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The Village (Score from the Motion Picture)

James Newton Howard

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Album Review

The explosion of interest in soundtrack music in recent years hasn't been limited to the Hollywood classics — indeed, for every two or three restored versions of film scores from 1940s or 1950s movies that appear, there seems to be at least one exhumation of a more recent vintage. Thus arrives James Newton Howard's music for Andrew Davis' top-notch political thriller The Package (1989). It was easy to neglect the music while taking the fast-paced action and excellent acting in the movie, a topical yarn dealing with conspiracy and assassination — Howard has since become a major composer in the field, but at the time he was just another name in the movie's credits at a time when soundtrack albums were no longer standard accompaniment to all movie releases. But the neglect at the time can also be attributed to the fact that this is not an especially great or subtle score; in fact, it telegraphs perhaps a little too much of what is going on in the plot, although it is busy and expressive, and the use of certain motifs is interesting if a little over-the-top in this setting. One wishes that the score were pitched a little more subtly, because there are parts of it — that are not "mickey moused" — that could work as absolute music; the string, brass, and horn writing works beautifully, but whenever the electronic instruments or the percussion come in, most of the subtlety disappears. The annotation concerns the relationship of the score to the movie, mostly from the standpoint of underscoring the plot, but on the plus side, all of the musicians in the orchestra are named in the notes.

Customer Reviews

*****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED*****

These songs are very beautiful and finly crafted. They each have a different voice that combines to form an amazing album. I rated these on a scale of 1-10. 1. Noah Visits- 9/10 Quiet, mourful song. 2. What Are You Asking Me?- 10/10 Epic without raising the volume. Piano and Strings combine to form an excellent track. 3. The Bad Color-9.5/10 Sinister, haunting flutes and jingling bells contributes to the begining, while strings play anxiously until relaxing into a sadder tone. 4. Those We Don't Speak Of- 10/10- VERY SCARY. Starts similarly to track 3, only with more of a kick. Drums and flutes escalate the tension of this very disturbing song, but pauses in between rounds of percussion instruments give you a bit of a break. 5. Will You Help Me?- 7.5/10 Soft, plaintive strings for most of the track. 6. I Cannot See His Color- 9/10 Short, thoughtful, and very lovely. 7. Rituals- 8/10 Similar to track 5, ending uniquely and more eerie. 8. The Gravel Road- +10/10 An exquisite begining, with worried strings and soft piano that melts into the main theme. In the middle of the song, the softer music hardens into a creepier tone that reminds me of mountains lost in the clouds, then flows settles on something in-between for the remainder of the song. So wonderful and eerie, it is the best song on the album. 9. Race To Resting Rock- 9/10 Slow and smooth, the strings rise and fall pleasantly in this track. 10. The Forbidden Line- 9/10 Brooding, elevating into alarming, then slowing into anticipating again. 11. The Vote- 8.5/10 Similar to The Gravel Road at parts, but lacking the same haunting beauty that is the essence of Track 8. Sad, lonesome. 12. It Is Not Real- 9/10 VERY similar to #4, but it slows down in the end to a reflective mood. 13. The Shed Not to Be Used- 10/10 Chilling in a quiet way, slightly menacing. It seems to wait for the tone to darken, but it never does.

Good Movie... Even Better Soundtrack

Wow... it's creepy how good it is. Gravel Road is excellent. It's so simple, yet so complicated and complex. It sends shivers down my spine everytime I hear it. It has all the elements of the movie and this song really makes the movie and the soundtrack. Excellent. Absolutely Excellent.

Haunting

Newton Howard knows Night's style and they work well together. This album is proof. The haunting nauture reflected in the violin orcestration is excellent. This soundtrack makes the movie. It is thrilling, frightening, and emotive.

Biography

Born: June 9, 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...
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The Village (Score from the Motion Picture), James Newton Howard
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