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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Album Review

Composer Howard Shore's magnificent, appropriately epic work on director Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy garnered the Canadian composer three Academy awards, and rightly so. When Jackson decided to tackle The Hobbit in 2012, it took little convincing to bring Shore back to Middle Earth along with him, and the resulting Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of three installments, dutifully reflected the lighter tone of the pre-Fellowship film while paying homage to the darker adventures that follow. For The Desolation of Smaug, Shore honed the themes introduced in An Unexpected Journey and amped up the darkness and bombast, introducing a memorable new cue to accompany the arrival of the film's scaly antagonist.

Customer Reviews

Some thoughts on the Desolation of Smaug...

As far as an album to listen to for the sake of listening, I was not very impressed. The Desolation of Smaug soundtrack is mostly dissonant chords. No doubt, the score is very effective to set the mood of this darker sequel to the Hobbit, but it's not very enjoyable to sit down and listen to. There are a few motifs which tie the fabric of this score together, but I was having difficulty recognizing as many individual themes as there were in the Trilogy.

That being said, there were several things I did like about this album.
First, one of the main motifs in this score sounds like it was heavily influenced by Arabic music. This brings something fresh to the score that sets it apart from the other LotR scores. Examples can be heard in "Thrice Welcome" and "Inside Information".
The driving theme of "The Forest River" is action packed and big. "Wilderland" is one of my favorites, as it feels like it could fit right in with the Trilogy score. "Feast of Starlight" is ethereal, revisiting the magical themes of the elves. It includes a cameo of the One Ring's motif at the end of the song. "Girion, Lord of Dale" starts out hauntingly and ends with an inspiring theme (Which I hope Shore includes and expands upon in his next Hobbit score).

From a musical aspect, this album is brilliant. Shore has woven an effective tapestry that will effectivly set the mood for Desolation of Smaug. However, I wish I had heard more memorable themes like the majestic swells from the Trilogy. I also enjoyed the "Misty Mountains" theme from An Unexpected Journey. I really didn't hear that at all in this soundtrack. It seems strange to omit one of the major motifs representing the main characters. Besided Ed Sheeren's "I see Fire", the score doesn't contain any sung themes. I would have liked to hear a song such as the "King under the Mountain" (Sung at Laketown after the Dwarves arrive).
Some songs I would suggest buying if you don't want the whole album are:
The Quest for Erebor- Wilderland- Feast of Starlight- The Forest River- Protector of the Common Folk- Thrice Welcome- Girion, Lord of Dale- A Spell of Concealment- Inside Information- Beyond the Forest.

Why are some people kind of complaining?

THIS SOUNDTRACK IS AWESOME!!! As I said in my review for the other The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug soundtrack, I love everything on this album. I would put all of it on my ipod and listen to it all day! The music is fresh and has to be my favorite soundtrack of all time!! But then I can't say truthfully say that until the third Hobbit soundtrack comes out. I have also seen the movie and its AWESOME as well. Yes its a little darker but it was still really good. So good that I'm dying to see it again. And I'm also dying to see the next one now. Peter Jackson left me at the edge of my seat, wondering what will happen next.
The soundtrack is action packed, and very enjoyable (despite what other may say) and a must buy! I'm a LOTR and The Hobbit fan and this is a great addition to your library. Seriously, it's amazing!! Thank you Howard Shore for making another wonderful masterpiece and thank you Peter Jackson for the great movie called The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)! I love them both! Especially the second one, can't wait for the next one!!!!!


I love it!!!!! I listen to it allllll day! It's as good as the Lord of the Rings soundtrack! Maybe even better! I highly recommend it for any Lotr/Hobbit fans!


Born: October 18, 1946 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Soundtrack

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

Howard Shore has composed the scores for over 50 films, including The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, After Hours, Seven, and both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. His collaborations with David Cronenberg have resulted in scores for the films The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, M. Butterfly, and Crash, spanning a nearly 20-year period by the year 2001. Shore's formal education came at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. From 1969-1972 he recorded...
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