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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Newman, Thomas Newman
Coming in to write the music for your first James Bond movie must be a massively daunting task. In composing the score for Skyfall, Thomas Newman - the multi-Oscar nominated composer of such seminal scores as American Beauty and The Shawshank Redemption - not only had to cope with 50 years of cinematic history after Ursula Andress first slinked out of the Caribbean sea in...
Published on November 20, 2012 by Jon Broxton

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112 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The theme song should be included
I really enjoyed the music in Skyfall, and was going to buy the soundtrack until I discovered that the theme song was not included. The theme song is part of the movie's soundtrack, and leaving it off the soundtrack CD is simply a ripoff. It's a great song, and I'll skip the soundtrack CD since it is not included.
Published on November 16, 2012 by Rob


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112 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The theme song should be included, November 16, 2012
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This review is from: Skyfall (Audio CD)
I really enjoyed the music in Skyfall, and was going to buy the soundtrack until I discovered that the theme song was not included. The theme song is part of the movie's soundtrack, and leaving it off the soundtrack CD is simply a ripoff. It's a great song, and I'll skip the soundtrack CD since it is not included.
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars James Bond Will Return - Hopefully with a better score, November 13, 2012
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This review is from: Skyfall (Audio CD)
When Adele's title track was released for Skyfall, I loved it. I think it's the best title track in years. I had high hopes that the score would follow suit, and I was very curious to see what Thomas Newman would bring to the table for his first outing as a Bond soundtrack composer.

I can only say that the soundtrack in whole is good, but it is not excellent and not quite what I hoped for. I am very much a John Barry fan. Even though Barry could get repetitive in the use of the title track themes woven into his scores, it was just right and added the right poke of excitement to the movie. You knew that Bond was about to fight some bad guys when that theme cue came up. When David Arnold came aboard starting with Tomorrow Never Dies, he really hit the score out of the park. But subsequent Arnold scores seemed less and less appealing and I grew tired of the way that electronic percussion was used. Even though Barry experimented with it (especially in The Living Daylights), something was better about it then; maybe just because it was new and more of a novelty.

I measure soundtracks largely on the basis of my likelihood to repeatedly want to listen to them well after purchase. Such classics as The Living Daylights, A View to a Kill, and Tomorrow Never Dies all fall in this category. The last handful of David Arnold soundtracks, not so much, and I suspect Skyfall will also end up collecting dust.

This soundtrack continues the trend of heavy use of electronic percussion and drum loops. Sadly, the Skyfall theme is almost nowhere to be found. And there's just not enough of Monty Norman's classic Bond cues for my taste. It is too much of a generic action score and not enough of a Bond score.

The best tracks of the lot, in my opinion are:

1. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul - Although they've done away (yet again) with the opening Bond gun barrel sequence, this track opens the movie and at least it does so with a couple notes from the Bond theme (da-daaa) to let you know this is a BOND movie, and it works for me. The rest is a good action piece with some heroic Bond theme baked in. It's satisfying but not overly so.

7. Jellyfish - I like suspenseful pieces and this is a great example. Let's just say that driving in traffic while listening to something like this won't be the same. You'll be ready to handle anything.

10. Day Wasted - A somber piece ending in an optimistic glimmer of the Bond theme.

11. Quartermaster - Suspense and intrigue.

18. Health & Safety - I believe this is referring to the subway sequence where Bond chases after Silva. More great tension and suspense.

20. Tennyson - Possibly my favorite. Nice rhythm with violins over top, building up at the end with horns & drums.

22. Breadcrumbs - Thank goodness, Monty Norman's classic presentation is revealed and nicely done. But, just as your appetite whets in anticipation as it builds up, it peters out just as quickly and leaves you disappointed.

My other pet peeve is that, in the apparent new pattern of Bond soundtrack releases, the title track by Adele is missing. This has become a minor quibble only because it is very easy to buy the single as an MP3, but it is still frustrating. I don't consider the soundtrack complete without the flagship title song.

In conclusion, if you collect Bond soundtracks it's a given that you'll add this to your collection. But for casual listeners who want a lot of Bond theme action or expect to hear the Skyfall theme poignantly woven into the score, you may be disappointed. It is just too generic to be a true Bond score. Since James Bond Will Return, maybe next time.
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53 of 61 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Theme Song by Adele, November 13, 2012
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This review is from: Skyfall (Audio CD)
I like the music even though while driving to work it is somewhat anxiety producing. I was VERY disappointed that the soundtrack would not include the theme song. I should have read about this CD more carefully before purchasing.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: Do not buy this if you want Adele's performance of the movie theme song, February 3, 2013
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This review is from: Skyfall (Audio CD)
This CD DOES NOT INCLUDE the theme song which is performed by Adele. I have to agree with several other posters about this being a huge letdown. How absurd is it to release a soundtrack and not include the song with which the film is identified ?
Marketing gimmick and a rip-off. I had read the names of the tracks on this CD, and saw that one of the tracks is titled Skyfall and mistakenly assumed that this was Adele's performance. Don't make the same mistake I did. Will be returning this.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bond...Wheres Bond!!??, November 16, 2012
This review is from: Skyfall (Audio CD)
Newman missed it and the producers must have been sleeping. The film begged for music that would take the audience away and cast them into the world of James Bond. Apparently begging doesn't get it anymore. When I see a new Bond, I literally cross my fingers and hope to hear substantial and well placed variations of Monte Norman. But it rarely happens. The last great score was Arnolds "Tomorrow Never Dies", and in fact was included as an isolated soundtrack on the DVD. George Martin's "Live and Let Die" was another spine tickler for Bond variations, not including his protégé Paul McCartney's title nausea, (although chic at the time, Martin could have also toned back some of that silly slap bass). But Skyfall fell flat for the Bond genre. And incidentally, in the Fleming Novels there was never a home Bond resided at called Skyfall. Further, after the death of his parents, he went to live with an aunt, not an uncle. Regardless, developing the feel for 007, the music is the most important part. Without it, the Bond films would just be routine action movies. With that said, why don't these composers realize this?

There are three points to the Bond musical mystique. The simple melody, the eternal four note Bond signature progression and of course, the Norman crescendo. Without these, there is no Bond. More and more, I find the Bond movies are showcasing them less and less. In fact, Newman NEVER ONCE included the crescendo in any part of Skyfall. In Breadcrumbs, it was omitted (seriously, how could it be omitted while playing the Aston Martin sequence which is the banner for the Bond crown jewel, Goldfinger?) and in the closing credits the JB theme didn't introduce it in the gun barrel logo and then fell just short of where it would normally occur during the theme. Times, they are a-changing. I remember when the gun barrel logo opened the film as the 007 trademark...now it closes it. What a waste. Its like the powers to be are doing all this just to annoy their long time fans. That logo is as important to the series as the hammer and stamp was in Dragnet. Without it, there isn't! And that's a shame,because after waiting two years one wonders why wait two more?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Newman, Thomas Newman, November 20, 2012
By 
Jon Broxton (Thousand Oaks, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Skyfall (Audio CD)
Coming in to write the music for your first James Bond movie must be a massively daunting task. In composing the score for Skyfall, Thomas Newman - the multi-Oscar nominated composer of such seminal scores as American Beauty and The Shawshank Redemption - not only had to cope with 50 years of cinematic history after Ursula Andress first slinked out of the Caribbean sea in Dr. No in 1962, but legions of fans who treat the movie franchise as sacred property, and the legacy of the legendary music of John Barry and his heir-apparent, David Arnold. The `James Bond sound' is so iconic and so well-established that it presents a composer as unique as Newman with a dilemma: does he abandon his own sound in an attempt to fit in with the overall sound of the series, risking giving up the very thing that makes him him, or does he compose music in his own inimitable way, establishment be damned, risking the wrath of those who would then surely accuse him of not being `Bond' enough? It's a challenging tightrope, and one which Newman had to skillfully navigate.

Skyfall is the 23rd film based on Ian Fleming's legendary character James Bond, and the third starring Daniel Craig in the iconic title role, after Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. The film is directed by Sam Mendes - who worked with Newman previously on the films American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Jarhead and Revolutionary Road - and sees Bond trotting across the globe from Britain to Turkey, Shanghai, Macau, and back again, on the trail of the megalomaniacal Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), a brilliant cyber-terrorist who has a personal vendetta against "M" (Judi Dench), the head of Britain's elite secret spy agency, MI6. It's an exciting film, with some superb visual touches courtesy of the brilliant director of photography Roger Deakins, and a terrific supporting performance from Bardem, who makes his character the most flamboyant and archetypal `Bond villain' in quite some time. However, the film is hampered somewhat by a series of glaring logical lapses in its second half, and a disappointing over-reliance on convenient contrivances to drive the plot along. This does not seem to have affected box office takings for the film, though; at the time of writing the film has grossed $161 million in the United States, and almost $700 million world-wide.

Thomas Newman has never written an all-out action score before. Scores such as The Adjustment Bureau and, to a lesser extent, Angels in America, The Debt, and Cinderella Man, had action elements, but this is the first time that the primary thrust of a Newman score has been action - and, it must be said, he's pretty good at it. The action cues, of which there are a great number, are a more conventionally orchestral extension of the contemporary action sound composers like John Powell and James Newton Howard created for films such as The Bourne Identity, although Newman's music has a much richer orchestral and instrumental palette than Powell's, and relies less on synthesized and electronic enhancements.

Cues such as the opening "Grand Bazaar Istanbul", "Jellyfish", "The Bloody Shot", "Enquiry", "She's Mine" and "Deep Water" are tremendously exciting, often incorporating syncopated percussion rhythms, electric guitar chords, flashing string writing and thrilling trumpet blasts within a large and powerful orchestra. Unlike his brother David, who often excels in this arena, Thomas Newman had never shown any evidence that his action music could be this good, but his aptitude in creating a series of thrilling, musically interesting action set-pieces is encouraging, albeit tinged with a certain sense of relief that he could actually pull it off.

Occasionally, the precision of the orchestrations in these cues reminds me of the music Alexandre Desplat wrote for his action scores, such as Firewall and Hostage, and Newman isn't afraid to play around with unusual instrumentation to carry the thrust of the cue: the bass flute sections of "Enquiry" are excellent, as is the vaguely Indian-inflected string writing in the conclusive "Adrenaline".

There are few overt statements of John Barry's legendary James Bond theme; it usually appears subtly, either deconstructed as part of a string ostinato or a countermelody to the main action, or in short, but recognizable bursts whenever Bond does something especially cool. Notable moments include the opening two-note salvo at the beginning of "Grand Bazaar Istanbul", the almost subliminal performance deep down in the mix of "Someone Usually Dies", the fanfare-like abridged versions in "The Bloody Shot" and "Enquiry", the heraldic deconstructed performance in "The Chimera", and the last few moments of "Granborough Road" before it eventually bursts out during the old-school and defiantly nostalgic "Breadcrumbs".

In the finale, especially in the aforementioned action set-pieces "She's Mine" and "Deep Water", the chord structures and instrumental flavors of the Bond theme are everywhere, although Newman still refuses to outwardly play the theme in full, even during these pivotal moments. You get four notes here, a little allusion there, a hint of the countermelody there. It's clear what Newman is doing - bringing the flavor of Bond to his own sound - but it's still a frustrating experience when you hear all these hints and echoes, and are waiting for a full-on statement of a theme which never comes.

Even more elusive is the melody from the main song, "Skyfall", which was written by Adele and Paul Epworth, and is performed over the opening credits by Adele, but does not appear on the soundtrack CD. A big, ballsy ballad in the classic Shirley Bassey tradition, the only appearance of its theme in the score itself is during the lovely "Komodo Dragon" cue, an establishing scene of Bond's moonlit arrival at a Macanese casino via a pontoon surrounded by candles and floating lotus flowers.

The rest of the score is a little less interesting, but at least manages to maintain a sense of itself throughout its running time, keeping much to the same palette of instruments, and driving the film forward adequately. It is in these moments that the more familiar Thomas Newman comes to the fore; the tapped percussion, intertwining rhythmic ideas, and unusual instrumental colors that have defined a great deal of his career, and the way he applies them to this setting is at times quite fascinating. There are echoes of scores as wide and varied as Wall-E (listen to "Health & Safety"), The Debt, and even Lemony Snicket, leaving you in no doubt that this is definitely a Thomas Newman score to its bones.

However, having said all that, the one thing missing from Skyfall is a distinct identity of its own. With just one single performance of Adele's new song melody, and only subtle allusions to John Barry's famous theme, you can only rely on interesting orchestrations and action set-pieces for so long before it starts to get a little samey, with little to distinguish it from other action scores of its ilk. There's no great romantic theme for a Bond girl, no recognizable central point that you can look at and identify as being distinctly Skyfall. Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and all the other classic Bond scores have an identifiable element to them that instantly introduce themselves as being both unique scores in the own right while clearly maintaining their place in a bigger musical scheme of things. Skyfall doesn't have that; it's well composed, interesting, exciting, and true to both Thomas Newman's own sound and that of the Bond series, but it's frustratingly anonymous.

I wouldn't exactly say that Newman has played it safe, but Skyfall seems to inhabit a world between worlds that's trying to satisfy everyone at once: it's like John Barry, but not quite like John Barry; it's like David Arnold, but not quite like David Arnold; and it's like Thomas Newman, but not quite in a way that we've ever heard before. I liked a lot of it a great deal, and found the depth of the actual musical construction fascinating. Similarly, the action sequences are where it excels the most, and Newman completely dispels the myth that he wouldn't be capable of handling the propulsive music requires for them. However, it's unfortunate lack of a truly distinct identity is likely to hold it back from being a truly beloved entry into the series, and will likely alienate the vast majority of casual mainstream listeners who don't listen to the score as deeply and intently as I did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Adele, March 21, 2013
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This review is from: Skyfall (Audio CD)
The sound tracks were really good quality.Disapointed that Adele was not on album singing the title song Skyfall.This was disapointing and the reason I gave it three stars.I would imagine other people complained about this also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Soundtrack Without The Theme Tune?, January 21, 2014
This review is from: Skyfall (Audio CD)
Not a great Bond soundtrack anyway... but most mystifying - an album named Skyfall, for a movie named Skyfall, and a track on it named Skyfall - and yet, the Adele song "Skyfall" - the movie theme song - is not on the movie soundtrack. Ripoff and waste of money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bond Gets Ripped Off!, December 2, 2013
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This review is from: Skyfall (Audio CD)
Actually not, simply because the title song (unlike every other bond soundtrack) didn't have the theme song. Not having the song takes away from the soundtrack. Further I had to order the adelle one (that I was debating between the 2 when I first ordered and couldn't see the difference as I thought both had the theme song) and that is one song. What kind of garbage is that paying 12 dollars or so for one song.

I noticed the adele song at one polnt in the song has added a little more than the one in the movie version. It is either to make more money or perhpas a conflict with Adelle. I don't know how those things work. I wish I knew who to contact on these things, as I think my complaint would get lost in the mill of things and nothing would change anyway. But perhaps I would know why the song wasn't on the original soundtrack. One other complaint I also see in small print on the back of the cd case that it says it doesn't have the song. One I ordered on line and even if I had the actual ced I may not have seen it.

I don't mind paying for a cd I just like my money worth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No 007 Theme (NOT the Adele title theme), November 16, 2012
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This review is from: Skyfall (MP3 Music)
I think this score is fantastic, it fits the tone of the film very well, gets my heart racing and tugs on my emotions when I expect it to; However, it should be noted that the traditional 007 theme is not included as its own track the way it is on the Casino Royale score ("The Name's Bond...James Bond"). Newman does an excellent job of weaving that theme into many of the other tracks for this film - most notably on "Breadcrumbs" - but it is David Arnold's "The Name's Bond...James Bond" that plays at the end of the film in theatres and as such it is not included on the Skyfall score. Just FYI so you're not disappointed if that theme is something you are particularly looking forward to on this OST.
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Skyfall
Skyfall by Thomas Newman (Audio CD - 2012)
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