4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
How to enjoy your ride to the grocery store...,
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This review is from: How To Train Your Dragon (Audio CD)
In reviewing the title movie, I did not mention the soundtrack at all; it deserves its own review. I am amazed by how, more and more, the animated features get the red carpet treatment when it comes to music. This one is certainly at the head of the pack in that category, but is one of the best soundtracks of recent release regardless of the kind of picture it supports. I think Powell must have had to jump up and down on the score to cram so much wonderful, rich, and colorful rhythm and instrumentation into this composition. While the whole is unified through repetition and variation of the main themes, there are plenty of different musical ideas here to keep it from getting even close to boring. This is one boisterous, joyful, foot-stomping joy-ride....just like the film itself. Those already familiar with the film will immediately recognize such wonderful cues as 'This is Berk', 'Test Drive', and 'Romantic Flight', and there are many other rousing renditions of these main themes. I would also suggest 'Dragon's Den' for its drving rhythmic energy, darker tones, and subtle,warm dissonance. Its sinister mood is still very likeable and deserves repeated listening. The closing cues around the final battle scene are, as expected, big and bombastic, and add a fitting end to all the fun. One other piece that should not be missed is 'Coming Back Around', which, while a restatement of 'Test Drive', is twice as big and exhilirating.
As one might expect for the subject matter, there are many Celtic and folk sounding themes and tunes throughout. The instrumentation runs the gamut from small ensembles to oversized orchestra, with everything from traditional strings to bagpipes to even some synth effects. There is a smorgasboard of musical idioms from simple pastoral fiddle solos to jigs and hornpipes to lush, soaring romantic fantasy to full orchestral artillery to finally what could be a marchout of the massed bands at the Edinburgh Tattoo (...who knows - they may play this some day!). Although there are a few less memorable pieces, they serve well to segue between the larger efforts. I did find the additional piece by Jonsi to be a bit of a misfit, and would have preferred a complete statement of the end credits, but there is more than enough here to more than compensate for a few slight detractions. Put this one in your cart now for your next trip to the grocery store. Or the beach. Or the ballgame. Or family get-together...or even your next flight ;o)