Profile for Rose > Reviews

Browse

Rose's Profile

Customer Reviews: 7
Top Reviewer Ranking: 18,462,188
Helpful Votes: 108




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Rose RSS Feed (NC USA)

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
42 used & new from $0.20

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Return To Narnia, June 29, 2008
I was already eager to hear this score after I had been so impressed with the soundtrack for the first movie. Not only did I instantly notice the music in Prince Caspian, but the movie began with a brand new theme effectively bringing me back into the world of Narnia.

Here is the 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 - Prince Caspian Flees : This is one of my favorite tracks and it contains two of the new themes. It begins with tense strings as Professor Cornelius sneaks Prince Caspian out of the castle, but is quickly joined by percussion and vocals as Caspain flees into the night on horseback. At about a minute and a half, it changes into the new epic theme featuring dramatic strings and vocals. About three minutes in the vocals really intensify and then break into Caspian`s theme. This one is a series of fast-paced strings that form a driving melody. It is probably one of the most memorable themes on the soundtrack and, like with the Pevensies' theme in the first one, it becomes stronger and more articulate as the score progresses. It is cut off as Caspian is knocked from his horse and the dwarves appear. The track ends at about the point where Capsian blows Susan's horn.

2 - The Kings and Queens of Old : Jumping ahead by quite a bit, this track picks up with the Pevensies investigating the ruined castle. Quiet trumpets and strings vaguely echo old themes eventually giving way to a fast trilling of flute as the children run excitedly down into their old treasure room. The music settles comfortably into our first reprise of the Pevensies' theme, but it`s sadder than usual, as is a familiar refrain from one of Lucy and Tumnus' themes when Lucy realizes that their friends are gone. The track ends on that rather serious note.

3 - Journey to the How : This track begins with tantalizing chimes, harps, flutes and whispery vocals. About thirty seconds in the Pevensies' theme returns, very subdued and sad. I believe this scene is where they are in the boat, but it could easily be any time while they travel with Trumpkin. It mostly stays bittersweet after that, but nearly two minutes in things get ominous and change dramatically to frantic strings and percussions; the Telmarines` theme. I am not entirely certain where this bit falls in the film, but it is very intense and riveting piece of music. The final minute is a much more subdued version of the same theme but right at the end is an eerie vocal cue that I am pretty certain is when the children stop for the night and Lucy is lying on the grass staring at the sky.

4 - Arrival at Aslan's How : An enjoyable revisiting of some old themes, this one starts off moving hesitantly towards the Pevensies' royal theme, then breaks into the familiar vocals and piano. It continues to build into the triumphal theme as the children walk into Aslan's How beneath the guard of centaurs. It fades down again as the children see the inside of the How and Caspian shows them to the room where the stone table is. It becomes very quiet then as a flute gently plays in the background.

5 - Raid on the Castle : This track covers the entire raid on Miraz's castle. Starting just after the confrontation with Miraz. Both tense and driving, this track is one of my favorites as it pulls you into the action. A couple of times its almost as though the Pevensies' theme is trying to break through but its always drowned out by the more tense epic theme. Three minutes in the tone changes again to a more pounding version of Caspian's theme still mixed with the epic theme. This grows in an impressive horn crescendo before turning over into vocals and brass as the battle breaks out in earnest. At four minutes in the tone changes again as Miraz's men begin to overwhelm the Narnians and the fight becomes desperate. Finally the ominous version of the Pevensies' theme comes through as the fight dissolves into a slaughter. Sad as it is, one of my favorite parts is the emotional variation of the Pevensies' theme as Peter watches the trapped Narnias be killed in front of him. This part hits its mark perfectly and I can't hear it without seeing the scene. After that is a simple melody of sweeping strings which fades out as Edmund looks down at the destruction below.

6 - Miraz Crowned : I am not completely clear where everything in this track falls, but it is a good showcase of Miraz's various themes. Beginning with quavering strings, it rises into pounding percussion and vocals as Miraz is crowned and the Telmarines march to war. The strings are the really notable thing here: frantic and rhythmic, they do a very good job of expressing the dark tone. About two minutes in the pounding theme dissolves into a more subtle and sinister one. This could play in any number of scenes during the film. It's possible it plays during the scene where the Narnians return from the castle raid and Peter and Caspian have their falling out.

7 - Sorcery and Sudden Vengeance : Another one of my favorite tracks! The music starts very ominous as Nikabrik lures Caspian into the stone table room. With sinister strings, deep piano and percussion, it eventually breaks into these impressive baritone vocals. They add a lot to this track, as do the thunder-like electronic percussion as the hag and werewolf enter. This bit continues to build until the White Witch appears and we hear soft, eerie vocals. At four minutes the theme becomes a much more powerful version of the battle theme from the previous film as the Pevensies show up and fight Nikabrik, the hag and werewolf. Eventually the music hits a crescendo when Edmund breaks the ice wall and then it calms down and fades out.

8 - The Duel : This track begins quietly as Edmund goes to present Miraz with Peter's challenge. The percussive music is filled out with sweeping strings and a light chime sound in the background. It builds into the duel itself between Peter and Miraz and becomes much more tense. It then switches to Susan staying behind to hold off the Telmarines while Lucy escapes. A mournful flute version of the Pevensie theme plays and then builds dramatically as Susan fights. At three minutes fifty the tone completely changes as Caspian arrives and saves her to a snatch of his theme. Then we return to the duel where Miraz's theme has taken over in all its pounding and sinister glory. Five minutes in it fades down and becomes anxious again as Peter sees Caspian return with one of his sisters and Miraz calls a break. The track finishes with a quiet cue for Peter's weariness and concern.

9 - The Armies Assemble : Beginning abruptly as Miraz is stabbed by one of his own men, this track serves to give a nice preview of the coming battle themes and builds that tension very well. Again strings are the prevailing instrument, fast-paced and driving as the two sides prepare for battle and Peter and Edmund stand their ground against the approaching army. The track builds deliberately and then breaks at the charge.

10 - Battle at Aslan's How : Starting off at once this track is an incredible showcase of the new epic themes. Almost immediately Caspian's theme builds in the background, probably as he and the Narnians break the ground from beneath the Telmarines' feet. It's difficult to know where everything falls in this track as well, but it canvases most of the battle while reprising the Pevensies' theme, the old battle themes from the first film, and a lot of the new Caspian theme. This last takes center stage with rising strings and epic sweeps which dive into sinister vocals as the battle starts to turn out of the Narnian's favor. Caspian's theme does return, however now it is more anxious as things continue to go downhill. Eventually this culminates in a theme very similar to the one at the siege on the castle, bringing back bad memories of their previous defeat. It turns over suddenly into the triumphant theme from the first film (where Aslan appears at the battle with Susan and Lucy). We then return to driving strings as Lucy races through the woods alone. It fades down suddenly at the end as Aslan appears in front of her.

11 - Return of the Lion : A really standout track! It begins with the tense cue where a Telmarine hesitates before killing Caspian. Almost immediately it turns into a new epic theme as the trees arrive and attack the Telmarines. Poetically, this theme is not a fully percussive piece like the others. Instead, its moving strings and sweeping vocals constructing a powerful melody as the Narnians rush back into the battle with new fervor. After the Telmarines retreat to the river, it becomes very quiet as a lone woodwind instrument plays and Lucy appears on the other side of the bridge. The Telmarines' theme returns suddenly as they start to cross the bridge. This turns over into a broader variation of the Pevensies' royal theme as the river god appears and sweeps down on the Telmarines. It becomes more driving as the river god lifts the bridge out of the water, and finally fades into quiet strings as the water settles.

12 - The Door in the Air : This track picks up almost exactly where the last one left off, and covers the entire rest of the film's score. Aslan's theme returns with very quiet piano and strings as he addresses Caspian. A minute in, the music switches to a truly sweet theme with plinking piano and a high melodic horn that sounds almost like a voice -- this is where Lucy heals Reepicheep. The strings and piano build after that and change to a cue identical to the one in the first film where we first see Cair Paravel, although now it plays during the scene where Trumpkin finally sees Aslan. At the crescendo it changes to a new triumphant theme with full and soaring strings while the children and Caspian ride through the streets. As night turns to day and Caspian sees Aslan talking to Peter and Susan, a mournful trumpet solo signifies the change in tone and for a while it seems it has calmed down for good. Quiet strings accompany the flute and Aslan offers a new start to the Telmarines. The piano and vocals return at about five minutes ten when the tree parts and the Telmarines disappear through it. Emotional strings and harp play while Peter and Susan explain they will not be coming back to Narnia. The flute joins in and the last minute or so of the track accompanies Peter and Lucy saying goodbye to their friends. The theme ends on a more cheerful note, but there is still a bittersweet string line in the background that suits the mood.

13 - The Call (Regina Spektor) : I love this song very much! It reminds me of the end of the film and I really enjoyed how it was played through the ending scene. Regina Spektor's voice was another excellent choice for the unique female vocals that fit so well with Narnia score. It is a tradition I hope will continue through all the films. I liked the lyrics as well, they suited the tenor of the last scene without being completely sad. One thing that should be mentioned, however, is that this is not the exact version from the film; mostly because the music in the middle is different. It doesn't hurt the song itself though.

14 - A Dance `Round the Memory Tree (Oren Lavie) : I'm afraid I can't be as enthusiastic about this song. After Regina's precise and flowing voice, this just seemed like too much of a downer. The music was pretty enough, but I'm afraid Mr. Lavie's voice is just too gloomy. It might have made a better third song than second.

15 - This Is Home (Switchfoot) : I do like this song quite a bit, but unfortunately I had already heard the original version and this seemed a little too slow by comparison. That being said, the lyrics are excellent and the lead singer's voice did a very nice job of representing the characters. It is a very good song, but I probably would have put this one after Regina's and before Oren`s; I think it would have flowed better.

16 - Lucy (Hanne Hukkelberg) : I'm not quite sure why this song is here because it wasn't in the film. In any case, I liked the music quite a lot, the piano and chimes were very nice and Hanne's voice is very unique, but the actual tone of the song is a little odd. Still, it's not a bad song all things considered.

Harry Gregson-Williams : Returning to a deliver another incredible score, Harry Gregson-Williams had a lot to do on this project. With a sequel score there is a lot that must be done to keep people's interest: one thing is not abandoning old themes in favor of new, but the equally important thing is to create enough new material to keep it from being redundant. I think he has done both of these things exceptionally well. The very different tone of Prince Caspian, as a darker film with more difficulty and death, was represented beautifully through the score. The Pevensies' main theme made you keep the first film in mind, but there were also many new themes; most notably Caspian's, Miraz's and the epic themes. These added new and different elements. Most of all I was impressed by how full the music sounded and how many nuances could be found in each track. It's a shame that he will not be doing the soundtrack for the next film, but hopefully many of these themes can be retained by the next composer. In the meanwhile I will be interested to see what other projects Harry Gregson-Williams will do in the future.

Notable Absences : As last time, there are a few moments of score that were missing from the soundtrack. I don't think any of them especially detracted from the overall feel of the soundtrack, but its good to keep them in mind.

Train Song Reprise - This played when the children first arrived in Narnia. It was an exact reprise of the Lisbeth Scott song while the children are in the train.

A Narnian Lullaby Reprise - This played just barely before the children first see the stone table again. It was probably cut because it was isolated in between scenes.

Flying to the Castle - This plays during the scene where the Narnians, led by Caspian, Peter and the others, arrive at Miraz's castle. It includes mostly themes used before or later, so the only sad loss is the horn cue of Reepicheep's theme.

Altogether : This soundtrack presents a darker and more epic tone, but it is most definitely still Narnia. The moment the opening credits began over Caspian fleeing his home on horseback, I knew I was in Narnia because the score told me so. This score was definitely a success and I would recommend it to soundtrack lovers, and fans of the first soundtrack alike -- you won`t be disappointed.

<@> Rose


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Price: $12.18
81 used & new from $0.23

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soar To Another World, 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.

~@~Rose


The Chronicles of Narnia
The Chronicles of Narnia
134 used & new from $0.01

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, Inspired and Magical, October 12, 2005
I had the fortune of hearing the clips of many of the songs featured on this inspirational soundtrack before the album was actually released, and this turned out to be what made me want to get it so much. There had been a batch of vignettes made where many of the featured artists talked about why they had written the song as well as a sample of each song itself, and I could see that a lot of heart had gone into each performance, besides that the music sounded just amazing!

I was not sorry then that I got this CD and I have listened to it semi constantly since I got it.

So see what you think!

Waiting For the World to Fall - Jars of Clay : It's been a while since I have heard anything by this particular group, but I must say they came through very well for this song. The lyrics talk about waiting for the amazement of Narnia, to be literally undone by it. It's fresh and full and a perfect beginning to the CD that gets you into the mood immediately.

Remembering You - Steven Curtis Chapman : One of my all time favorite artists, Chapman delivers a beautiful addition to this album. Beyond the inspiring lyrics of a promise to remember (Aslan) as the singer sees winter melt to spring, there is a lavish Celtic tone to the music which adds a real depth to the song and the album.

Open Up Your Eyes - Jeremy Camp : I have to admit, this was my absolute favorite song on the album. I had loved the clip I heard and couldn't wait to hear the rest of the song, and far from disappointing my expectations, my admiration of this song has only grown. Camp is one of the few artists who decided to tackle the struggle in the character of Edmund and he delivers it in a powerful piece with stunning vocals and moving lyrics.

Hero - Bethany Dillon : I felt this new young artist was probably a given for this project as she is one of the self-proclaimed fans of the works of Lewis so I was excited to hear her fresh contribution to this album. Well it came through with strong vocals, strong lyrics and addictive melodies and more than that Dillon proves that she can stand against more veteran artists in good stead, this song is definitely one of her best.

Stronger - Delirious? : I have to say this was not one of my favorites. It wasn't necessarily anything to do with the lyrics not being as strong, but the melody plods quite a lot, and when it is bracketed by much more powerful performances it felt like a sudden halt in the proceedings. Still, for a slow moment it delivers nicely and, as I said, there's nothing lacking in the lyrics.

Lion - Rebecca St. James : After a long absence of new material from this amazing Australian artist, St. James' "Lion" will take your breath away. Powerful is the best way to describe it and it will doubtless bring you to tears. Besides this her voice takes on an incredible haunting tone which shows how her voice has matured greatly over the years. The bridge is an outstanding display of talent and is guaranteed to give you chills. Definitely one of my favorites.

New World - TobyMac : I was not exactly familiar with this artist when I got this album, I just knew that he was sort of loud. True enough "New World" is a pounding, thrumming, rapping piece that, at first, I thought didn't fit the rest of the mood at all. But I listened to it again, and again, and again, and unless you can't stand this style at all, it will grow on you. He does give a power to the piece which is backed up with his lyrics which are undeniably meant for the story (...just step through the door right into a new world, into Narnia...).

I Will Believe - Nichole Nordeman : Adding to all the power and drama of these tracks there is Nichole Nordeman, delivering an absolutely charming piece about awaking the magic in Narnia. Possibly this song was meant to be from Susan or Lucy's prospective, but it is a lovely (dare I say) girly addition which ties in the mood of a child's wonder at this new world.

Turkish Delight - David Crowder Band : I will say that I have not actually heard any of this band's work and will also add that I was not entirely impressed with what I heard. Despite the fact this was one of the songs which was undeniably meant for the story, the music clashed in my opinion with the tone of the rest of the album and for that reason I had trouble enjoying it. Still the lyrics were nicely put together to address the almost lack of struggle within Edmund in that moment when he is given what he wants. Perhaps it is just me, but after listening to this piece and the one from Second Chapter of Acts "Roar of Love", I think perhaps the downfall is using words like `Turkish Delight' in a song, it often falls short of holding the drama.

More Than It Seems - Kutless : I was predisposed to like this song, not only because I was already a fan of Kutless, but because I appreciated their decision to focus on Peter. In the shadow of the beautiful Susan, faithful Lucy and trouble Edmund, Peter is often relegated to `the older brother' role, but this song brings out his thoughts on their amazing adventure. You see through his eyes the tasks he is faced with and the question on his mind; can I be more than I seem? The music is very Kutless, but added to their rock style there is a chorus of strings which sets the mood beautifully.

You're The One - Chris Tomlin : Wrapping up is a song that could only be to Aslan from the perspective of the children's amazement and wonder at their King. I had not heard Chris Tomlin before, but I was pleased with his addition to this piece, his lyrics flow well and his music fit the mood nicely. The only trouble being that it seemed to end the album rather abruptly, but considering there are so many artists contributing there really weren't any better choices for the end slot, and you can always go back to the beginning and start again!

Music: The music of almost every track was so rich and strong. The Celtic feel, and strains of fantasy were evident and even offerings from Kutless and TobyMac couldn't help but add the feel of the magical world. Nothing necessarily complicated, just powerful performance.

Lyrics: I was pleased how, in the end, it felt like every aspect was covered. If you like to split it up then you could say that Kutless sang for Peter, Nichole Nordeman sang for Susan, Jeremy Camp sang for Edmund and Rebecca St. James sang for Lucy. It really brings you into the story in a unique and contemporary way, while still holding true to the mystery and fantasy.

Altogether: A wonderful offering which certainly makes *me* want to see the film when it is released. Inspiring is the best word to describe the project and I am very glad these artists took the time to combined their talents to promote this work, and encourage others to experience the magic.

Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia : Rates 5 out of 5 stars

~@~Rose


The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie Soundtrack)
The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie Soundtrack)
Price: $9.99
120 used & new from $0.22

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning and Inspiring, May 24, 2005
I had never seen the play and I was unfortunate enough to miss the theatrical release of the film, so it wasn't until I rented the movie that I was finally blessed with this beautiful musical offering.

I am not exactly a big fan of Opera music so I was very surprised at how inspiring I found this soundtrack even aside from the movie.

THE TRACKS:

1. Overture: This track brings you right into the score with the thundering organ piece when the chandelier is raised. A perfect beginning even though it is, surprisingly the only track of just music, it includes organs, brass, string and electronics all in one.

2. Think of Me: I loved this song in the movie and it is one of my favorites. The soft piano and then swelling orchestra fits Emmy Rossum's voice very well. It carries through the song to its climactic ending including Raoul's brief solo.

3. Angel of Music: This track begins with the Phantom's haunting "Brava" leading into Meg's entrance. Emmy Rossum and Jennifer Ellison then present a lovely introduction to the prevalent Angel of Music. Their voices meld very well and the harmony is beautiful.

4. Mirror (Angel of Music): Building to the first sounds of The Phantom himself, this track covers the entire exchange between The Phantom and Christine after Raoul leaves her dressing room, ending in the Phantom chanting, `I am your Angel of Music'.

5. Phantom of the Opera: Track 4 leads smoothly into the title song. A strangely beautiful number. I am always attracted to unusual combinations in music and this song certainly offered that, a haunting blend of electronics and opera. The low register of the song was also very intriguing and makes this song stand out from the others. This song also ends in a very impressive high soprano note by Rossum.

6. Music of the Night: This track covers the entire famous song, Music of the Night, uniquely and beautifully sung by Gerard Butler. The raw emotion behind his performance makes for a pleasingly hypnotic offering.

7. Prima Donna: The one humorous song to make this particular soundtrack's final cut. Well done by all involved; it bears repeated hearings to catch all the clever lyrics.

8. All I Ask of You: One of my absolute favorite tracks, this is Christine and Raoul's duet. Beginning with the soft music and carrying to the end. It is both stunning and comforting with both Patrick Wilson and Emmy Rossum giving it all the loving emotion they can and delivering wonderful harmony.

9. All I Ask of You (Reprise): Following the previous track is its reprise, beginning with the Phantom's devastating realization that Christine loves someone else, it includes him weeping over the fallen rose while you hear Raoul and Christine singing the final chorus of their song like an echo. Then the Phantom regains himself to finish the song in a powerful rage, this is overlaid by the organ theme.

10. Masquerade: I'll admit to this not being my favorite track but that is largely because I prefer solos and small harmonies, but if you enjoy full choral songs than you will enjoy this one. It begins with Firmin and Andre singing about the pleasant Gala evening, then the choral group sings. This then turns to Christine and Raoul discussing their secret engagement, the choral segment picks up once again finally ending with the interruption of the Phantom's theme.

11. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again: I will say now that I adore this song. One of the few complete solos, Emmy Rossum proves that she holds very well on her own with spectacular soprano and yet deep alto notes. It is both sad and enchanting and the final lines are especially beautiful.

12. Point of No Return: A fully hypnotic song, I didn't enjoy this duet as well as some of the others, but there are some pleasant surprises to be found on both Butler and Rossum's part. This track has the entire song of Point of No Return beginning with the moment The Phantom comes on stage and ending with the abrupt actions of Christine which end his reprise of All I Ask of You. It then plays through the powerful theme that follows the chandelier falling and the Phantom escaping with Christine. It surprisingly continues to play as we hear Carlotta's reaction to the death of Piangi, Firmin's statement that he and Andre are ruined, then more music and we hear Raoul asking Madame Giry where The Phantom has taken Christine. She tells him to follow and tells Meg to stay behind. The track at last ends with Meg holding back the growing mob with the word `No'.

13. Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer: This track is practically a Medley with all it includes and is thus one of my favorite tracks. First of all Down Once More, which alternates with the mob singing Track Down This Murderer. This pauses briefly for Raoul and Madame Giry singing "Your hand at the level of your eyes" then, (skipping over their dialogue) moves on to the short duet between Christine and the Phantom where he reveals some of his childhood to her and she tells him that it is his soul that is truly distorted. It then breaks to the Phantom acknowledging the arrival of Raoul, carrying all the way through to The Phantom tying Raoul to the gate. Following this is the absolutely fantastic song preformed by the three main characters. This segment runs from 4:50 to 5:55 and I had to listen to it several times just to get the full impact of the gorgeous harmony and the different lyrics. All three preformed beautifully together and it was a real reward to hear their talents combined. You then hear Christine and the Phantom's brief dialogue then her final solo before the kiss. The crescendo of Angel of Music comes at this point and is one of the most powerful moments of the soundtrack. You then hear the Phantom breathing and the mob's song comes back, The Phantom then tells them to go immediately. After this the music ends suddenly and returns with the tantalizing music box theme of Masquerade, the Phantom sings brokenly with the music ending in "Christine I love you." The music of her returning the ring and leaving then plays and finally we hear Raoul and Christine repeating the final verse of their song once more, the Phantom breaks in with the concluding line of an altered Music of the Night and the music hits a final crescendo (without the sound of breaking mirrors) and this music slows into the final stringed notes of the track.

14. Learn To Be Lonely: A truly sad credit song well preformed by Minnie Driver who's voice fit the mood very well and even without being opera this song seemed to blend well with the rest of the soundtrack.

The Music: I loved the music, it was haunting and tantalizing and powerful, it was very appropriately emotional and never completed a song dully. I really enjoyed discovering how various melodies were shared by different songs and was very impressed with how they could sound different even with the same music.

The Singing: I was wildly impressed by all the performances! Gerard Butler offered a raw quality to his character's voice that I thought was a very good decision, even though it was opera it was unique to his character and it also had the capability to reflect every emotion he was feeling. Patrick Wilson delivered a truly tender performance on all his major singing solos and added a desperation to the song they sing together. Emmy Rossum was simply amazing, I could not believe how young she was and enjoyed the softness and wide range of her voice, she provided lovely harmonies for the other two leads and at the same time preformed brilliantly in her solos. All supporting singers were also very good, their voices portrayed their characters very well and Jennifer Ellison in particular made a big difference in Angel of Music.

Altogether: I was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed this soundtrack. It seems to offer a song for every mood and provides a desire for repeated listening. Even if you don't think you like opera, you should give this soundtrack a try, it may surprise you.

The Phantom of the Opera, Soundtrack: Rates 5 stars out of 5

~@~Rose
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 15, 2008 2:27 AM PST


Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl
Price: $11.88
116 used & new from $0.19

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It can't help but light a fire!, February 12, 2004
This CD is probably one of the best soundtracks out there because there is never one track that lags in powerful expression. Even on the tracks I didn't like as well I still had at least one thing I loved.
The Tracks:
1. Fog Bound: I guarantee this track will draw you right in! Beginning with a tantalizing plinking noise that soon dissolves into the fiddle music that has been dubbed by many as 'Jack's Theme'. This theme does not stay for long though and soon changes to Elizabeth on the ship's deck. It follows the scene from there until it changes again to what I am pretty sure is the scene between Will and Elizabeth.
2. The Medallion Calls: Continues the Will and Elizabeth theme but quickly changes to Jack riding in on his sinking ship. I absolutely love this scene and the music creates the mental picture perfectly in your mind. It continues with Jack until he reaches Port Royal and ends with the comical music accompanying his walk on the pier.
3. The Black Pearl: This track follows Jack's escape to the Smithy and has the first real exposure to the boisterous main theme. It ends with Jack finding his way into the Blacksmith shop.
4. Will and Elizabeth: Begins immediately into the fight between Jack and Will. This track draws you in completely and is one of my favorites! It closely follows their entire fight until Jack 'cheats'.
5. Swords Crossed: Begins with Barbossa telling Elizabeth about the curse, then it changes to the chilling pirate theme where Elizabeth is chased all over the Pearl. This theme is an incredible piece comprised of several haunting instrument choices, I noticed it the first time I watched the movie and was thankful for its copious appearances in this album.
6. Walk the Plank: Begins with Barbossa drinking the wine and Elizabeth running away. It then skips backwards to Will and Jack walking under the water and taking over the ship. Again playing 'Jack's fiddle theme', for a much longer stretch of time. It stops right when they take over the Dauntless.
7. Barbossa is Hungry: Sort of follows the Pearl chasing the Interceptor from when Elizabeth comes up from the hold, but there is more to that track that may belong elsewhere. There are some exceptional parts in this track including what sounds like a pan flute repeating a mournful phrase in the music which is beautiful.
8. Blood Ritual: This track begins with the story of Bootstrap Bill. The music is really sad but beautiful! About halfway through it changes again which returns to the ship battle. More of the section having to do with Jack.
9. Moonlight Serenade: I'm not sure where the slow part at the beginning goes but the latter half is the beginning of the fight between Will, Jack and the Pirates in the cave.
10. To the Pirate's Cave: For a short time it follows Elizabeth sneaking onto the Pearl. Then changes to the fight on the Dauntless up until the Governor starts fighting for his wig then the music in the soundtrack is different than what was used in the movie. But it soon changes to Jack showing he's cursed.
11. Skull and Crossbones: This music follows the battle I'm pretty sure but I couldn't figure out its exact place in the movie. This track is, nonetheless very motivated and gleans pieces of the different themes, some of them changing in very slight ways. It then changes to the Interceptor blowing up and Will showing up to save Elizabeth!
12. Bootstrap's Bootstraps: This track is a lot of different parts I recognize some from the attack on Port Royal as well as the Cave and Dauntless battles at the end!
13. Underwater March: This track begins with Barbossa's death and the lifting of the curse, its a very solemn piece and yet very visual. It changes then to the victory on the Interceptor. After that is a beautiful piece where Will messes up his 'Opportune Moment'. Then at the very end the chilling underwater march itself!
14. One Last Shot: This is a wonderful track! It starts with the part where Elizabeth says that Will is where her heart truly lies and from there you can follow the entire scene until the end of the movie! Its amazing I can actually quote all the lines in their proper place now! Be sure to try it! ;) This track also features a powerful crescendo at the kiss which is incredible!
15. He's A Pirate: Probably my favorite track on the whole CD, these are the ending Credits (which can also be aligned with Jack's rescue) and it features just the main theme! This theme is the entire reason I got this soundtrack!
The Music: The music is very powerful and really sparks a fire! It makes you want to go do something adventurous and if you slip on some headphones and let this orchestrated masterpiece pound in your ears for a while I guarantee you'll feel motivated at the end!
The Composing: This composing is excellent! Unique and original, Klaus Bladelt is a master of his art and all I can say is I hope Hans Zimmer has more students like Klaus and Nick-Glennie Smith (of Man in the Iron Mask).
Altogether: Despite the fact the music is titled all wrong and pieces of the music are all over the place as far as order goes, it does nothing really to diminish the quality of this album. My only other complaint is the length! The CD is 43min 40sec which seems long at first but there are some rather large pieces missing from the track which is too bad. But don't let that stop you!
One Note: Don't put these tracks on a 'random' feature, practically every track leads into the next! =)
Pirates of the Caribbean, Soundtrack: Rates 5 stars out of 5
~@~Rose


Inkheart
Inkheart
by Cornelia Funke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.07
399 used & new from $0.01

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Inspired Tale!, February 6, 2004
This review is from: Inkheart (Hardcover)
Hello, before my review I would like to clarify that I am Christian, and after my initial review I like to say a word to Christian readers/listeners/viewers etc, but feel free to only read the beginning of my review. :)
***
This book was a delightful read it was a fun complex tale and throughout you found yourself dying to know what would happen.
The Basic Premise: What if you could read out loud and have characters appear out of books? This was what made me want to get this book in the first place! Anyone who loves to read will adore the way this story portrays characters and books in a very real fashion, of course by the time you're done you want to be careful reading aloud and may never want to write a story again! :)
***
The Plot: The plot held very well throughout, beginning at a point where you don't know anything about anyone and are only left to guess, if you've read very extensive reviews you probably know a lot about the story as it is but there are many surprises awaiting you. I will admit that many times the answers that took the characters forever to obtain seemed rather obvious to me, but other times I was left completely stumped. Though there were some definite holes in the plot (which I will get to) it keeps your attention and you just can't wait to see what will happen next!
One thing I really liked is how there were so many recognizable quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I have read many books with quotes and this is the first one where I recognized many of them. Such titles as "Lord of the Rings", "Peter Pan", "Watership Down", and even Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451"! Cornelia Funke did such a good job at finding quotes that fit her story too. To be quite honest after reading several of them you're not sure whether she molded a plot line after the quote or just got incredibly lucky!
***
The Characters: It's the characters I'm always interested in, and this story provided some really enjoyable ones. I can't really tell who they were without giving something away but they included such personalities as:
A young girl, who carried through nicely with flaws and quirks intact only occasionally falling into the 'typical pretty/cute girl character' roll.
An older man, the girl's father, who provides a reasonable, soft-spoken if not sometimes incredibly guilt ridden character.
A slightly bitter younger man who is really the one you find yourself intrigued by. The villains and their motivations aside you are really curious to know what will happen to this character.
A brusque, stubborn almost solely comical woman, you will definitely find her amusing, but there were times when I really wished they'd get back to the other characters.
A young boy, a little older than the girl, he is not introduced for a while but he quickly became one of my favorite characters!
Then of course there are the villains who do their job as villains well and an older man who plays a very large part in the story.
With so many intriguing characters you can almost forgive the book its several flaws which can largely be attributed to the fantasy angle.
***
The Flaws: One of the flaws is the very idea of reading things out of books themselves, it's never really clarified whether you read a character out of their story entirely or just take a copy of them and their character continues to live out their life in the story. It leads to some confusing dilemmas throughout the book but it's never really explained.
Another problem is some of the ending material feels rushed, you reach the end of the book and feel the need for a little more explanation, it also seems to be leading to a sequel as it leaves several ends lying open.
***
Altogether: A fine book and though written for children in some ways, it definitely grabs the attention of teens and older readers. It exceeds her first book "The Thief Lord" by far and I was very impressed with how Cornelia Funke's writing has improved, I will hope to see more stories from her!
***
A word to other Christian Readers:
There isn't a whole lot to note here, this story is largely a child's tale in style though there are some things to keep in mind. The lead villain is known for his cruelty and some of the things he is noted for doing (killing innocent people, burning their houses down, kidnapping children etc.) could be disturbing.
Also there is some implicated inappropriate behavior on the part of the villain's henchmen. They live in a village and have many young woman who cook and clean and for the most part that's what they are said to do. But there are implications of more, sometimes subtly, sometimes rather obvious, though this will likely go over your children's heads it may be something to keep in mind.
Also, though God and the devil are mentioned a couple times, it is really hard to see where the author stands on religion and these small notes may be disagreeable to you.
***
Inkheart, by Cornelia Funke: Rates 4 stars out of 5
~@~Rose


Fallen
Fallen
Price: $9.00
293 used & new from $0.01

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An experience to say the least..., February 5, 2004
This review is from: Fallen (Audio CD)
Hello, before my review I would like to clarify that I am Christian, and after my initial review I like to say a word to Christian readers/listeners/viewers etc, but feel free to only read the beginning of my review. :)
***
This CD was quite an interesting experience, I decided that in light of all the attention it had received it might be interesting to see what kind of material it included. I will say right up front that I liked this CD very much in general.
The songs (please note that what the songs are talking about is only my opinion):
1. Going Under: This song seems to be speaking about being overcome, perhaps by someone who in fact owes the speaker something. It is an intense song and the first I ever heard of Evanescence.
2. Bring Me To Life: A song about someone dying or falling into their own darkness with no way out. It really seems to be a plea for help. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs not only for its powerful music but also the choice of lyrics, though sometimes they strike me as a little over-dramatic.
3. Everybody's Fool: This song is very unique, a song about someone admired (an actor, singer, model) who appeared to love the speaker but only ever puts on a show. Millions of people see her as perfect when he (the speaker) knows who she really is. It's very insightful and the beat is persistent. One warning though, this song will get stuck in your head! ;)
4. My Immortal: Another favorite, this song is the speaker singing about losing someone they dearly loved. It made me cry the first time I heard it but I am partial to piano solos; a very soulful song.
5. Haunted: This song has never been much of a favorite, the point of the song seems lost in the creepy music and all it seems to be talking about is someone haunting the speaker...whatever that means. But it has a little merit like all of the songs on the album and may appeal to you.

6. Tourniquet: This song seems to be from the prospective of someone committing suicide only to discover that they need to be saved In case you don't know, a 'Tourniquet' is a bandage with pressure to keep a wound from bleeding. The song is an appeal to God to be the 'Tourniquet' and stop the flowing blood. I'll admit this song is very addicting and the pounding music draws you in, but it is also haunting and the subject matter may be disturbing.

7. Imaginary: This song is hard to describe, it seems to be talking about escaping to an imaginary place where you are free, with such things as 'paper flowers', 'candy clouds' and a 'purple sky' granted I may be missing a deeper meaning but that is all I got out of this song. It is a good song but can get old fast if you put it on repeat. :)
8. Taking Over Me: This seems to be another song about someone who lost someone they loved though a few of the words throw off this idea, it's more like the person the speaker sings about doesn't care or remember the speaker anymore. In general a good song and rather haunting as well.
9. Hello: The lyrics to this song leave me rather confused and maybe the deep meaning clearly trying to put itself across is obvious to everyone else, but the brief song has never been a favorite either in somewhat random lyrics or music.
10. My Last Breath: Clearly here (at least to me) the speaker singing is dying and singing a last song to her/his love. Though the idea of suicide is again implicated it is possible she/he is simply dying. It's a sad song to be certain but a good one in many ways.
11. Whisper: This song seems to be two people though one person sings it, in the verses it is a plea for help and the chorus is more like response to the plea. It is a very powerful song and the music runs in an effortless flow that carries through to the end.
The music: Though the rock/techno and sometimes choir approach won't appeal to many, it works well for me. It's easy to be motivated with music throbbing in your ears though there are some blissful ballads to break it up as well.
The singing: Lead singer Amy Lee was a complete surprise for me, judging by what I heard of their music choice and the cover art I was not expecting such a high lilting almost Celtic voice. Her singing is part of what makes this album what it is.
Altogether: It is quite an experience and I don't think I will tire of this album for a long time and it is not a waste of your money in the least, but if anything above is not 'your thing' you may reconsider. I hope this gave you a faithful overview at least.
A word to other Christian Listeners:
These artists (I don't believe) are Christian, they have said so themselves and I would have to agree. However they do have points and sometimes whole songs when there lyrics are obviously Christian. In general they deal with deep issues (not the usual array of drugs, inappropriate love, flirting etc) and though some of that comes through in a very dramatic way like in Tourniquet it seems to reflect some true thought given to their lyrics. I find songs like Everybody's Fool interesting especially because the artist write their own lyrics.
In the end their songs can be considered clean without language or inappropriate implications but whether you want to buy this album and listen to it repeatedly is a matter you may want to closely consider.
Evanescence, Fallen: Rates 4 stars out of 5
~@~Rose


Page: 1