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Alan Silvestri's THE WITCHES (2020)


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I must admit I love the score, Silvestri is in great shape. A lot of action (A Narrow Escape have a Ricochet touch) and a very addictive theme.

 

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Yes, so the whole score is available on Apple Music in Australia now. 

 

Just listening to the end credits suite and it's actually a bit Williams-y. Some segments remind me of POA/Home Alone/Tintin. There's definitely melodic stuff going on, no idea what the themes represent though. 

 

Some very regal brass writing to start the credits, British sounding.

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I finished my first listen.  Overall I wasn't very impressed.  I don't know why one of the major ideas is straight out of Contact.  It also didn't have a lot of spooky type music.


And the 2 or 3 tracks that featuring the ticking clock were weird, too.  I dunno why it didn't work for me, because the ticking clock worked great in those Azkaban cues, but I dunno, it just sounded weird here.

 

The end credits were really good though!  Nice, uplifting sound!

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I'm a little underwhelmed by my first listen. It feels quite temp-tracky. But otherwise, solid writing, just nothing particularly new.

 

However, I was underwhelmed by Ready Player One when that came out, and the issue was just the length of the album. I've got a fantastic 45 minute edit of that now and it's clear it's one of Silvestri's best.

 

Hopefully I can trim this down to length that might make the highlights stand out more.

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Yeah, I also created a playlist (of approximately that length) for READY PLAYER ONE. Alas, I lost it in a hard drive crash, and now I need to remember what it was. I wouldn't call it one of Silvestri's best in any shape or form, but it certainly jumped several levels up after the playlisting.

 

I guess I have to do the same with THE WITCHES. I have it now, but haven't listened to it yet.

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15 minutes ago, Thor said:

Yeah, I also created a playlist (of approximately that length) for READY PLAYER ONE.

 

Wait, what? I thought the "listening experience" of the OST was sacrosanct and no other presentation of the score was legitimate?

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16 minutes ago, crumbs said:

Wait, what? I thought the "listening experience" of the OST was sacrosanct and no other presentation of the score was legitimate?

 

No, not at all. Curated OSTs can be bad too. Silvestri has struggled with this on several of his recent soundtracks; he's failed to be hard enough on the selections, and - even if they may not have been entirely C&C - instead offering overlong presentations. Examples are READY PLAYER ONE, COSMOS, THE CROODS.

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Listening to this again this morning.  The times Silvestri was asked to follow a temp track are kind of obvious.  A portion of "It Can Be Very Dangerous" is straight out of Tintin (the "Feather Knife" part of "Red Rackham's Curse and the Treasure ")

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Eh this morning I noticed more spooky-ish music than I did yesterday.  Still not a lot

 

I'm on the End Credits track now.  This is the best track on the album!  Liked it right away and like it even more now

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I'm listening now. Thankfully, I didn't have very high expectations, because this was a dud. Lots of orchestral sturm und drang without going anywhere in particular. As Jay says, the "End Credits" cue is the best, though. It's OK.

 

In any case, this needs serious whittling, to the extent I'm not even sure there will be anything left when I'm finished with it. Hard to even find highlights to grab on to (which was not the case for RPO; plenty of highlights to make a proper album there).

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I’ve been very much enjoying Silvestri’s mini-revival over the past few years.

 

To be honest, I’m always happy to hear new material from him, regardless of the quality.

 

I’m listening to the album now. It sounds fine to me. Nothing particularly spectacular, but I’m enjoying it.

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41 minutes ago, Anthony said:

I love another Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Judge Dredd, MouseHunt or Mummy Returns. Just saying...

 

There's no rule against dreaming.

 

Incidentally, THE MUMMY RETURNS was the last time Silvestri fired on all cylinders. Bits and pieces of great cues since then, but that was the last time the whole soundtrack was a consistent pleasure from start to finish, IMO. And that's 19 years ago(!).

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2 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

All modern Silvestri music is just SIlvestri type music, no matter what setting.

I hate to agree but I kinda feel that way too. To be fair I quite enjoyed The Witches, it was a lot more fun than I expected based on the comments but I can’t remember a great deal of it.

 

Since the turn of the millennium (give or take), he’s kinda plateaued where each score just kinda sounds like a Silvestri score. Having started great with BTTF and developing his style (a lot of his early action material is pretty much a running string figure and brass/percussion hits) and getting to some really great stuff in the 90s (The Mummy Returns maybe loud and OTT but it’s complex, densely written stuff) but since then it doesn’t feel like he’s progressed or changed his style much a number of years. It’s still well written and easily identifiable as his music but less to grab onto and little in the way of his style evolving much. I’ll still buy all of his scores as it’s still very enjoyable but it would be good to hear something... new?!

 

Ducks for cover lol. 

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I think around POTC or so Silvestri started sort of fading away and started to focus his energy on other interests, while the film music gig remained as that, a job. He had a sort of resurgence with Marvel but it's really weird that he scored the highest-grossing movie of all time and he doesn't get called for better projects. Hell, he isn't even doing Croods 2 :lol:

 

I think he's just kinda taking it easy, enjoying life and writing music that works for the film and that's it. I'd be curious to hear him write a concert work, or band stuff. I'd love an original jazz album from him, for example. 

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1 hour ago, Muad'Dib said:

I think around POTC or so Silvestri started sort of fading away and started to focus his energy on other interests, while the film music gig remained as that, a job. He had a sort of resurgence with Marvel but it's really weird that he scored the highest-grossing movie of all time and he doesn't get called for better projects. Hell, he isn't even doing Croods 2 :lol:

 

I think he's just kinda taking it easy, enjoying life and writing music that works for the film and that's it. I'd be curious to hear him write a concert work, or band stuff. I'd love an original jazz album from him, for example. 

he was working on the BTTF musical too right?

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I saw the movie. It's pretty dull. But the score is good. I could easily recognize the themes. Hero's theme is nearly constant. It opens the End Credits suite.

GHW's theme is also played whenever she appears. 

 

I will listen to the full  score tomorrow.

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16 hours ago, Muad'Dib said:

I think he's just kinda taking it easy, enjoying life and writing music that works for the film and that's it. I'd be curious to hear him write a concert work, or band stuff. I'd love an original jazz album from him, for example. 

 

Yes, that would be cool. Personally, I'd like to see him get back into his synth mode. He was so prolific and influential in that regard during the 80s -- probably the biggest proponent of the Synclavier (II). There are bits and pieces of synth in the COSMOS scores (often the best parts of those 4 albums), but more contemporary. I'd like to see him use analogue synths again; and create a proper synthwave album. I touched on this subject with him in my interview in 2015: https://montagesmagazine.com/2015/10/im-still-a-rhythm-guy-a-conversation-with-back-to-the-future-composer-alan-silvestri/

 

Meanwhile, I'm sure he's enjoying life on his mansion, and with his vineyard. At least it appears that way on his Instagram account.

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15 hours ago, Brundlefly said:

He isn't doing that.

 

Don't know in this particular case, but Infinity War sounds brilliant in the film but feels like a chore on the album.

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I listened to Infinity War again the other day. and I was surprised with how much I liked it. There's some boring parts, but it still packs a huge emotional punch.

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@Jay, what's the Contact connection you mentioned?  I don't know that score well beyond the end credits suite, but it seems a million miles from The Witches stylistically.

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I couldn't hear anything from CONTACT in this. CONTACT is a fabulous score; I wish THE WITCHES had even a tiny bit of that in it, but it doesn't.

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I heard Infinity War, Forrest Gump, Stuart Little, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Welcome to Marwen sprinkled throughout this score.
 

Silvestri doesn’t half love that slapping snare and that 1-2-3 1-2-3-4-5 rhythm.

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17 hours ago, igger6 said:

@Jay, what's the Contact connection you mentioned?  I don't know that score well beyond the end credits suite, but it seems a million miles from The Witches stylistically.

 

0:46:

 

2:40:

 

 

 

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Just listened to the score.

 

I dunno, it felt somewhat restrained. Some parts feel like they belong in Infinity War, and there's some good emotional material that reminded me of Contact and Forrest Gump, but the whole score sounds a bit restrained, without reaching its fullest potential. Also, it's a really tiresome album to hear from start to finish.

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Nah. 

 

We just watched the film. The main theme isn't used to represent anything specific, just in general "move the story along" situations. 

 

And the lack of spooky type music makes sense, as there's no part of the film like that at all. The bulk of the movie takes place on a plain summer day, and it isn't really ever spooky or scary at all. This isn't a Halloweeny movie 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saw the film today. It is very well scored and the music accompanies it well. There’s not a lot missing from the album.

 

The first part of end credits don’t appear on the album.

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  • 1 month later...

I just remembered this score existed

 

Any JWFanners like this score so much they've continued to listen to it on any kind of a regular basis since your initial listens?

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No. Listened to it twice, and it doesn't float my boat. The next time I listen to it, it will try to make a workable playlist out of it, and it might rise somewhat in consideration. Hopefully, at least.

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This one didn’t click with me until I saw the film, then I couldn’t get it out of my head. The sinister motif for the Grand High Witch is very catchy.

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  • 2 months later...

I discovered this score like a month ago and, although much of it is rather uninspired, the heroic theme is AMAZING!

 

 

Brings us back to a prior age of film scoring, with the spirit of Forrest Gump. Pure exultation, unmistakably Silvestri. :woop:

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  • 1 month later...

I love the gothic elements in films. I'm a fan of Allan Poe's stories  https://freebooksummary.com/category/the-raven and the understated ending is an important element for me. I recently saw a short film based on "The Raven" and this is a unique film about the human soul. One word can change your fate or mood.

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