Thursday, August 2, 2012
Taste of Top Movie Soundtracks
Why not soundtrack your life with actual soundtrack music? We live in an age where people just don't get very excited about classical music, but we should get excited about new music from popular movies of the past few years. Movie and show soundtracks have the power of the story with less of the commitment. They are the unsung heroes of movies, transforming the screen in moments of sadness and danger, big and small. They do the same to our everyday lives. Check out some of the best soundtracks of the past few years:
1. Lord of The Rings
Even Howard Shore, the composer of all of the Lord of the Rings music, admits his work on the three soundtracks is the culmination of a lifetime of music. At times broad, epic, and pounding, the music of LOTR softens and whispers as often as it shouts. There is no soundtrack like it, and the movies wouldn't be half as good without it. I am just as excited about new music for The Hobbit as I am about the actual movie. Listen Here.
2. Pride and Prejudice
Whenever composer Dario Marianelli is attached to a project, I always give the soundtrack a chance, mainly because of his masterful work on Joe Wright's Pride and Prejudice. For a film adaption that focuses on the intimate minutia of family as well as the beauty of nature and love, the soundtrack balances the themes perfectly. Marianelli's work on Atonement and Jane Eyre soundtracks is also very worthy of a listen, but Pride and Prejudice is one of my absolute favorite albums, period. Listen Here.
3. Finding Neverland
The movie stars Johnny Depp as J.M. Barrie, the creator of the world of Peter Pan. The gorgeous movie is made even better with the stellar piano playing on the soundtrack. Just try not to cry listening to "Why Did She Have to Die?" or "This is Neverland." It captures the playfulness, magic, and sadness of the movie with ease. Listen Here.
4. Dear Frankie
A small indie film, Dear Frankie stars Gerard Butler as a man hired to pretend to be the father of a feisty boy who is hearing impaired. A sweet film with a bittersweet tone, Dear Frankie was made beautiful with Alex Heffes sound-tracking, which used the piano to bring out the emotions of the film. Listen Here.
5. How to Train Your Dragon
A surprisingly wonderful film, How to Train Your Dragon built a lot of its excitement and fun with John Powell's beautiful sound tracking. For a sample of his brand of Celtic fun, listen to "Test Drive," "Romantic Flight," or "Where's Hiccup." Listen Here.
6. Star Trek
Michael Giacchino composes music for many of Pixar's best films, including Up. He also is the man behind the gorgeous terror that is Lost's soundtracks and the very good Super 8 soundtrack. I first appreciated his work on Star Trek though, the great reboot from J.J. Abrams. The music is so incredibly good, its hard to even describe. I'm excited for the sequel, partly for the new music. Listen Here.
7. The Fountain
A unique movie about life, death, and love, The Fountain's score transcends like the movie itself. Clint Mansell's "Together We Will Live Forever" and "Death is the Road to Awe" are both examples of the epic soundtrack. Listen Here.
8. Band of Brothers and The Pacific
The soundtracks for both HBO series are as good as the series themselves. The incomparable Hans Zimmer worked on The Pacific, along with a few fellow composers. Michael Kamen's work on the music for Band of Brothers, created a truly masterful theme in "Main Titles." Listen Here.
9. Pan's Labyrinth
A dark and twisted fairy tale if there ever was one, Pan's Labyrinth demands an equally dark and beautiful soundtrack. It got what it demanded and more in the creepy but lovely music. Listen Here.
Hans Zimmer, who frequently works with Christopher Nolan to score his movies, created the right build of sounds and emotions for the head-bending, dream-warping film. Zimmer, who also scores the Batman movies, achieved a great feat in creating music that built and fell like the buildings within a dream. Listen Here.
Of course this is just a taste of the great soundtrack music. Harry Potter, Danny Elfman's work....there is a lot out there worth listening to. Give soundtracks a chance, and you may find your life just a little more epic.