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Where the Wild Things Are (Motion Picture Score)

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iTunes Review

Yeah Yeah Yeahs vocalist Karen O got a lot of attention for the songs she wrote and sang for the soundtrack to Where the Wild Things Are, Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s children’s story. But Carter Burwell’s score for the same film is well worth checking out as well. Burwell is one of the best composers working in Hollywood: he’s the go-to guy for the Coen Brothers, he’s scored projects as diverse as Rob Roy, Being John Malkovich, and Twilight, and his work on Wild Things is excellent. The music is subtle, melodious, and well arranged. The spare “Lost Fur” features a moody piano theme backed by throbbing bass and gentle strumming, while harp, nice woodwind writing, and wordless female vocals mark “Sailing.” “Dirt Clod Fight” actually isn’t subtle at all and it sounds great: Karen O lets out her trademark yelps, the drummer rocks, and guitar comes crashing down. “Carol’s Dark Night” creates an open and mysterious space that evokes the film’s striking visuals. The closer, “We Love You So,” is a gorgeous variation on the opening theme, a quiet, reflective orchestration that simmers.

Customer Reviews

Quite Moving.

If the Motion Picture "Where the Wild Things Are" is nearly as dramatic and moving as the soundtrack is, it will be truly amazing. I really cant wait to see this movie. I really hope the story and overall production is up to par with the magnificent soundtrack.

The Tone

The music definitely lives up to the movie. This film explores some of the most intense themes and emotions of any in recent history that I can think of. It is not only a film that children can relate to, but also a film that adults who interact with children would be wise in viewing. The images were haunting - though not in a way that they were scary. They were haunting in that I could see so much of myself in Max, and the emotions he explores and deals with are all ones that I would hope we as human beings all experience at some point in our lives. The music in this album captures the reality of these emotions. Where Karen O's music tries to bring to life the playfulness of childhood in the film, Carter Burwell's score balances it out with the side that says, "You're not going to be a child forever." I greatly enjoyed this score, and will see the movie at least two more times.

Very intimate and moving score

I haven't seen the movie, but I love the music. It feels really warm and intimate and a little bit poignant... I'm guessing that it's pretty mature stuff for a kids' movie, and based on the score cues, it's probably a bit of a tearjerker. Wonderful work by Carter Burwell, and a very good introduction to Burwell's work as a composer if you're not familiar with the scores he's done in the past. Totally worth the full album download.


Born: November 18, 1955 in New York, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

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

Probably one of a very few soundtrack composers to idolize Iggy Pop, Carter Burwell is best known for his work with the Coen Brothers, having scored every one of their films through the year 2010. By turns haunting and dark or quirky and experimental, Burwell's eclectic music has graced films in a wide variety of genres, and he's used the occasional big-studio project to finance his work on a number of groundbreaking independent films. Born November 18, 1955 in New York, Burwell took piano lessons...
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Where the Wild Things Are (Motion Picture Score), Carter Burwell
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