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Mad Max: Fury Road - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

4.6 out of 5 stars 154 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 12, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: WaterTower Music
  • ASIN: B00UART6C6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,965 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) Store

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By JMM TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 12, 2015
Format: Audio CD
As a lover of film scores, I enjoy listening to scores on their own in the album format. But there is often a dichotomy in film scoring - the mandate for the composer is to create music that works for the film. So there's no requirement that the music sound good on its own; it just has to support the visuals on screen. When this is the case, it makes for a strange album experience - the soundtrack for "Mad Max: Fury Road" is one of those instances.

There's a reason why this soundtrack was one of my most anticipated of the year: Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL) has done a lot of quality work over the last few years, and I now eagerly await his projects. I became aware of him through his collaborations (and remixes) with Hans Zimmer on the Batman films and "Man of Steel". My favorite Junkie XL score is "Paranoia" (worth a listen if you're not familiar with it).

"Fury Road" is a symphony of electronics and percussion. In many ways, it's a representation of what film scoring has become in the new century. I have a great interest in modern-day film scoring and in particular the use of electronics, but I must admit at times I do miss the memorable classical themes and fanfares that seem to be increasingly scarce.

Take a listen to what Brian May composed for "The Road Warrior"; or sample Maurice Jarre's music for "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome". These are pretty great classical soundtracks. In my view, Holkenborg's "Fury Road" score is not quite as rich as those previous Mad Max scores... although the new score has several great moments (of course my favorite bits are the more classical ones); and so he deserves a lot of credit for that.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
While it doesn't hold a candle to the likes of John Williams on its own (obviously), Junkie XL's score for the epic Mad Max 4 is indeed a very serviceable one, and best listened to while driving down a freeway with little to no traffic. If you're a soundtrack enthusiast and enjoyed the scores to films such as Elysium, Edge of Tomorrow, or Ender's Game (to name a few), you'll enjoy Tom's action-heavy (and occasionally ambient) approach to the universe of Mad Max. A few more chorals throughout the soundtrack would have been nice, however. Also, it's vexing that yet again, purchasing the physical CD isn't sufficient to have all the released tracks - so I would highly recommend purchasing the deluxe MP3 edition, and simply burning 2 CD's (if you're a huge fan of CD's, like me). It's not as bad as how Tron: Legacy or The Dark Knight Rises were handled, but it's still bloody annoying.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The movie trailers for Mad Max: Fury Road were incredibly intense and it looks like the movie is promising action packed insanity throughout. A film like this will certainly need the octane boost of a powerful action score to keep it moving and Junkie XL is a great choice. I have been enjoying other scores by Tom Holkenborg (Junkie XL) such as "Divergent" and "300: Rise of an Empire" and it seems most fitting to have this composer move over the world of Mad Max.

While I agree that sometimes soundtrack music doesn't always have to sound good on it's own and that every film score isn't a John William's fanfare, I do think that successful soundtrack music can evoke emotions and paint a picture all on it's own. Believe me, there are some bad scores out there that absolutely go no where and are just noise and there are others that are so distracting that I can't even bare to watch the movie. I certainly don't listen to movie scores hoping to hear the next Mozart symphony. Give me some great music and I'll make my own movie while I daydream. So what does Junkie XL give us? An exciting score infused with action music that will set you onto an imaginary warpath into the apocalyptic future! Just as an action movie needs explosions and stunts this score is filled with everything you'd expect. Thumping drums, epic climatic music, orchestrated power ballads (so you can catch your breath), and futuristic electronic gizmo sounds to make it sound cool. I love those electronic explosion sounds that you hear scattered throughout some of the pieces!

The score opens with "Survive" and it's like a cover to a book. It let's you know what's coming.
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Format: Audio CD
At first listen I must admit to being mildly underwhelmed by the Fury Road score. There was no strong discernible theme and massive amounts of percussive repetition. These are of course not necessarily negatives but a good central theme can really lift a score and pin it to the source film. Upon a second more concentrated listen I enjoyed the work much and even felt as though it was telling a story, which is high prays for any score and there were in fact glimmers of something that could be called a theme. What really stood out more than anything however were the striking similarities to the work of Hans Zimmer, particularly his score for Man Of Steel. Its no secret that Holkenborg is somewhat of a Zimmer protege, the pair are infact tag teaming on the up coming Superman v Batman movie. There are moments where Mad Max could easily swap places with Superman in the Zimmer musical vocabulary. Thought it is very similar to Man Of Steel at least its similar in a good way, taking the tribal drums to literal new heights of bombastic excitement and ditching MOS's more melancholy cues for something alittle more graceful that, if you've seen the film, makes sense in regard to the female skew of the story. One last thing to note: I still love film scores on CD, however the itunes release of the Fury Road score adds a whopping 9 more tracks as well as extended cues on others. When you are weighing up purchases its hard to justify buying an 'incomplete' product.
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