Saturday, October 17, 2015

SOUNDTRACK REVIEW REDUX: The Village by James Newton Howard

A soundtrack as amazing as this deserved a more complete presentation on the official release album. Shortly after I got a hold of this stunning score, I had to hunt down a more complete version of it. Needless to say, I found my buried treasure!

The Village is my first score owned by James Newton Howard. Boy, was that an awesome introduction into this man's amazing work! I ended collection many of his works both past and present. I always look forward to his new releases particularly his collaborations with M. Night Shyamalan. Regardless of what you may think of M. Night, I hope he keeps making movies and hiring James to score his films. All of their collaborative works have been amazing!

I got a change to talk to James Newton Howard during the debut of his classical piece I Would Plant A Tree (perfectly performed by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra,I should add!). I asked him specifically about this score to which he responded it was his second effort at writing the score. It was originally a horror score with atmospheric tones, but M. Night made James scrape it for a more romantic score. And I love the results! It got nominated for a Best Original Score Oscar for a reason. 

The score is mostly driven by the violin hauntingly played by Hillary Hahn. His violin solos perfectly capture the voice of the determined character in the film.The themes and solemn romantic strings are simply a beauty to experience. This score is by no means cheerful, but its not a doomed romance either. Its more of a romance in an uncertain world kind of feel. There are "jump scare" percussion segments peppered throughout, but nothing too distracting from the beauty of this masterpiece.

This soundtrack has held a slot in my Top Ten All Time Favorite Scores since it debuted in 2004. It is undoubtedly my favorite James Newton Howard score. And that is saying something when you take a good look at this man's discography!

Give the End Credits track a listen below. Also, check out my original post of the score as it encapsulates my initial reactions to the soundtrack!

Original Post:

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