The 2012 film Skyfall represented the 23rd time that James Bond had graced the silver screen, the third time that 007 had been brought to life by Daniel Craig, and the second time that the film's title cut didn't make the official soundtrack. Like Chris Cornell's contribution to 2006's Casino Royale, Adele's "Skyfall" was relegated to downloadable single status, allowing more room for the full score, which in this case was supplied by the talented Thomas Newman, while leaving unassuming listeners bereft of what was traditionally the initial selling point for most of the long-running franchise's soundtracks. Newman, the ninth Bond composer, stays true to the Daniel Craig-era penchant for swapping John Barry's iconic orchestral cues for loop-heavy yet appropriately moody and propulsive electronic elements that would have benefited from a lighter touch, which is surprising considering some of Newman's career highlights (American Beauty, Shawshank Redemption, Road to Perdition). That said, the occasional tips of the hat to the past ("Grand Bazaar, Istanbul," "Breadcrumbs") and some truly explosive ("Tennyson") and somber ("Voluntary Retirement") moments help to balance out the score's more rote passages.
The unseen actor in Skyfall
The emotional and inclusive score delivered by the team here is indeed the unseen actor in the superb and flawless Skyfall. The score transports the audience into the movie and wraps you in a Bond coat of quality. Thomas Newman should be rewarded with more Bond scores and his work will inspire Bond music for another 50 years.
After the departure of David Arnold who has scored the past 5 Bond films, I have to say I was really quite reticent to see what Newman could come up with. Casino Royale has to be one of my favourite scores of all time and some of the cues are simply beautiful.
But Newman definitely rises to the occasion, delivering a brilliantly fitting score that suits the film perfectly, retaining that crucial 'Bond-ness'.
There are hints of Adele's 'Skyfall' smattered in a few of the pieces and all in all, I really can't fault Thomas Newman.
Sometimes the old ways are the best ways
This soundtrack is a perfect mix of modern and traditional bond - which is exactly what it should be.
There are moments in the film where the mood is perfectly set by this soundtrack - most noticably the Shanghai scenes. My only complaint is that i cant see the Adele title song included here.
Its a great relief to know that Bond can still deliver, and the soundtrack is no exception.
Born: 20 October 1955 in Los Angeles, CA
Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s
Top Albums and Songs by Thomas Newman
||American Beauty||American Beauty (Original Motion Picture Score)||3:07||£0.99||View In iTunes|
||Any Other Name||American Beauty (Original Motion Picture Score)||4:06||£0.99||View In iTunes|
||Dead Already||American Beauty (Original Motion Picture Score)||3:20||£0.99||View In iTunes|
||Brooks Was Here||The Shawshank Redemption||5:05||£0.99||View In iTunes|
||Revolutionary Road||Revolutionary Road (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)||4:54||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Road to Perdition||Road to Perdition (Music from the Motion Picture)||3:55||£0.99||View In iTunes|
||Shawshank Prison (Stoic Theme)||The Shawshank Redemption||1:52||£0.99||View In iTunes|
||Arose||American Beauty (Original Motion Picture Score)||1:05||£0.99||View In iTunes|
||End Title||The Shawshank Redemption||4:05||£0.99||View In iTunes|
||Road to Chicago||Road to Perdition (Music from the Motion Picture)||3:06||£0.99||View In iTunes|