OVERALL Score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
A Fairytale Gone Wrong
After the track list for Snow White and the Huntsman hit the net earlier this month, I thought I’d better take a listen. If the music was anything like the amazing sound featured in the film’s trailers and TV spots, then I knew we were all in for a treat come opening night. The soundtrack really is everything you ever wanted in an orchestral soundtrack and then some. On a whole the music sits lightly on long whimsical runs of strings and wind instruments, while also throwing in several percussion heavy tracks, giving the soundtrack a feel of a fairytale gone very wrong.
James Newton Howard At His Best
With a score composed by James Newton Howard, a haunting solo-track by Ioanna Gika, and the film’s theme song “Breath of Life” performed by the talented Florence + The Machine, this soundtrack is must have. With the film hitting theaters this Friday, there’s no way of telling just how the music will fit in with the scenes, but that’s the magic of listening to the film’s orchestral music before it hits theaters. I thoroughly enjoy listening to a soundtrack and trying to envision the film scene by scene.
Howard has composed several stunning tracks. My favorites are ‘Snow White’, ‘Sanctuary’, ‘Escape from the Tower’, ‘Finland in Flames’, ‘White Hart’, ‘White Horse’, ‘Coronation’ and ‘You Can’t Have My Heart’. While this isn’t my first experience with Howard’s work, it is my first time actually sitting down and listening to one of his pieces in its entirety. I must say that I’m a new fan. He reminds me a lot of Hans Zimmer — the passion is there and he utilizes a lot of silent moments throughout his music. Howard’s previous works include The Hunger Games, Green Lantern, Water for Elephants, Salt, The Last Airbender, I am Legend, Blood Diamond and many, many more.
Florence + The Machine ‘Breath of Life’
Together ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘White Hart’ are stunning; the two tracks are like siblings that can’t be split, otherwise you’d miss the entire experience. There’s a lot of color painted throughout, especially in ‘Sanctuary’ – a brief but effective track, moved by piano and then building on violin strings. ‘White Hart’ really is monster in itself. At 6:37 this piece is the soundtrack’s gem. There’s a sense of discovery, beauty, nostalgia, curiosity and danger all wrapped in one song.
‘Escape from the Tower’ screams Queen Ravenna. It’s a powerful piece and the addition of the heavy brass and rhythmic drums gives the song a sense of desperation and urgency. Hope I’m not spoiling anything here, but we can all assume this is when Snow White “Escapes from the Tower”. “White Horse” is another heavy yet energized track, but with several unique sounds peppered in. And “Coronation” is as resolute as any track can be, building the hope and prosperity that ends on a satisfying note.
Florence + The Machine – One Heavenly Sound
Both fans and casual listeners will enjoy Florence + The Machine’s “Breath Of Life”. The beginning reuses the drumming heard throughout the soundtrack. The rhythmic beats and the choir gelled together with Florence’s vibrant and unique voice works perfectly together. Florence + The Machine gained global attention when their hit track ‘Dog Days Are Over’ was featured on the Eat, Pray, Love trailer; unfortunately, the song did not make the film’s official soundtrack list. Now this talented songstress and the band gets a spot all to themselves. Check out the playlist below, and let us know what you think of the score.
‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ Soundtrack