You can tell it's different just by the guitar. It's either for Newman wanting to keep some consistency with the two Craig films or as you suggest Broccoli/Wilson simply like it enough to have Newman do new recordings of it.

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