Customer Reviews: Brave
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on June 21, 2012
For those of you looking for the song by Julie Fowlis that plays during the officer Brave movie trailer, it is on the album called Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is) and is called Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a' Chuan.

The album is located here: Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is)
The single is located here: Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a' Chuan
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on June 19, 2012
I listened through this album twice when I got it. The first time, I listened through the album exactly as it's presented upon purchase, with the three non-score tracks first, then the orchestral score following; I thoroughly enjoyed the vocal tracks "Touch the Sky" and "Learn Me Right"; the "Into the Open Air" is nice but didn't resonate with me personally as the others did - the "Touch the Sky" is especially outstanding, of the three - just pounding with energy and emotion. I found that the three vocal tracks at the beginning convey a rather different overall mood than the score - not necessarily a bad thing, but I was initially expecting the integration of some of the themes from the vocal tracks at the beginning during the orchestral score, as has been the case with Pixar movies in the past, such as "Up" and "Ratatouille" which had fun vocal tracks that utilized melodic content from the main score - these first three tracks don't do that, but they are very fun to listen to, and I find the "Touch the Sky" uplifting and inspiring; it leads me to want to go running through the woods and mountains, or something similar to that. On my second listen through I went and restructured the album so the three vocal tracks at the beginning were at the end of the album and the orchestral score was first. I enjoyed the score more the second time through with this play order, with the vocal tracks by Julie Fowlis and Birdy/Mumford and Sons as punctuation to the score, rather than introduction to it.

Patrick Doyle's score has some of everything you'd expect to be associated with a movie like this: there are the exciting Scottish reels and dance-like pieces, plenty of ethnic instruments throughout that help center the feel of the music geographically, slow sweeping melodies, powerfully energetic action tracks, and a few tracks where cast members from the film sing, which are all solid offerings - whether silly, in the rowdy "Song of Mor'du" or beautiful, in the gentle "Noble Maiden Fair (A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal)".

Overall, the score has a lot more subtle moments than I expected before listening, but they play well with good melodic content and so on. There are a few tracks that seem to be the almost inevitable "background music" that probably plays under quiet scenes in the movie where there isn't much going on, but there are plenty of stirring moments to be found - both on the exciting and the impassioned side of things that keep the listening enjoyable throughout the album.

There are 15 out of the 20 tracks that are outstanding; four of the remaining five tracks are score tracks that seem to be mostly filler music, and the other track of the five non-outstanding tracks is the vocal piece "Into the Open Air" that doesn't resonate well with me. All in all, there is no reason why you shouldn't purchase this whole album, as there are enough outstanding tracks to justify paying for the whole album. I really enjoyed this recording, and it's been a while since a good-quality Celtic-flavored soundtrack was released.

I'm looking forward to seeing "Brave" to make associations of these lovely themes and the atmosphere of the album with the particular scenes they were designed to accompany; until then I'll be enjoying this lovely soundtrack album from Patrick Doyle and others.
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on June 21, 2012
Let me start of by say Pixar has done it again. BRAVE is a wonderful film, with a charming story line that really captures the beauty of Scotland. This is not a twee (cheezy) film that mocks Scotland like Brigadoon, but captures both the attitudes (good and bad) of the people, the feeling of the landscape and heart of the music without pandering to stereotypes. The voices are alive with the accent, albeit the accents have been softened a bit to be understandable (for an American audience). The rich colors of the countryside occasionally look cartoon-ish, but for someone who lived there for 10 years and traveled highlands, lowlands and islands extensively, believe the colors are real. Patrick Doyle dug deep into his roots growing up in Uddingston Scotland (just outside Glasgow) and brought in some stellar Celtic musicians to give the film an authentic feel.

From the tin whistle right as the opening credits begin, to the long sustains of the Celtic fiddle when the sun comes up on the standing stones (near the end of the film) the music grabs you, transports you and never lets you forget you are in a land filled with magic and wonder. The pipers from "The Red Hot Chili Pipers" lend their expertise to the film, but are never over stated. Celtic harp, tin whistles, bag bipes, bodhrans, dulcimers and uilleann pipes all make appearances on the soundtrack, but are highlights rather than base. The London Symphony Orchestra provided rich foundation for the Celtic instrumental coloring. James Shearman conducted and orchestrated the film.

The film is animation, yet I can't remember a film that recreated the feeling of Scotland and its sense of mystery as well as BRAVE.
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VINE VOICEon June 19, 2012
Long time Patrick Doyle fan, and hearing that he was doing the music for "Brave" made me instantly excited for this soundtrack. He gets it just right here, with Scottish flair accenting his solid and melodic orchestral score. I look for memorable themes in a soundtrack, and I look for them to be used but not overused. Nothing kills a good theme for me like having it repeated ad nauseum until the entire soundtrack is just the same soundbyte over and over again--but at the same time, it is nice to have poignant moments called back by the use and variation of a familiar theme. That is what you get here, with some sweet and lilting Scottish flavored melodies varied and repeated at intervals, but not abused. The action writing is tense and focused, and percussion is strong and interested. The vocal tracks are warm and sweet, sung beautifully and setting off the rest of the soundtrack like jewels in a setting. A solid and enjoyable Pixar soundtrack that keeps Doyle as a go-to composer for me.
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on June 19, 2012
Pattrick Doyle takes us on a trip to scotland! Julie Fowlis makes me want to listen to the midnight special on PBS radio for folks songs and mumford and sons and Birdy make me think of how the 1980s in scotland where.......this is the perfect PIXAR soundtrack since toy Story! excellent! worth every penny!

The Games, Merida's Home, Remember to Smile, stand out as the best tracks....

this is perfection. buy it now!
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on July 11, 2012
Anyone who knows composer Patrick Doyle's work knows that each of his scores are completely unique, and that he adapts himself and his music for each new project. You need only to listen to his albums for "A Little Princess", "Hamlet", "Sense and Sensibility", "Bridget Jones' Diary", or "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", and you'll see what I mean.

His latest work for Disney-Pixar's "Brave" is a beautiful mix of modern and ancient, featuring stirring Scotch/Celtic themes, lilting reels, and sweeping action melodies. Traditional instrumentation--bagpipes, flutes, fiddles, tin-whistles, and drums--permeate the score while never overwhelming it, and help to bring out the enigmatic and mystical feeling of medieval Scotland. As deeply moving and special as the film that it accompanies, I'd rank it as one of my all-time favorite film scores, and certainly one of the best that Pixar has ever done. While the expected Scottish mournful flavor is quite noticeable, there is an undisputable amount of signature playfulness and spirit present--perhaps this is due to the fact that Doyle is part Irish.

I was so taken with this score just from listening to previews on iTunes that I purchased it before even seeing the movie. I've had this CD for almost a month now, and I have not stopped listening to it since. Even without the visuals of the film to bring it to life, it is a glorious journey on its own; there is so much depth and richness contained in its 20 tracks that I have yet to grow tired of it.

The first three tracks on the CD are vocal pieces, performed by Scottish songstress Julie Fowlis and British singer Birdy with folk band Mumford and Sons. I have to say that I like the ones by Fowlis better, simply because she has a better voice, but all three songs are excellent and enhance the film immensely. "Touch The Sky" is a rousing, uplifting song and a great opener, with a real Scots flavor about it, that sets up Merida's character right from the very beginning. "Into the Open Air" feels more modern, but is appropriate for musically representing the relationship between Merida and Queen Elinor. "Learn Me Right" is a great closing number, and the instrumental backing by the Mumford and Sons is great, but Birdy's voice and pronunciation leave much to be desired, in my opinion.

Fifteen of the other tracks are simply score, but the other two are, in a first for Pixar, vocal pieces sung by the characters within the film itself. "Song of Mor'du", performed by Billy Connolly as King Fergus, with contributing vocals from others, including Patrick Doyle himself, and the ancient-sounding lullaby "A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal" (A Noble Maiden Fair) with lyrics by Doyle's son Patrick Jr. and sung in Gaelic by Emma Thompson. The melody is repeated many times over through the score, and is probably my favorite song on the whole album.

To sum it all up, Patrick Doyle has done it again, crafting a beautiful musical score that is just as great on its own as along with the movie it was written for. So for anyone who enjoys his work, great film soundtracks, or just Celtic music in general, I cannot possibly recommend the CD more.
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on June 24, 2012
I bought this CD for my 7 year old daughter *before* the movie even came out. I was a little apprehensive because she usually likes very chipper, Disney music (think Beauty and the Beast) and I thought she might not appreciate the moody vibe of this one. Wrong. She loves, loves, loves it. She took it over to a sleepover and the girls there loved it, too.

It's very pretty music, priced fairly. Super purchase, very happy.
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VINE VOICEon June 23, 2012
This soundtrack contains music from talented musicians and an equally talented composer. Scottish singer Julie Fowlis contributes two songs to the film. "Touch The Sky" is a song about the spirit of adventure. This up lifting song makes my heart soar. I love the acoustic guitar playing here "Into The Open Air" is a song about breaking down walls and learning to understand each other. Patrick Doyle is the composer who scored the film. He tells the story of the film with his instrumental pieces. "The Games" is an instrumental piece that captures the spirit of competition. I love the bagpipes playing on this track. "Learn Me Right" is a beautiful song featuring a singer named Birdy with the group Mumford And Sons. This song reminds me that there are no boundaries in life. The banjo playing is superb here. "Noble Maiden Fair" is a pretty song performed by Emma Thompson. I don't understand a word of this Gaelic song, but it is very pretty language to listen to. "Song of Mordu" is a song about hunting down a bear called Mordu. It is performed by Billy Connolly. He plays King Fergus in the film. This is a song of celebration and conquest. "We've Both Changed" is another instrumental piece that stands out. The first two minutes of this track are intense and dramatic. The last three minutes are peaceful and serene. The talented Patrick Doyle conveys a range of emotions in this five minute instrumental piece. I love the music in this film so much.
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on September 9, 2012
We went to the store looking for the soundtrack right after watching the movie, but it was not in stock. As soon as we came home, I hopped on Amazon and ordered it. I'll say this, if you loved the movie, you'll want the sound track. If you love Celtic music, this would be a great addition to your collection. The entire album is absolutely beautiful, both songs with lyrics and instrumentals!
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on August 30, 2012
My mom, myself, and my daughter all loved the movie and couldn't wait to get the soundtrack. Unlike other kid's movie soundtracks this one is great for adults too, I listen to it on my car all the time even without the kids around.
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