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We Bought A Zoo (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Soundtrack

37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, December 13, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

The original motion picture soundtrack for We Bought A Zoo features music by Sigur Ros front man and leading light, Jon Thor Birgisson, aka Jonsi. Composed at the personal request of We Bought A Zoo director - and huge Sigur Ros aficionado - Cameron Crowe, the soundtrack includes original music composed by Jonsi which plays an integral part to the film's heartfelt emotional landscape.

Written and recorded in short order, over four months this summer/fall at the famous Village Studios in Los Angeles and at the singer's home studio in his native Iceland, the soundtrack to We Bought A Zoo comprises more than half-an-hour of brand new music from Jonsi, including two full songs and nine achingly beautiful themes, plus songs from Jonsi's acclaimed solo album, 'Go', as well as what might well be regarded as Sigur Ros' most memorable tune, in 'Hoppipolla'.

"[Jonsi] arrived from Iceland with a toy sampler keyboard and a headful of ideas," says Cameron. "Within a week, [he] had composed a series of themes that would reflect everything we'd hoped for. In his music were all the highs and lows and passionate in-betweens of the film itself. The instinct that made the movie come full circle."

"Early on it was obvious that [Sigur Ros'] music would have a profound effect on the making of We Bought A Zoo," says Cameron. "In preparation for making the movie, we gave all the actors and crew members a copy of Sigur Ros' transcendent documentary, 'Heima'."

Even ahead of getting Jonsi on board as composer, We Bought A Zoo was broadly 'temped' with Jonsi' solo material. It's an open secret that Cameron would encourage Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and the other actors on the movie to listen to specific songs by the band to create the right energy for a scene.

"The actors listened to the music during their takes; it quickly became part of the film's DNA," says the director.

Perhaps even more potent is the fact that the closing scene of We Bought A Zoo is a cinematic homage to a specific moment in 'Heima' when gleeful crowds stream in a Sigur Ros show in the far North of Iceland or, in this case, the newly opened zoo.

Among the original score and new songs is \'Gathering Stories', a song co-written by Jonsi and Cameron, in something of a collaborative first for the notoriously private Icelander. Orchestral arrangements on the score have been handled by previous Jonsi working partner, and 'Reader' soundtrack composer, Nico Muhly, who brings his quixotic genius to the string and brass sections.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 13, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Columbia
  • ASIN: B0061TQDXM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,985 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Storylover TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The feelings that wash over me when I hear Sigur Ros play, when I hear Jonsi's voice, are almost indescribable. Their music, this music, taps into a deep core that passes through intellect directly into my heart. I listen to this soundtrack several times a day recently. It passes me off to dreamland, it fills my mornings with pleasure. It is worthy of full attention, but is also happy to provide your background. This soundtrack is so sublimely beautiful, of course, but the feelings of hope, of joy, of sorrow, of regret, and of hope once more that are evoked by the melodies are simply overwhelming. All the things that you would hope for from a Sigur Ros release are here--surging strings, beautiful and otherworldly vocals, and that magic that seems to make each of their records a special event. I cannot say how much I have enjoyed and loved this wonderful album but to say this: Gently, gently, this music inhabits your soul.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tom S on December 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I just returned from a screening of "We Bought a Zoo" and immediately was lifted to a higher place through the emotionally empowering score of this brilliantly beautiful film. As tears rolled down my face repeatedly throughout the film I listened to the music and thought--please let this be a soundtrack! Every scene fluidly scored lifted my heart higher and higher and truly touched my soul. I've never felt like this from a movie soundtrack or movie. Reading the notes on the score here on Amazon: "achingly beautiful themes...a series of themes that would reflect everything we'd hoped for." The now discovered fact that Cameron encouraged the actors to listen to the music before a scene explains why their emotions are so beautifully expressed on screen. This music is a part of the films DNA ingrained in my memory, my heart and spirit. The music captures the light and the film shines like a joyous bright star discovered for the very first time. I not only downloaded this soundtrack immediately after seeing the film (I've only done this one other time) but I also ordered the c.d. as a reminder of the day I discovered Jonsi. And thank you Cameron Crowe for your vision in requesting the musical paint that covers the heartfelt canvas of "We Bought a Zoo." Tom Sullivan
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By FrenchMachine on January 13, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Jonsi went and did it again. I don't know how he does it but he does it. I would love to know what goes on inside this man's mind.

To anyone who likes this album make sure you check out the album "Riceboy Sleeps" by Jonsi & Alex, if you haven't already.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rushmore VINE VOICE on December 20, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I was beyond thrilled to discover this soundtrack, so soon after the release of Sigur Ros's double CD/DVD Inni. Jonsi's solo album from last year was such a delight. Sigur Ros can occasionally be a bit ponderous (though still awesome), but Jonsi's solo work consistently soars. It practically floats above the atmosphere. It makes me smile out of pure delight. It is just fabulous to inhabit the same space as this music. OK, I am too much of a fan to be objective.

I am not at all sure I would have been interested in seeing this movie with a different soundtrack. Now it is a must-see for me. The music is twinkly and happy and really pretty melodic for Sigur Ros. Jonsi's song Go Do was in a car commercial in the past few months, and that made me glad that more people would get exposed to this music. Now there is a whole movie. Fantastic. Just listen. It might make your day a whole lot better.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JC Vogt on December 31, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I went to see "We Bought A Zoo", and the whole time, I was marveling at the music. I found the soundtrack, and noticed a new name; Jonsi. I liked his music so much that I bought the CD. Great buy; strongly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chuck in Los Angeles on December 18, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is emotionally powerful, superbly recorded, sure to be Grammy nominated for the 2012 season. If you're not already fan of Jonsi's band Sigur Ros or his work with Alex Somers, you will appreciate the expansive, imaginative and visual sounds and singing on this recording. Alex Somers and Nico Muhly also bring their talents... This is what music is all about, bringing another dimension, refreshing the soul. It is simply amazing that this is Jonsi's first score for film. Thanks, Jonsi and Cameron.
(PS: There are a couple of pieces from previous releases on the soundtrack)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By bennash on May 22, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Magical. Splendid. Surreal. Dreamy. Adds SO much to the movie!

Probably one of the best soundtracks I've listened to. Beautiful music! :)

Let your ears listen.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tom S on December 13, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
I just returned from a screening of "We Bought a Zoo" and immediately was lifted to a higher place through the emotionally empowering score of this brilliantly beautiful film. As tears rolled down my face repeatedly throughout the film I listened to the music and thought--please let this be a soundtrack! Every scene fluidly scored lifted my heart higher and higher and truly touched my soul. I've never felt like this from a movie soundtrack or movie. Reading editorial notes on the score: "achingly beautiful themes...a series of themes that would reflect everything we'd hoped for." The now discovered fact that Cameron encouraged the actors to listen to the music before a scene explains why their emotions are so beautifully expressed on screen. This music is a part of the films DNA ingrained in my memory, my heart and spirit. The music captures the light and the film shines like a joyous bright star discovered for the very first time. I not only downloaded this soundtrack immediately after seeing the film (I've only done this one other time) but I also ordered the c.d. as a reminder of the day I discovered Jonsi. And thank you Cameron Crowe for your vision in requesting the musical paint that covers the heartfelt canvas of "We Bought a Zoo." Tom Sullivan
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We Bought A Zoo (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
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