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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Music from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

Few contemporary film themes are as instantly recognizable as "Raiders March." Whimsical, regal, and heroic, placing it at the beginning of the soundtrack for the first Indiana Jones film in 19 years was a wise choice, as that familiar, galloping intro pumps nostalgia into the brain like a dislodged bee stinger, filling the listener with sepia-toned images of fedoras, snakes, bullwhips, and awkward meals of "chilled monkey brains." Composer John Williams front-loads the score for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with some familiar motifs, revisiting the spooky woodwinds of "The Map Room" from Raiders of the Lost Ark on the foreboding "Spell of the Skull," and weaving in strains of the aforementioned "Raiders March" and "Marion's Theme" throughout the score's entirety. While familiarity reigns supreme, Williams occasionally disengages the autopilot, as evidenced by the mysterious three-note motif that accompanies any scene featuring the skull of the film's title and the jaunty and impossibly likable "The Adventures of Mutt," but he doesn't venture far from the dusty caves, South American ruins, and other exotic locales of previous adventures...and why should he? Does anybody actually remember any of the themes (besides the iconic opening credits) from the Star Wars prequels?

Biography

Born: 08 February 1932 in Flushing, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most popular film composer of the modern era, John Williams created music for some of the most successful motion pictures in Hollywood history — Star Wars, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, and Jurassic Park are just three of the credits in his extensive oeuvre. Born February 8, 1932, in Long Island, NY, he was himself the son of a movie studio musician, and he followed in his father's footsteps by studying music at UCLA and Juilliard; initially, he pursued a career as a jazz pianist, later working...
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