Ten Best Cues of 2014

It's that time of year again! That time to go through the best scores of 2014 and pick some of my personal favorites of the year. Once again, like last year, I'm starting with one of my favorite awards: The Ten Best Cues of 2014. The music in soundtrack albums is used to assist in driving a story and sometimes the music takes over the wheel and drives the story. That is when specific cues in albums shine. These are just a few that I listened to countless times throughout the year so without further ado, here are the top ten best cues of the year based on enjoyability, number of times listened, and awesomeness!

Best Cues of 2014

10. Belle-Let Justice Be Done by Rachel Portman
Let Justice Be Done by Rachel Portman on Grooveshark
Portman has always been known for her simplistic, romantic style in composing and underscoring and this score is no exception. Most of her scores have never on any level appealed to me. It may just be her style that I don't care for. However, this one cue from 2014 historical romance, Belle, has a harmonious and lovely melody. The main theme included in the cue doesn't come forth too often until the end of this album found in this particular cue.

9. Big Hero 6-Microbots by Henry Jackman
Microbots by Henry Jackman on Grooveshark
This score is just downright fun. And this cue is the epitome of it all. Classic 1980's synth is the backdrop to this upbeat, brassy, and happy tune. The whole cue is very nostalgic and delivers a catchy ditty superbly.

8. Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier-End of the Line by Henry Jackman
End of the Line by Henry Jackman on Grooveshark
Another Jackman cue? Splendid. This score itself was probably the biggest disappointment for me in all of 2014's releases, however there were a few shining stars amongst this gritty, abrasive, electronic score. This is one of those moments. The most touching scene in the movie condensed into this simplistic piano solo. Less is more my friends. Way more.

7. The Giver-Rosebud by Marco Beltrami
Rosebud by Marco Beltrami on Grooveshark
You will probably be seeing this score pop up throughout the 2014 awards to come, just saying. This score was amazing and this cue, being the climax in the film, delivers a powerful emotional punch. The inspirational background percussion spurs this protagonist on in the film, and spurs the brass main theme into it's glorious entirety. The strings take it away as the choir softly chants in the background. What a wonderful feeling this cue brings.

 6. America: Imagine a World Without Her-Washington Lost by Bryan E. Miller

This controversial docudrama dropped the thought provoking question, "What if there was no America? Imagine a world without her." This cue brings all of that to reality as the scene depics George Washing getting shot in the Revolutionary War. Now, I'm a history buff, so this premise excited me and this cue delivers a powerful wallop. Heroic brass, fast paced percussion, and ecstatic  choir announces Washington taking his stance on the battlefield against the Redcoats then drops to dramatic but mournful choir as the General is tragically shot. This cue, Ladies and Gentlemen, is a masterpiece.

  5. Pompeii-Pompeii by Clinton Shorter
Pompeii by Clinton Shorter on Grooveshark
Have you heard of this film or score? Probably not. The movie was a major flop in theatres and most people thought the score was just trailer music. Well I like trailer music in the right kind of films. And I think "trailer music"  should be used more often in big historical epics like this. This main theme is just that. Big. Brassy. Massive Choir. Fast paced percussion. Epic. Sheer joy.

4. How To Train Your Dragon 2-Flying With Mother by John Powell.
Flying With Mother by John Powell on Grooveshark
John Powell is not dead! He returns shortly this year to bring us two scores, Rio 2 and this gem; How To Train Your Dragon 2. This cue has a funky beat and off kilter women's vocals which add to the charm. The cue drops off to a nice waltz-like style as the Celeste and various other percussion intones. This cue is exactly what I hoped for: blatant Powell. The percussion, the music, everything boast of classic John Powell. And oh, how I love it!

3. Big Hero 6-First Flight by Henry Jackman
First Flight by Henry Jackman on Grooveshark
We're back to this score. Although this cue isn't quite as happy as the last, it's even better: blatantly heroic. The main theme comes out full-force in all of it's brassy and synthy glory and I can't help but wish to....fly.

2. How To Train Your Dragon 2-Stoick's Ship by John Powell
Stoick's Ship by John Powell on Grooveshark
The emotional climax of the film comes to a thundering halt in this tribute to the Protagonist's dad, Stoic. This cue starts off with his theme, a soft celtic variation of the folk song, For the Dancing and Dreaming, and cuts off to glorious choir and bold bagpipes. It's a glorious send off and no doubt the second best cue of the year.

1. Pompeii-Praying for Help by Clinton Shorter
Praying for Help by Clinton Shorter on Grooveshark
This cue was used as the film's opening credits and is a heroic, all-out men's anthem. The theme is catchy, and I wish I knew the lyrics to belt it out (Is that weird? Maybe just a bit. But not too weird).
This is definitely my most listened to and most enjoyed cue of the year. While I'm not a fan of the composer, this score has given me hope for other historical epic scores.

That being all said, here are a few that didn't quite make the list so I'll just list them as "Honorable Mentions".

Honorable Mentions

The Hobbit 3: The Battle of the Five Armies-Ironfoot by Howard Shore
Ironfoot (Deluxe Extended) by Howard Shore on Grooveshark

Sherlock Season 3-How It Was Done by Dave Arnold and Michael Price
How It Was Done by David Arnold & Michael Price - www.musicasparabaixar.org on Grooveshark

What were your favorites? Comment to let me know and stay tuned for the next few Best of 2014 Awards in the weeks to come.

2 Comments:

  1. Catherine Gruben said...
    I really enjoy these awards of yours, thanks for taking the time to put them together! And I look forward to enjoying the ones I know, and learning the ones I don't.
    Lilac Bud Gal said...
    Love the selections! =D

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