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King Kong (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

James Newton Howard

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Album Review

Julia Roberts followed Pretty Woman with the pretty depressing Dying Young. If your girlfriend/wife had to drag you to this film, rest assured you can opt out of buying the soundtrack. Like the film, James Newton Howard's score is life-affirming, romantic, and touching. Cameos from Kenny G, Jeffrey Osborne, and King Curtis are woven into Howard's modest tapestry, and the sum effect feels like Checkfield with a sax player and an old Nat King Cole nugget tossed in for texture. The instrumentals are built around piano, acoustic guitar, lush strings, and horns, creating a folky new age feel. At under 40 minutes, Dying Young isn't the self-standing work one might have hoped for, but the soundtrack atones for its shortcomings with a suffusion of beautiful music. Some will dismiss this as schmaltz out of hand, and a compelling argument to the contrary isn't forthcoming, but if the music does no more than indulge a romantic fantasy for half an hour then it's served a valuable purpose. Standout tracks include the opening theme, King Curtis' jazzy take on "All the Way," and the closing "I'll Never Leave You (Love Theme)." A lot of soundtracks don't make the leap from the screen cleanly, limping along in musical fragments like the obligatory chase scene and so on. Not so with this soundtrack, which combines utility and intrinsic beauty; in fact, you don't need to watch the movie to enjoy the music (good news for anyone still hoping to wiggle out of this weeper). Overall a warm, personal, and cleansing experience, like yoga for the brain.

Customer Reviews

Fantastic Soundtrack

This soundtrack is very very good, considering the time scale that James Newton Howard had to compose all these songs its pretty amazing. A must buy for all kong fans I particularly like the Central Park theme. Money well spent!!

Pure Brilliance

This Soundtrack is spectacular. It suits the film and makes you feel fantastic. Watch the film and listen to the soundtrack anytime and relive the film. This soundtrack is pure class.

Another wonderful JNH score...

Being a big James Newton Howard fan, I was eager to get into the score for King Kong, and was not disappointed... The opening title music really set the scene for a mysterious and dark quality the film has. The music for 'Central park' I found very moving, and the melody is used well as he often seems to do with his slightly more emotive themes. Really helped bring the film such success.

Biography

Born: 09 June 1951 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Soundtrack

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

Pianist, producer, and composer James Newton-Howard scored over 60 films beginning in the mid-'80s, including The Fugitive, Space Jam, The Prince of Tides, Pretty Woman, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Waterworld. Newton-Howard began taking classical piano lessons at the age of four, playing on a piano owned by his grandmother, who was the Pittsburgh Symphony's concertmaster and violinist during the 1930s and '40s. He went on to study at the USC School of Music and at the Music Academy of the West (in Santa...
Full bio
King Kong (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), James Newton Howard
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