Howard Shore “The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King”

Album Reviews | Mar 1st, 2005

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Record Label: Warner Brothers
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Sadly, The final chapter of the trilogy is coming to a close. I wish Howard Shore could compose music for LOTR every year like he has been for the past 3 years. There’s always hope because Shore plans on releasing a 79 disc set of the Trilogy’s music, and even rare and unfinished tracks as well. So at least I’ll have that. It seems hard to compress a 3 and 1/2 hour movie onto a 74 minute CD but Howard Shore did it. The CD starts off with “A Storm In Coming” and it almost sounds like a traditional classical piece and not something from The Lord Of The Rings. “Minis Tirith” is the grand theme for Gondor, that you heard parts of it during the Council of Elrond scene in Fellowship of a Ring when Boromir speaks and for the Return Of The King trailer. The track gives me goose bumps and I haven’t even seen the film yet. During the track “Steward of Gondor,” actor Billy Boyd (Pippin) starts singing and it actually doesn’t sound that bad. The scene is when he’s with Denethor and I guess he wants to hear a song from the hobbit so he sings that. One of the many featured musicians on here is Sir James Galway, a brilliant Irish flutist who I have a bunch of Cds of and was happy to find out that he took part in the Return of the King score. His style of flute playing just adds so much to the songs. Shore brings back old themes and develops new ones as well. I think if the score wasn’t thematic, it wouldn’t have worked as well. For this type of movie, you need themes. Rene Fleming appears on the song “Twilight and Shadow” and she sings the Two Towers song “Evenstar.” It’s just a little bit different; The words are different but who the hell knows what they are. I think in the Limited Edition CD there is lyrics so that would help. Actor Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) also appears on a track, “Return of the King” and sings a little bit. For each LOTR Cd, it featured a different female singer at the end of the movie/ CD and this time for the end credits, Annie Lennox provides her beautiful voice to the track “Into The West.” When I heard a sample of the chorus, I didn’t like it but once you hear the song as a whole, I really, really liked it. I’ll probably be crying like a girl during the movie’s end credits when this song comes up. I’ll probably be crying before then too haha. When you buy the special limited edition soundtrack of ROTK, you get am exclusive bonus DVD including a LOTR “supertrailer”, photo gallery and a special feature “Use Well The Days: A Behind The Scenes Portrait Of Howard Shore.” It’s a 20 minute documentary on Howard Shore and his work. So yeah, this review is wicked long and I think you can tell I liked the CD and think it’s extremely excellent!

Bottom Line: YES! I haven’t stopped listening to this score since I got it.
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