SPECTRE by Thomas Newman

Despite having read that the soundtrack is released sometime in November it is now on Spotify and the only reason I can think why is because today is the official UK premier of the much anticipated 007 film.
Not wanting to be too negative, and even though I am a fan of Newman’s scores, I was perplexed when he was given Skyfall and whilst Spectre does the job, it’s not that memorable. Maybe because Skyfall gave us the thunderous theme song by Adele to build on and if so we can’t use Sam Smith’s title song for Spectre as the same excuse [yes, I am in ‘the not so sure/don’t really like’ camp regarding this song.] Not that we need an excuse as it’s a perfectly sound score in parts.
Spectre-soundtrack-cover
It open’s with a wonderful re-working [or to use modern parlance – deconstruction] of the 007 theme featuring award winning Tambuco who are a Mexican contemporary classical percusssion group.I loved this track have to say, so it was a good start to the soundtrack and stayed that way for the early tracks.

Of course locations are key to a 007 movie’s and The Eternal City is the haunting cue for our introduction to Rome. We arrive at Tangier to the sound of L’Americaine with a hint of danger together with ethnic strains. The 2 strongest cue’s highlight the romantic interest, Donna Lucia has very lush strings whilst Madeleine, who has a complicated background, also has luscious strings but the cue is a little more questioning.
There is also an instrumental version of The Writing’s On the Wall which doesn’t make the actual song anymore attractive but it has a strong Bond sound in it’s orchestration. The lively Tambuco re-appear on Day of The Dead, strikingly different to the rest of the soundtrack but it fits so well.
As for the action cues they are somewhat derivative but do an OK job. We have been somewhat spoilt by Mr Barry and David Arnold, particularly John Barry who made every cue count but here Newman adopts the present day driving force of action cues when I feel the film deserved better.

The score IS a Bond score and after hearing it within the film it works well but it’s not going to be a soundtrack that you listen to a lot and with the rich 007 music heritage we have this is almost a crime.

TRACK LISTING

1. Los Muertos Vivos Estan (featuring Tambuco)
2. Vauxhall Bridge
3. The Eternal City
4. Donna Lucia
5. A Place Without Mercy
6. Backfire
7. Crows Klinik
8. The Pale King
9. Madeleine
10. Kite In A Hurricane
11. Snow Plane
12. L’Americain
13. Secret Room
14. Hinx
15. Writing’s On The Wall (Instrumental)
16. Silver Wraith
17. A Reunion
18. Day Of The Dead (featuring Tambuco)
19. Tempus Fugit
20. Safe House
21. Blindfold
22. Careless
23. Detonation
24. Westminster Bridge
25. Out Of Bullets
26. Spectre (End Title)

Decca Label

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