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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this soundtrack
The Polar Express is a soundtrack that will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit. Everyone in the family will enjoy something on this CD. I loved listening to the old Christmas songs on these album like Bing Crosby's White Christmas and Santa Claus is coming to town by Frank Sinatra. The song Silver Bells is also on this soundtrack. I think that Silver Bells is...
Published on November 3, 2004 by Robert G Yokoyama

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37 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best Christmas score since "Home Alone"...terrible album
Let me begin this review by stating what I feel should be obvious to any score collector: this is the best Christmas score since John Williams's classic "Home Alone" score. Alan Silvestri has pulled out all the stops in creating an exquisite accompaniment to an exquisite film.
No less than six themes can be found in this score. The principal theme, the "Believe"...
Published on November 14, 2004 by Lugubrious DBB


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76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this soundtrack, November 3, 2004
By 
This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
The Polar Express is a soundtrack that will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit. Everyone in the family will enjoy something on this CD. I loved listening to the old Christmas songs on these album like Bing Crosby's White Christmas and Santa Claus is coming to town by Frank Sinatra. The song Silver Bells is also on this soundtrack. I think that Silver Bells is one of the best Christmas songs ever written. There is a terrfic new song entitled Believe by Josh Groban on here. This is a very uplifting song. Josh Groban's voice is so smooth and soothing. Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler is even on this CD. His song Rockin on the Top of the World is a bit loud and fast paced, but I liked it anyway. This song will get you moving though.

Actor Tom Hanks is accompanied by some talented children on the track Polar Express. This is a very fun song that kids will love. I think kids would also enjoy the song When Christmas Comes To Town. This is a cute song performed by 2 kids with angelic voices. I enjoyed this song very much. Alan Silvestri contributes on this soundtrack by composing several beautiful instrumental pieces. I especially liked the last track Suite from the Polar Express I also enjoyed the track Spirit of the Season also credited to Alan Silvestri which is performed by an awesome choir of singers.

The Polar Express soundtrack is the best Christmas album I've heard in a long time. It has a good mix of old and new songs. I recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys listening to Christmas music.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Silvestri & Groban shine ~ Holidays through a childs eyes", November 10, 2004
This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
Warner Bros. presents "Polar Express", just in time for the yuletide season...with new songs and Holiday classics ~ soundtrack music composed by Alan Silvestri with lyrics by Glen Ballard...featuring Josh Groban, Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, Matthew Hall, Meagan Moore and Tom Hanks performing clear and precise innovative tunes that will appeal to the child in all of us ~ what Holiday album would be complete without Bing Crosby, Perry Como, The Andrew Sisters, Kate Smith and Frank Sinatra...we keep them in our hearts, always!

Many of the stand outs are "SPIRITS OF THE SEASON", "SEEING IS BELIEVING" and "SUITE FROM THE POLAR EXPRESS", all three cues are similar to "Home Alone" the John Williams score, but enjoyable just the same...Silvestri has captured the essence of Christmas time and the innocence of children within the story line of the film.

The highlight is "BELIEVE", performed by Josh Groban of Reprise Records and orchestrated by William Ross...composers Silvestri and Ballard should feel themselves very fortunate to have this young talent put his signature on this one...when the Holidays finally arrive we will have heard this many times and love every moment of it!

Total Time: 46:12 on 14 Tracks ~ Warner Bros 48897 ~ (11/02/2004)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A bright shining star in the Christmas music universe!", December 22, 2004
By 
Blake Wood (Marion, AR USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
I am one of those people who particularly like Christmas music, especially traditional Christmas songs. Every year around this time, I end up buying 2-3 Christmas music CDs. The ones I like I keep, and the ones that I don't like I end up selling on eBay! This is most definitely a CD worth keeping! Most of the songs on this are excellent, particularly Josh Groban's "Believe", the "Suite from the Polar Express" (the film's musical score by Alan Silvestri is just awe-inspiring and gives me goosebumps whenever I hear it!) and the older tunes (Sinatra, Bing, The Andrews Sisters, Perry Como, etc.) selected for this soundtrack strike all the right chords. The combination of the classic and the new really work well together. Overall, this is just an outstanding Christmas compilation with a lot of joyful appeal. This will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit, whether you are young or just young-at-heart!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical!, December 22, 2004
This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
The movie was wonderful and the soundtrack is one of the reasons. I am hoping the composer gets his due recognition when Oscar time comes around.

The original music is great. They also add the background songs that you hear in the movie when the Express reaches the North Pole. These are old classics sung by Bing, The Andrews sisters, Perry Como and others.

"Believe", sung by Josh Groben is amazing. I couldn't believe that people were walking out at the end of the movie as Josh sang this song. My family was the only ones who kept thier seats and we were in a packed theatre. Who can walk out on Josh?

I would make one change in the soundtrack. I wish they had put the final song, "Suite from The Polar Express", at the end of the rest of the original music. It is kind of out of place at the end of the classic holiday music on the CD.

As wonderful as the movie and soundtrack are, I have one comment to make. The movie makes it sound like believing is the most important thing. What matters, in my opinion, is what you believe in. Faith has to have a reason. My faith is based on a person: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It does matter what train you get on. The final destination depends on it. I do agree with the movie on this point: life is not a destination, it is a journey. We are all waiting to arrive, when we should just be making the best of the journey.

This movie and soundtrack are sure to become a family classic for us. We are looking forward to owning the DVD next year.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!, November 2, 2004
By 
Jennifer Giacinto (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
WOW..okay, first I have to admit I didn't buy this CD on Amazon, I bought it at the CD store; I don't usually buy CD's online. The whole soundtrack was FANTASTIC. Of course, Josh Groban's 'Believe' is the best on there, I'm a HUGE fan of his and he put his all into that song, was very soft and beautiful, perfect for a Christmas album like this one. I never knew Tom Hanks could sing, first of all, he was great, he has SO much energy; Steven Tyler is always the best at whatever he does, Rockin' on Top of the World was great. The whole soundtrack was unreal; I'm so glad they included the old Christmas songs that we all grew up with, whether you're old or young. All in all, this is a MUST buy for the Christmas season!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Warm and Fuzzy Blend, December 10, 2004
This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
A nicely blended soundtrack of old and new songs, guaranteed to evoke those wonderful warm and fuzzy feelings of Christmas past.

Alan Silvestri's original score perfectly compliments the traditional favorites by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, and the Andrews Sisters. A fresh spritz of energy is provided by Steven Tyler in the rocking "Rockin' On Top of the World", toned down only by Josh Groban on the very next track.

To round it all off, Tom Hanks sings! Two songs! Actually he kinda mugs/raps/goofs around - but it adds that perfect funny note to the album. One note Tom - don't quit your day job.

Just listening to this album will trigger an urgent burning need to see the movie.

Amanda Richards, December 10, 2004
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic CD, December 17, 2004
By 
Priscilla (Vero Beach, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
I bought this CD from Amazon.com the day after I saw the movie. The CD is fantastic esepcially "When Christmas Comes to Town" and Believe by Josh Groban. I am certain Believe will be nominated for best song at the Oscars. What really surprised me was the quality of the sound - the orchestra sounds like they are in your car.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EFSULLY, January 3, 2005
By 
Edward Sullivan (San Francisco, California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
The Polar Express is an excellent soundtrack and will become a Christmas classic. From traditional songs like Sinatra's "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" to Josh Groban's "Believe" this soundtrack is a joyus holiday wonder. It will be part of my Christmas music collection for many Christmas seasons to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watched the Movie....Rushed Out to Buy the Soundtrack...., May 31, 2005
By 
This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
.....And you should too! Throughout the holiday season, this cd stayed in the cd player in "the family truckster" (pet name for our Expedition-Family Vacation reference). Josh Groban is an amazing talent, and his voice send chills. Seldom can you say that about an artist these days, but you guys know what I am talking about. I ADORE Tom Hanks' Hot Chocolate song. It is a lot of fun!! The kids were singing, I was singing, and as a family we had a great time! On the holiday spirit scale, I would have to say we were pushing 110%!! Visions of a crisp winter night baking holiday sugar cookies with the kiddies, and sipping steaming cocoa by a cozy fire are just a few of the memories that the music on this soundtrack brings to mind.
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37 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best Christmas score since "Home Alone"...terrible album, November 14, 2004
By 
Lugubrious DBB (Upper Sandusky, OH) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Polar Express (Audio CD)
Let me begin this review by stating what I feel should be obvious to any score collector: this is the best Christmas score since John Williams's classic "Home Alone" score. Alan Silvestri has pulled out all the stops in creating an exquisite accompaniment to an exquisite film.
No less than six themes can be found in this score. The principal theme, the "Believe" theme forms the heart of the score and is used as the foundation of the Josh Groban song of the same name. Another theme is the "Seeing is Believing" theme, featuring a solo celesta that represents not only the main character's desire to believe in Santa, but also his reluctance to do so for fear of being had.
As for the songs Silvestri composed (with lyrics by Glen Ballard), they serve their purpose in the film, although the lyrics occasionally feel forced and clichéd ("When Christmas Comes To Town" being the worst example). The Steven Tyler song "Rockin' On Top Of The World" is a very poor effort that was, thankfully, only included for a few seconds in the film. The highlight is "Spirit Of The Season", Silvestri's carol for the film that will surely go down in film lore as the equivalent of Williams's "Star of Bethlehem" from "Home Alone".
As for the album presentation of this score, Warner Bros. once again has marketed to the lowest common denominator. Instead of being an album of entirely original music for the film, six of the fourteen tracks are traditional Christmas songs that can be found on any compilation album. In the film, these songs were used only as "elevator music" in the North Pole scenes, and completely destroy the mood of magic and mystery that Silvestri created. When will label executives realize that serious fans of film composers want the film score on album, not pop songs? As it is, Silvestri's score occupies a mere two tracks on this album. So this means that, since most of the film had music, and the film was 90 minutes long, there were approximately 60 minutes of score recorded for the film. And we get a mere two tracks? Brilliant, Warner Bros., brilliant. Just like when you threw out Gabriel Yared's superb score for "Troy" and replaced it with a Horner score that was written in 13 days because a preview audience member felt Yared's work was too "old fashioned". (The film still tanked, by the way.)
In conclusion, buy this album for Silvestri's work, because it's phenomenal, and hope that someday a label like Varèse Sarabande will get the rights and do a proper score release. In the meantime, listen to this album and be appalled by how many of the non-original songs you already have in your collection and how you were cheated by moronic record executives eager to get a quick buck from the uninformed consumer.

Silvestri's music as heard in film: ***** of 5
Silvestri's music as heard on album: ***** of 5
Non-original music as heard on album: * of 5
Album overall: *** of 5
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The Polar Express
The Polar Express by Various Artists (Audio CD - 2004)
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