127 of 135 people found the following review helpful
The MAIN reason it's only 4.5 stars is that the music doesn't stand as well on its own as it did alongside the movie. I only buy soundtrack albums that stand on their own, and that's what I thought this would be. I was struck by several moments in the film where the music really stood out and struck me as beautiful. When I buy a soundtrack, I always think it's odd to have the score separated into tracks because a real score should flow as one continuous piece of music that changes, almost like a symphony. But with the Narnia music, I find for the first time that the track separations are appropriate. This music simply doesn't flow perfectly together as one unit, and listening to the CD without the movie playing along makes that very clear.
The best tracks are the parts of the score that caught my attention in the first place: "Evacuating London" (No. 2) features Lisbeth Scott with a beautiful vocal arrangement that played as the children took the train into the countryside, and soars directly into the brightest corners of the imagination, promising adventure and magic; "Lucy Meets Mr. Tumnus" (No. 4) has a plaintive melancholy about it that pierces the heart; "A Narnia Lullaby" (No. 5) is as foreboding and haunting on its own as it was in the film when it played over hypnotic dancing fire-creatures; and "From Western Woods To Beaversdam" (No. 7) combines more vocals and stirring percussion which gererate in the listener the same heady wonder and anticipation we saw in the children as they first embarked upon their great adventures in Narnia. "Only The Beginning of the Adventure" (No. 13) is a great wrap-up to the score portion of this CD -- although it takes a few minutes to really effect you, it lives up to its title and leaves you wanting more.
The other tracks are by no means BAD -- they simply don't hold up as well on their own as the aforementioned pieces do, which is why they don't fit in so perfectly. I can't look up in the middle of listening to one of the other tracks and go, "Oh I remember that part of the movie." In other words, they're nice -- but they're fairly generic.
There are also four songs included at the end of the score (which is remarkably short considering the length of the film). Four seems an odd number; most soundtracks are either a score and ONE main titles song for the Oscar people, or a bunch of songs. However, odd though their inclusion may be, three of these four songs are so exceptional that having them makes the CD well worth purchase price.
"Can't Take It In" by Imogen Heap (No. 14) is on par with "Let Go" (A song she created as part of the duo Frou Frou that was included in the movie "Garden State".) as one of the most beautiful songs in any motion-picture soundtrack. It doesn't appear IN the film, only over the credits (The same is true for all of the songs actually.) but it still made me leave the theater feeling excited and eager and joyous. This is the song that made me run to Borders after the movie to get the album, only to be told that the album didn't come out until the Tuesday after the movie was released!! That was poor planning on the part of the studio, and it's a small part of the reason I've only given the CD 4.5 stars. But this song is the main reason I went right back to the same store on Tuesday to get the CD. I am thrilled to have it.
Two other great songs created especially for this film are "Wunderkind" by Alanis Morissette (No. 15) and "Where" (performed) by Lisbeth Scott (No. 17). Both are fantastic songs that go along with the heart and soul of this movie, just as "Can't Take It In" does. The fourth song, "Winter Light" by Tim Finn, is left as odd man out. It doesn't really fit in with the movie or with any of the other songs and the song itself is fairly mediocre. Another small reason why I took off half a star, but overall it's not bad enough to take away from the really wonderful things this CD has to offer.
Overall, I rounded up because the good things here are very VERY good and they succeed in bringing home the emotions I felt watching this movie -- and in the end, I believe that's the most important thing a movie soundtrack ought to do.
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
I loved the movie, and this soundtrack is the next best thing to owning the DVD -- a stirring, beautiful and really unique soundtrack that will bring back its best moments to the listener.
My favorite thing about the soundtrack is the way Gregson-Williams balances a sweet, delicate musicality of the children's wonder at this new world with the deeper, darker, themes conjured up by the White Witch and her dark army. The score is haunting, and there's a lot of beautiful stuff going on underneath the surface, with percussive bell-like instruments which bring to mind both wind chimes (wonder and childhood) and the tinkle of crumbling ice (the forbidding winter world of the White Witch). (This kind of attention to detail also makes the score an especial delight on earphones, where you can really catch the subtlety and uniqueness of his instrumentation choices.) He also uses an electric violin throughout, as well as, hauntingly, a duduk for Mr. Tumnus's eerie pipe lullaby, and the sweet, pure vocals of Lisbeth Scott throughout (especially notable on the lovely track, "Evacuating London" -- managing to evoke a yearning for a new world along with an apprehension for what lies ahead). My favorite tracks also included, "The Wardrobe," "The Battle," "From Western Woods to Beaversdam," "Narnian Lullaby," and especially "Only the Beginning of the Adventure," which wraps up all the themes in a triumphant and uplifting close.
The entire score is really beautiful, and worth a listen. As others have noted, the songs at the end are absolutely wonderful and actually have something to say about the film -- "I Can't Take it In" is a pulse-pounding, stirring anthem to imagination, Alanis's "Wunderkind" is one of her strongest, with superb lyrics that bring to mind Lucy's first steps into Narnia. Lisbeth Scott's "Where" is haunting, and really, these three songs are worth the purchase price, even above the excellent score. (Tim Finn's song Winter Light isn't bad, but unfortunately, just doesn't fit tonally with the others, and really feels awkwardly placed.)
This is a really beautiful soundtrack that will take you back to Narnia, and a must for any who enjoy film music.
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2005
I loved The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe for a lot of reasons! There were so many aspects that made it enjoyable and inspiring. One of the things I noticed the very first time I watched it though, was the stunning musical score! I was blown away by its unique approach and its undeniable contribution to the entire feel of the film.
I was, therefore, not surprised at all at how much I enjoyed the soundtrack by itself!
Here is a breakdown of the tracks included:
(spoiler note: I like to clarifying which parts of the movie were covered in the soundtrack so if you read the track summaries and haven't seen the movie you may have things spoiled for you)
1 - The Blitz, 1940 : A perfect beginning to the soundtrack and (rightly enough) the very first sounds you hear when the movie begins. This track covers the entire beginning with the bombers and the Pevensie family's run to the shelter. It is driving, pounding and reminds you instantly of the scene. There is a humming in the background that may well be airplane sound effects, but these do not distract from the music in the least; instead they add a lot to the tension.
2 - Evacuating London : This is (by far) one of my favorite pieces on the soundtrack. It begins with the soft piano theme as Mrs. Pevensie says good-bye to her children and through the entire platform scene where the children board the train and wave good-bye. It's almost mysteriou change to the train song (voiced by Lisbeth Scott) gets you into the mood for a fantasy adventure immediately. This was one of the pieces of music that stood out to me the most when I first saw the film, and I was pleased that they included the entire thing ending with the deep final note as the children stand alone on the platform waiting to be picked up.
3 - The Wardrobe : This piece picks up with the resonating tone where Lucy first sees the wardrobe. It plays through the entire scene of her approaching it, opening it, walking through it, and reaching Narnia. With barely a pause it turns to the lovely choral piece which plays as she walks through the snow. This is a beautiful addition to the soundtrack and will instantly bring to mind Lucy's wondering face as she walks through the new world. At about two and a half minutes in, you hear the mysterious strains that play while she looks at the lamppost. Right after this, the ominous music of Tumnus arriving plays ending off the track suddenly where the two of them screaming would have belonged.
4 - Lucy Meets Mr. Tumnus : This is such a sweet and innocent theme and certainly makes me think of the two of them! This track covers the entire scene of Tumnus and Lucy's meeting, later playing the tantalizing melody while they walk through the snow to his house this rises to a crescendo when she finally sees his home and ends as they walk inside.
5 - A Narnian Lullaby : This piece is definitely one of the Soundtrack's high points! A beautifully bewitching theme, it catches you by surprise with how mesmerizing it is. This is the entire flute theme Tumnus plays to lull Lucy to sleep and it does an impressive job of delivering its magic. The track ends with the thundering crescendo where (in the film) Aslan appears in the flames.
6 - The White Witch : This track in and of itself is difficult to place because it is basically the White Witch's themes. These appear many times during the film, though this particular cutting seems to cover the scene where Edmund enters her castle and looks at the statues she has displayed there and goes onto to their meeting in her home. The themes are both menacing and startling and in this track they also cover the seemingly pleasant strains when she pretends to be Edmund's friend.
7 - From Western Woods to Beaversdam : Truly one of my very favorite tracks! This track begins with the lavish theme of Lucy returning to the wardrobe to see if the world inside still exists. It begins where you see the candle flickering in her room and plays all the way through her entering and Edmund following. About halfway through the track, it changes to the fresh piping theme of the children following Mr. Beaver to his home. This track is thoroughly enjoyable and includes some of the best themes in the film.
8 - Father Christmas : This track begins with the children following Mr. Beaver up onto the bank to meet Father Christmas. The choral theme here is excellent and is in fact rather reminiscent of some of the themes from Peter Pan (2003). This track plays through the entire gift-giving scene hitting the crescendo as Father Christmas drives away and then drifting off to silence as Peter remembers that they won't be able to cross the ice.
9 - To Aslan's Camp : This track starts off with an exhilarating first introduction to the epic theme! In reference to the movie it is the scene where the children resurface from the water on the ice berg and float down the river. This softens as the children get out of the water and becomes unsettled as they realize Lucy is gone. It builds on this emotion and then breaks as she reappears, neatly changing tone to set the rest of the track, which is the very warm strings theme that plays as the children come into Aslan's camp. The choir returns as the children walk through the camp and arrive at Aslan's tent. At this point the epic theme returns in a powerful string variation, I am not quite sure where this theme falls but it is a fantastic end to this track.
10 - Knighting Peter : This track begins with the soft strings where Peter is relieved to see his sisters safe and then builds steadily from this as he is knighted. A very fresh and powerful score plays through this scene before it becomes menacing as we return to the Witch's camp. Parts of the Witch's themes return as it plays through Edmund's rescue from the camp and the Witch's discovering that he has disappeared. The theme then becomes soft and warm again as the Pevensies are reunited. This acts as a very sweet and calming conclusion to the track.
11 - The Stone Table : This represents the longest track on the album, due in great part to the number of scenes included. It begins with the mournful vocal theme as Lucy and Susan waking and following Aslan into the woods. After this, we hear the first strains of danger and then it turns quite suddenly evil. The vocals here do a lot of good for this theme, the vibrating male vocals in the beginning and later the softened female ones add a lot to this pounding rythm. At about three minutes in, it almost completely stops and then begins the rhythmic beat which plays through the death scene. At about five and half minutes there are four cruel string beats which signify the death scene and from there the theme is quiet and forlorn almost as though it is rolling off the menace of the previous theme. It then plays through the scene of Lucy and Susan climbing up onto the stone table and crying. At about seven minutes the theme changes again to the more reassuring pounding theme as the trees deliver the girls message to the boys.
12 - The Battle : This track begins with Peter and Edmund's discussion about the battle turning over at about only about a half a minute in. Here the inspiring battle score begins in earnest. This theme is one of the best epic themes ever invented, the soaring score and driving vocals cause you to practically rise out of your seat. The theme plays through the assembling of the Narnian army and then at about one and half minutes changes to the equally driving villain theme. This theme is an excellent counterpoint to the Narnian epic theme and almost seems like a battle between the two melodies. The styles are similar but the tones are very different, causing them to meld and clash at the same time. The throbbing slows at about two and half minutes to allow the last conversations before the charge. The theme of the birds flying over head is excellent and this dissolves into the charge and the battle itself. Since they do not include the pauses between scenes they are melded together and a little harder to follow. At about five minutes it becomes the driving theme playing while Peter and the Witch duel, this music is some of the most powerful on the soundtrack and builds to a fabulous crescendo at about five and half minutes where Aslan and the others arrive. It then breaks into the fast paced strings where the Witch and Peter continue to duel ending in the Witch's near victory being overturned by Aslan. The theme then becomes tranquil as the victors move past Peter in a blur and the girls arrive. This track ends with the soft ominous string tones as Susan asks about Edmund.
13 - Only The Beginning of the Adventure : This is a lovely track and the final score track on the album. It begins with a soft flute theme as Edmund wakes and he and his siblings hug each other in relief. This theme slows down as Aslan comes up and then changes to a fast past strings solo as Lucy goes to give her cordial to other wounded. This theme builds to an emotional variation on the battle theme with a sprinkling of chimes in the background. At about one and half minutes this theme turns to the slow strings of the Coronation Scene. A lot of the different themes play during this sequence and all of them have taken on an epic or triumphal tone as the children are given their crowns. At about three minutes the epic theme returns in a royal and fully fleshed-out variation and plays until the end of the Coronation scene. The tone then slows and changes to Lucy and Tumnus watching Aslan go, almost slowing to a stop as Lucy looks out at the sun. It fades back into the royal/epic theme once more as the children (older now) ride through the woods. This score slows to a halt before they see the lamppost.
14 - Can't Take It In (Imogen Heep) : This song will forever remind me of the end of this movie. A tantalizing melody, Imogen's soft voice is a beautiful addition to the tone of the film. The lyrics don't always make complete sense, but it is one of those songs where few of the lyrics are really caught when you first hear it and its overall quality really makes up for this.
15 - Wunderkind (Alanis Morissette) : I will admit this song (in its way) is rather strange, but it is very likely that if you don't like it at first, it just may grow on you. The tone of the song actually fits the feel of the movie rather well and it helps that it is actually the second song to play during the credits, but her voice can occasionally throw you off, however the more I heard it the more it seemed to fit. Again, the lyrics could have made a little more sense, but much of this is due to some clever poetic license.
16 - Winter Light (Tim Finn) : This is not my favorite song in the least and its somber feel is not quite right for the movie. Still, it is the third song during the credits so it isn't as bad as it could have been. Part of the trouble is due to Finn's voice which sometimes sounded like he was moping. The lyrics are a fine fit for the film, but it could have stood to be more soft and gentle as the preceding songs.
17 - Where (Lisbeth Scott) : This is a track which appears nowhere in the film. However, seeing as it is Lisbeth Scott and features some of the score in the middle, it is very possible it was from a cut scene or something. The song itself is truly beautiful and the music lush and emotional. The one complaint I have is that it ends rather suddenly, though this also may indicate its original presence somewhere in the film.
Harry Gregson-Williams : The man is truly talented! Both in writing themes that inspire you and using a lot of different instruments and techniques to build his emotion. It is true that this soundtrack is a companion to the film, but as far as soundtracks go it stands alone remarkably well, and can easily be a companion to working, writing or reading as well. Gregson-Williams also proves an ability to begin with understated themes and slowly turn them into powerful epic themes later; they seem to grow along with the children and when the children triumph the score reflects that beautifully. This steady change keeps everything sounding fresh and inspiring.
Notable Absences : It might be helpful to know some notable pieces of music missing from this soundtrack so that you are not disappointed to find they are not present. Here are the ones I have noticed:
Oh Johnny - This was the oldies song that played during the children's hide and seek game.
Journey to the Professor's - The music that plays when they come to the Professor's house is also absent from the soundtrack.
The Train Song Reprise - This plays as all four of the children journey to Mr. Tumnus' and admire the lamppost.
The Narnian Lullaby Reprise - This, in my opinion, was the only really sad loss on the soundtrack. It is a brief reprise of the flute music which plays when Lucy and Susan find Tumnus turned to stone in the Witch's castle. It was a very mournful remix of the theme and it was too bad it was missing from the soundtrack, still it wasn't a huge loss in the end.
Altogether : This soundtrack is absolutely incredible! It is uses such a unique variety of sounds and the entire score makes you feel as though you have truly entered another world and this is their music.
The Chronicles of Narnia : The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe : Soundtrack Rates 5 stars out of 5.
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Score = 5 stars
Bonus Songs = 0 stars
DVD content = 1 star (for the interview with composer Harry Gregson-Williams)
Packaging = 0 stars
This is a very poor package, something knocked off at the last moment in Disney's marketing department and unworthy of such a wonderful score.
There is precedent for creating special edition releases of soundtracks to major films that are truly special. The soundtrack to the most recent Star Wars film, "Revenge of the Sith," included a DVD with one hour of original content made specifically for the soundtrack release, an audio and video montage of Williams' work from all six films with introductions by one of the film's main actors. The first of the most recent Star Wars films, The Phantom Menace, also saw a special release that featured the entirety of the film's score on a two-cd set.
This special edition of the Narnia soundtrack features only 50 minutes of the original score, about half of what was composed (according to information from an interview contained in this set's DVD). Four "bonus songs" are appended featuring insipid performances by vocalists ill-suited for creating music for this style of film - Alanis Morisette, Imogen Heap and Tim Finn. The one vocalist with the appropriate pedigree, Lisbeth Scott, who has performed on Paul Schwartz' "State of Grace" neo-opera projects and on films such as Mel Gibson's "The Passion," is forced to sing beyond her range in a performance that is painful to listen to.
The bonus DVD is a collection of edited versions of behind-the-scenes films likely to appear on the extended DVD version of the film. There's a 10-minute interview with composer Harry Gregson-Williams, followed by 3-minute versions of featurettes such as The Director, The Story, and The Special Effects. You also get a trailer for the film, a photo gallery, and an art gallery, plus an extended television commercial for the Music Inspired By cd, featuring pop-rock dreck from artists you've likely never heard of (and never want to hear of again). If you plan to purchase the extended DVD package there is likely nothing in this Soundtrack Special Edition that won't be replicated in more detail there.
The packing for this special edition is nothing special - no leather, no metal studs, no book format, just a typical cardboard digipack that someone along the way apparently screwed-up. Either the original plan was to have the back panel be blank, or an error was made in the contents of the package. The back panel is now a vinyl sticker affixed to the cardboard.
If you want to purchase this soundtrack, stick to the standard release. You get the same score (plus the same insipid "songs") for approximately $10 less.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2005
After seeing the movie I knew I wanted to buy the soundtrack. I absolutely fell in love with the score. I think it is one of the most brilliant scores I have ever heard. It is almost up there with John Williams score for Star Wars and it definately rivals some of the pieces from Lord of the Rings. But in this case the score is more magical and has a child-like innocence quality to it. And at the same time it has epic themes and pieces that really tug at the heart.
I am extremely pleased with this special edition soundtrack. It comes in a very nice package that has a strong Narnian feel to it. It comes of course with the soundtrack itself, which you can also put into your CD-ROM to access special internet features. And then it comes with a dvd that has several features pertaining to the making of the movie itself and also a special mini-documentary on the making of the score with the composer. In additon to that, it has two very cool art galleries and stills from the movie set to music from the film. And if that wasn't enough it also features the full-length trailer in excellent quality and sound and another featurette about the making of music inspired by the film. Finally, it also contains a 40-page souvenir booklet about the film that includes snippets of interviews pertaining to the movie and to the score surrounded by goregeous stills from the film itself.
This special edition soundtrack exceeded my expectations. I absolutely love it! I've listened to the score in it's entirety 4 times now, and I've only recieved it yesterday! I highly recommend it to all!
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2006
Besides seeing The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I was really looking forward to the original score, especially when I found out that Harry Gregson-Williams would be writing the music, especialy after his excellent score for Kingdom of HEaven. It is unquestionable that Gregson-Williams gives Narnia a beautiful voice on screen, and at firt I didn't think that the cd measured up to the film. But over the last month, I have found that The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is dominating the music I'm listening too. I simply cannot stop enjoying this music. There are several themes that go throughout the film, from the Nazi theme that is transferred to the White Witch to the Lucy/Tumnous theme which practically defines Narnia. There is also a heroic main theme, heard as the children first escape from the wolves on an ice flow and later heard with thundering effect in the battle track. There are only two disappointments, the four contemporary songs at the end of the cd are songs that I don't care for and I found that I wanted more of the score to be on this cd. I'm hoping a complete version is released, like the complete edition of Fellowship of the Ring, that was recently released, epsecially since this is a special edition collection of the soundtrack. The DVD included with the cd is cool and a nice little addition. Whether or not it makes the price worthwile depends on what you're looking for. Overall I would rate this score highly. Not as good as the Lord of the Rings score, but then again, it doesn;t have to be, because The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe score by Harry Gregson-Williams stands tall in its' own right.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2005
The Chronicles of Narnia score, composed by Harry Gregson-Williams is a dandy! Big orchestra, synths, three different choirs are present and its incredible how variable each track is as there is something different to hear in each one. The Narnia theme is very good and memorable in My opinion. The theme for the White Witch is clever. My favorite track is 12 titled "The Battle". It is really excellent! I could go on! There are four songs after the score which are decent. Fans of the singers should like these songs. Fans of Williams check this out!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2005
Not too far removed from his earlier 05' ethnic smash score for Kingdom of Heaven, the talented Harry Gregson-Williams has returned to create another exciting environment. This time, it's pure enchantment. Howard Shore sculpted Middle Earth, John Williams and Patrick Doyle have co-built Hogwarts, and now HGW has visualized Narnia out of the darkness with Aslan-like adeptness. From the adventurous "Evacuating London", the inquisitively innocent "Lucy Meets Mr. Tumnus", and the ultra-enchanting "Narnia Lullaby", to the malevolent "White Witch", the triumphant "To Aslan's Camp", and the climactic "Battle", Gregson-Williams first installment lays wonderful, celestial groundwork for the beloved world of Narnia. This is only the beginning of the adventure.
This special edition does not have any extra music, as I had hoped; but it does have a DVD disc with some decent features on it and some cool liner notes - all encased in an embossed burgundy and gold cover - for those of you who like such things. If you do, definitely spend the extra five dollars and get this edition.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2005
When I first saw the movie "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" just this past weekend, listening to Gregson-Williams' score very much added to the drama, to every scene of the movie as I watched. This is a soundtrack of epic proportions, drawing you directly into the world of Narnia. To sum it up in a word, I declare that it is moving, because that is exactly what this music did for me: it moved me deeply, touching the very depths of my heart and soul. My particular favorite track is The Stone Table Score: it was at this point in the film that I was in tears and, if you have either read the book or seen the movie, perhaps you will also relate.
This is a must for anyone's collection; whether you are a true "Narniac" or simply enjoy high quality music, Gregson-Williams has prepared a grand treat to be enjoyed for many years to come.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2005
The soundtrack for Narnia is incredible. Like the movie itself, it transports you to the land of Narnia, where animals and creatures talk and magic is alive and well. Each track is exquisite and perfectly crafted by Harry Gregson-Williams. Standout tracks include:
"Evacuating London"-A haunting melodic voice breathily sings in the background of this track. A very surreal part of the soundtrack.
"Lucy Meets Mr. Tumnus"-A very emotional instrumental, depicting Lucy and Mr. Tumnus meeting at the lamppost. Truly beautiful.
"A Narnia Lullaby"-Mr. Tumnus' plays this to Lucy in the movie, a very soothing melody with excellent pipes.
"To Aslan's Camp"-A majestic theme fitting for the equally majestic Aslan, the lion king of Narnia. This piece offers a sort of triumphant fanfare with a very well orchestrated classical arrangement.
"The Stone Table"-One of the most heartwrenching scenes in the movie is perfected well in this score. If you've seen the movie by now, you can almost imagine just being right there when this plays.
"Only the Beginning of the Adventure"-The last instrumental piece on the album. A joyous and hopeful piece that, like the title says, signals just the beginning of something great.
These are the grand highlights on the album. Each track delivers the perfect mood suited to each scene in the movie. They convey an emotion that touches the heart, and that is rare in most soundtracks these days.
The artists who stars on this release contribute a fairly good mix of songs as well. The most noteworthy being Alanis Morisette's "Wunderkind", for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. There's also Imogen Heap's etheral "Can't Take It In" which has a new-age sound to it, very soft vocals and a beautiful resonating beat with great vocals. Tim Finn's "Winter Light" doesn't stand out though, and it's probably the soundtrack's weakest song. Lisbeth Scott's "Where" is rather short, and is not featured in the movie.
It's rare for me to buy any soundtracks unless they're exceptionally good, and believe me, this is one soundtrack worthy of owning. And also, if you haven't seen Narnia either, then you must!