Top 10 Scores Of 2012

10.  Red Tails 
 This is not your stereotypical war film. The composer, Terrence Blanchard adds several unique twists to this score. One twist is a somewhat upbeat cue titled Takeoff. Normally, in a war film, “upbeat cues” are not what people look for, however, Blanchard pulls it off. You have got to hand it to him for a little originality!
Rating: ****

I was very skeptical at first when I heard that Thomas Newman would be scoring a film for the latest James Bond Film. Much to my shock, however, Newman takes the listener on a full-fledged, action ride.  From middle eastern cues, to the classic James Bond action music, Newman creates a roller-coaster ride of music. Newman found the perfect balance between the Old James Bond, suave, jazzy music, and the new “modern” James Bond. Plus, the song performed by Adele is a whole lot of fun. That is why Skyfall is my 9th favorite score. 
Rating: ****
7. Rise Of The Guardians Calling The Guardians
Alexandre Desplat has woven a fun, fantastical, journey. Rise of The Guardians is brassy, bold, and humorous at times. He catches the innocence displayed in the movie and contrasts that to the forces of evil that would like all childhood innocence removed. The song, Still Dream, performed by Renee Fleming,  captures the entire feel of the score brilliantly, and while listening, I felt myself reminiscing the older animated films that had the same feel to it (Once Upon A Forest, The Land Before Time, The Brave Little Toaster, etc).
Rating: ****1/2

8. Life of Pi The Second Story
This idyllic and atmospheric score is a most enjoyable, peaceful to listen to. The composer, Mychael Danna, is no stranger to composing beautiful ethnic scores. This one is no exception. The main theme is just delightful, and the use of soft vocals just adds to the experience. If you are looking for a relaxing score check out my 7th favorite score of the year, The Life of Pi. 
Rating: ****1/2

6. The Amazing Spiderman Promises
Composer, James Horner has taken command of the “new” Spiderman movie wonderfully. It’s big, it’s dramatic, and it’s action-filled. I never was much of a fan for Danny Elfman’s first two scores for the original Spiderman movies. Then John Debney came along and scored the third Spiderman movie, creating a new theme which I thought could not be surpassed. James Horner did. The main theme is soaring, giving the listener a feeling of swinging from rooftop to rooftop. (Or in the movie’s case from crane to crane!) I am looking forward to see what Horner does in The Amazing Spiderman 2. 
Rating: ****1/2

5. John Carter 
John Carter Of Mars by Michael Giacchino on Grooveshark
Michael Giacchino, the composer crafted an epic score. The action is brassy and the drama is magnificent. The main theme is reminiscent of past fantasy films and ultimately, very powerful. Giacchino kept me enthralled to the very last end credits suite where it all comes together in a crashing climax.
Rating: *****

4. Journey 2; The Mysterious Islands
The Attic by Andrew Lockington on Grooveshark
Composer, Andrew Lockton created a massive action score. The themes are fast paced and the whole score flies by like an amusement park ride. The score is bold, brassy, and even epic at times. Kudos to Lockington, for he has come a long way from his prior score, Journey To the Center of the Earth!
Rating: *****

If there ever was an hidden gem, this has to be it. The score written by new composer, Rick Holets, is somewhat of a hybrid soundtrack. Holets utilizes the cello, piano, and other “classical” instruments, and weaves in some more modern sounds. The main anthem is patrotic sounding and even epic at times making this science fiction score my third favorite of the year. Check it out!
Rating: *****
John Williams you have done it, yet, again! This score is patriotic and reminiscent of Willam’s score for Saving Private Ryan, but even better. The cue, Call To Muster/Battle Cry of Freedom is a patriotic military/anthem-esq song and sticks out like a sore thumb, somewhat.  However, it is also really enjoyable, and I even found myself singing along! Several other cues are pure drama and it’s obvious that William’s put a lot of emotion into this score. I listened to this one two times in a row, straight.
Rating: *****

1. For Greater Glory Jose's Matyrdom
I have chosen this score as my all-time favorite score of the year because of the massive scope it covers. This score is one of the most epic and emotional scores I have ever heard. It’s tragic, fast-paced at times, and downright heartbreaking. But, I didn’t get depressed listening to it, either, I found myself inspired. James Horner does recycle several themes, from other films, which I found to be a little annoying, but once I got passed that, I realized I had found a true gem. That is why For Greater Glory is the most magnificent scores of the year. Bravo, James Horner, bravo!
Rating: *****


  1. Jeremiah Hoppman said...
    Good thoughts, Thank you!
    PrincessR said...
    Very neat blog idea! I can't wait to see what all you have. :D

    We have the Red Tails complete soundtrack (thanks to my Josh), but otherwise I don't remember/haven't heard the rest of the songs. I will soon, though!

    Thanks for linking to you-tube. That was a very nice bonus.

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