23 Songs, 1 Hour 17 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Drama. Tension. Glory. The master composes a seventh epic score for the series.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Drama. Tension. Glory. The master composes a seventh epic score for the series.

Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
108 Ratings
108 Ratings
HornyDan ,

Masterful

Just came back from the midnight launch, paying special attention to John Williams' masterful music throughout. If it's any indication of the soundtrack album presentation, this will be a worth purchase.
Truth be told, there is little room in the film for the music to truly shine through (simply due to the lightning fast pacing and loud sfx), and when it does, Williams usually opts for loving quotes of older themes, or a tactful silence, but regardless the music is thrilling and spine-tingling from start to finish, with special mention to the sinister Kylo Ren motif, the triumphant March of the Resistance, and some wonderful pastoral writing for Rey.

nbrgr ,

An uncharacteristic misstep that adds little to the musical canon of Star Wars

There's very little to maintain the listener's interest in this soundtrack, being mostly comprised of frantic strings punctuated by brass flourishes, but with no particular melody or motif. Where the soundtrack does succeed is in it's limited reprisals of familiar themes. Themes for the Force, the Rebellion (used here to represent Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon), Princess Leia's theme, Han and Leia's love theme, and the Main Theme are all wheeled out at the requisite moments. The Imperial March is reprised briefly in the film when Kylo Ren is contemplating the twisted remains of Darth Vader's helmet, but it does not appear in this soundtrack. Unfortunately these reprisals are brief and the listener is then subjected to more non-melodic strings and brass flourishes until the next reprisal. So much of the soundtrack is non-descript filler between the more familiar themes. Unlike in all of the other Star Wars soundtracks, there's nothing here worth listening to separately to the film. It's just background music. Nothing stands on its own.

The theme to signal both Kylo Ren and the First Order serves its purpose but, much like the original incarnation of the Empire's theme in A New Hope, is immediately forgettable. It does have a suitably sinister and evil tone, but is reminiscent of William's theme for Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It's hardly original. As a theme, I think it does an okay job in heralding the malevolent presence of Ren, but I do think the Imperial March, or some close variation thereof, should have been reprised as the First Order's theme. The Empire might have lost control of the Galaxy but the First Order is clearly a highly capable and formidable foe. The Imperial March would capture this better than the dual-use theme Williams has given us.

Rey's theme is probably the only real success. But then it is never presented in a coherent concert version, so there's no extended treatment. You just pick up parts of it as the soundtrack progresses. This is such a shame, as a concert version of a theme gives you something to listen to and enjoy separate to the action. Think how Across the Stars does a brilliant job of encapsulating Anakin and Padme's love theme. Rey's theme needs something like that.

Much has been said elsewhere of the loss of the London Symphony Orchestra. This hasn't affected the soundtrack for the most part, as the freelance players manage some very close renditions of the familiar themes, almost as though they have been lifted from the original soundtracks. However, the orchestration of the Main Theme and the End Titles is a disappointment. The Main Theme in particular sounds like a synth-orchestra from the beginning of a game. The Main Theme is a complex composition and the fine balance between the different parts of the orchestra Williams achieved in the prequel recordings has been lost.

Overall, this is a disappointing outing by the otherwise indisputable maestro of film scores. Of the new films, the soundtrack for Phantom Menace was a high point to which Williams has failed to return with this offering. Such a shame.

Crabjumper of the 212th ,

Star Wars Music is always worth Downloading

Every Star Wars film has something to add to the Saga, and the Force Awakens is no exception.

Kylo Rens Theme: A very dark theme that is fit for a Dark lord of the Sith (Even though he isn't one).
Rey's Theme: A soft, Adventurous theme that captures Rey's Nature Perfectly
March of the Resistance: A Militaristic theme, using notes from the original "Trade Federation March" that is definately up there with the other march tunes

Score weaknesses
There is quite a bit of down tunes: I don't mind down tunes, they relax the listener, but this one has quite a bit of them.
Lack of development of Original Tunes: 7TFA does not upgrade the saga's tunes that well. We have 1TPM giving us "Droid Fight", an epic variant of Luke's Theme (The Main Star Wars Theme), we have 2AOTC giving us a masterful rendition of the Imperial March, and we have 3ROTS littered with upgraded variants of the Force theme. 7TFA doesn't use the previous score much. It also ignores every film after 5TESB.

What the Album should have included: "It's the Resistance", "Landing at Lightspeed", "Sherzo for X-wings" (That bit that was from the Actual film).

Personally i think it this score is a step down from that of the previous film (3ROTS), but that previous film's score is definately a hard one to top. Overall, this score might be one of the lesser Star Wars scores, but the lesser Star Wars Scores are always some of the Best Film scores in General.

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