James NEWTON HOWARD
edel 011261 2DNY
It's good to hear James Newton Howard back on form with this extremely colourful
and evocative score. He has chosen to use an Afro-Caribbean style for much
of the score in keeping with the lush 'equatorial' setting of the film.
The opening track 'Inner Sanctum/The Nesting Grounds' is a calm pastoral
sound picture, cosy and maternal yet weighty too - these are after all gigantic
creatures. (The music embraces wide dynamics so watch those floorboards.)
The joyful dancing rhythms of this track become more jubilant in 'The Egg
Travels', an infectious cue that really sparkles; there are jungle drums,
elephantine lumberings, bird-like twitterings - from high woodwinds and assorted
exotic treble percussion instruments - and heroic brass fanfares. This is
a strongly rhythmic cue that it is hard to keep still to. This general mood
is continued in 'The Courtship' where the joyous Caribbean-style dance rhythms
are now conjoined by voices; in its later stretches this cue is romantically
introspective. 'Aldar and Neera' is an engagingly quirky interlude. 'The
End of the Island' begins wistfully and seems to indicate the dampness of
a rain forest; then comes catastrophe and panic, the music growing ever urgent
as the dinosaurs suddenly flee, against blaring trumpets and increasingly
urgent timpani; but there are moments of heroism too. 'They're all gone'
is aftermath poignancy, sad with something of a child-like dismay and
questioning. 'Raptors/Stand Together' is full of jungle noises and desperately
urgent rhythms indicating mortal danger. This is a very vibrant and thrilling
cue with chase music that is complex in rhythm; very colourful and varied.
'Across the Desert' has a lumbering gait as the animals trudge across waste
lands. It is heroic too; and there are wailing voices and sinuous rhythms.
After North African-style music that seems to indicate the parched and sun-baked
desert, there is joy and relief at 'Finding Water'. 'The Cave' is another
quiet interlude, a sanctuary of calm; it's a little playful too. 'The Carnotaur
Attack' has Newton Howard's music baring its teeth as it rasps its way through
an assault by these sharply toothed monsters. Sensual tambourines, drums
and woodwinds play lovely North African style dancing rhythms in 'Neera Rescues
the Orphans'. 'The Breakout' is another spectacular heroic and jubilant cue
while 'It Comes with a Pool' contrasts happy, sparkling celebratory material
with music that is both heavier indicating further future threats. 'Kron
and Aldar Fight' is combative but the album ends on an upbeat with a very
engaging 'Epilogue' that has more of those exotic rhythms and vividly coloured
orchestrations, this time with a nice broad sweeping triumphant melody.
Inevitably, in a 55 minute score there is bound to be some repetition and
moments of languor or a little too much heavy threatening or 'chase' music
but all in all this is a very satisfactory listen.