Ten Best Cues of 2013

It's that time of year again when soundtrack collectors all over the world take inventory of the scores released in the past year and decide on their favorites for the year. For Soundtrack Snippets, the first article posted was the best of 2012. It's been a whole year now, and time to release the best of awards for 2013.
To kick this off I've decided to continue the Best Cues Award of 2013. For this award I base my decision on how much I enjoyed the cue, the amount of thematic content in the cue, but most importantly how often I clicked play on the particular track. Brace yourselves, there was a lot in this category for the year!
(In numerical order with the number one being the greatest.)
Before we get into the top ten, here are a few honorable mentions:

4. Epic-Pursuit by Danny Elfman
Pursuit by Danny Elfman on Grooveshark
For being a score called Epic, the music wasn't. However, that didn't stop me from enjoying Elfman's newest score. The music is acoustic, heroic, fast paced and exciting.

3. Gravity-Gravity by Steven Price
Gravity by Steven Price - www.musicasparabaixar.org on Grooveshark
Up and coming new film composer Price, employs the use of gorgeous female vocals ranging from delicate to wailing. Most of the score unfortunately is heavily atmospheric, so it makes for a boring listen by itself, but given the title of the album, I'm sure it works perfectly with the film.

2. Jack The Giant Slayer-Chase To Cloister by John Ottman
Chase to Cloister by John Ottman on Grooveshark
The music by Ottoman is massive and horrifying at times. This particular cue utilizes both and includes a heroic theme. Typically, I don't enjoy music with large amount of cacophony, but Ottoman pulled this one off alright!

1. Ender’s Game-The Battle Room by Steve Jablonsky
The Battle Room by Steve Jablonsky on Grooveshark
A huge disapointment of the year was removing James Horner from this film project and sticking composer Steve Jablonsky to score this film. This cue, is the highlight of the album shining like a gem. This cue has beautiful violin arpeggios supported by the classic Jablonsky percussion and instrumentations.

And now, here are the Best Cues of 2013:

10. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon-Blood Dragon Theme by Power Glove
02 - Blood Dragon Theme by Power Glove on Grooveshark
The score for this video game is extremely retro 1980's, and I love it. OK, so it's a little more upbeat than I like, however the throwback-ness of this score is very cool to hear and quite brave on the composer team, Power Glove's part. It's definitely one of the most unique scores of the year.

9. Man of Steel-Goodbye My Son by Hans Zimmer
Goodbye My Son by Hans Zimmer on Grooveshark
This score was probably the most anticipated score of the year and many people, upon listening to it, cried bloody murder or just fell in love with it. This cue is like a lullaby with soothing female vocals humming then the cue transitions to an beautiful powerhouse anthem. Classic Zimmer.

8. After Earth-After Earth by James Newton Howard
After Earth by James Newton Howard on Grooveshark
This is another powerhouse anthem for the books. This cue utilizes the main theme Howard created for the score and maximizes it to beyond its potential!

7. The Lone Ranger-Silver by Hans Zimmer
Silver by Hans Zimmer on Grooveshark
Like I stated in my review for this score, Zimmer uses an Irish folk song, "After the Battle of Aughrim" in the theme for Silver who is.....well....a horse. If there were any epic themes for a horse then this cue is it.

6. Beyond Two Souls-Jodie’s Suite by Lorne Balfe
Jodie's Suite by Hans Zimmer & Lorne Balfe on Grooveshark
Another video game cue makes it into the list! This cue composed by Balfe, is another emotional powerhouse. It has mournful female vocals and a wonderful choral and orchestral accompaniment.

5.  Iron Man 3-Iron Man 3 by Bryan Tyler
Iron Man 3 by Iron Man 3 on Grooveshark
There is no denying it, Tyler is good at powerful superhero themes. This one is hands-down, his best. It's exciting, tense, and most importantly; blatantly heroic!

4. Winnie Mandela-Sunrise by Laurent Eyquem
 Eyquem is another up and coming composer that is showing real potential. This cue is full of mournful vocals, simplistic woodwind accompaniment, and powerful percussion. (My apologies to you non-Spotify users, I could only find this particular cue there.)

3.  Dr Who: Series 7-The Long Song by Murray Gold
The Long Song by Murray Gold on Grooveshark
Though, the score itself wasn't as great as the other Dr Who soundtracks from earlier seasons, I always manage to find a song in each score that I absolutely adore. This cue is amazing! The song has epic vocals with the solo performed by a child. The end is complex and stunning making this my 3rd favorite cue of the year.

2. Planes-Planes by Mark Mancina
Planes by Mark Mancina on Grooveshark
Yes, I admit it. Upon seeing the trailer with this cue used, I fell in love with the film and score. Mancina has added a certain amount of charm and complexity to the score different from any of his other scores.
It's charm soars above its other competitors making this my 2nd favorite cue of '13.

1. The Bible-Creation Choral by Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe
Creation Choral by Hans Zimmer & Lorne Balfe on Grooveshark
Balfe and Zimmer have yet, another emotional powerhouse and it's in the form of a television score. This cue is simply powerful and intense. There is no denying it. One of Balfe's and Zimmer's best cues to be sure and definitely the most played cue of the year! Folks, this is what awesomeness is made of.


  1. Lydia said...
    A lot of hard work and listening with a very good, well-trained ear. Keep up the great work Josh! I just love your descriptions. :-)
    Catie said...
    What a fun group of soundtrack bests! Thanks for sharing them, now I have a host of new songs to add to enjoy.
    Joshua Hoppman said...
    @Lydia: Thanks Mom! ;)
    @Catie: I hope you enjoyed them!

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