January 27, 2020

Djawadi - Westworld: Season 2 Music From the HBO Series – WaterTower

By Kristi Kates | July 21, 2018

Season two of Westworld has arrived, and along with it Djawadi’s approach of combining original compositions with player-piano-festooned-saloon covers of alternative, hip-hop, and pop tracks. The drawling piano chords serve as a link between the futuristic world and the vintage space that Westworld occupies, from the spooky cover of Kanye West’s “Runaway” (played over a real-world flashback) to a spurs-worthy take on The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.” It may not be innovative, but it’s certainly very listenable. ** ½

Michael GiacchinoJurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Original Soundtrack – Backlot Music
Jurassic World: often demolished, but never completely destroyed — much like Giacchino’s soundtracks, which can get subjected to the sniffs of critics, but nonetheless find popular acclaim because they’re well crafted and accessible. Giacchino knows how to shift atmosphere, and with this film darker than the previous ones, he gets to work in that playground. Short cues like “Nostalgiasaurus” and “Wilting Iris” recall earlier audio themes from the movies, while new, uplifting cuts like “The Theropod Preservation Society” give Giacchino’s musicians room to veer around like a daring pterodactyl. *** ½

Ben Salisbury and Geoff BarrowAnnihilation: Music from the Motion Picture – Lakeshore
Opening with the dramatic “What Do You Know?” and relying heavily on thickly distorted strings and synths, with vocals skating along on top, this set from Salisbury and Portishead’s Barrow (previously teamed on the soundtrack for 2014’s Ex Machina) nicely blends spooky and cinematic with precise arrangements and shifting moods. “The Watchtower” filters in acoustic guitars to dampen the tension, while tracks like “Disoriented” flip the acoustic upside down to instead heighten the suspense. A well-constructed movie accompaniment. ***

Hildur Gudnadóttir - Sicario: Day Of The Soldado - Varese Sarabande
The first Sicario movie (2015) was deftly scored by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. After Jóhannsson tragically passed away, the mantle passed to his fellow countryman composer Gudnadóttir, who carries out the film series’ feel nicely. He extends some of the themes of Johannson’s work while very much transferring the score to his own quite different talents. The movie’s strident themes are immediately addressed in the edgy opening track “Attack,” while other highlights include “Journey to Border” and “Convoy.” ** ½






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