Thomas Newman – “Skyfall”

Album Reviews | Nov 10th, 2012

Record Label: Sony
Genre: Film Score
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The latest James Bond is out now and it’s arguably one of the best Bond films to date. I’m not sure I like Skyfall better than Casino Royale, but those two are far better than Quantum of Solace. The composer of the last several James Bond films has been David Arnold, but now the film has a new composer, Thomas Newman.

Thomas Newman has to be one of my top 5 favorite composers. There are so many scores that he has had that I love like Shawshank, Green Mile, Wall-E, Lemony Snicket, Finding Nemo, Road to Perdition, Cinderella Man, The Help and many, many more. Skyfall is a good score but I actually think it could have been better.

The problem I have with Newman’s Skyfall is the lack of the Bond theme or another motif that sticks with the audience. You hear it immediately in Track 1, and maybe once or two more. In the movie, you hear John Barry’s classic theme which was nice. This score just feel like it goes through the motions. I can see why Sam Mendes went with Newman since they have worked together several times. Plus, Mendes doesn’t seem like the type of director that wants big orchestrated scores in his movies. I’m not saying Arnold would have been the better choice, but I think some new themes should have been established.

There are plenty of action cues (“Granborough Road”, “She’s Mine”), but there’s some quiet moments too. There’s also some tracks that remind of Wall-E a little bit (“Quatermaster”). The overall score has that espionage feel to it, but in a subdued sort of way. After seeing the movie, I think the score works well with the footage which is the main goal. I liked the score but felt it could have been better in areas.

Bottom Line: A good score by Newman but a forgettable one.
Notable Tracks: Grand Bazaar Istanbul, Brave New World, Komodo Dragon
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