Soundtrack Review: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
|Reviewer: JØrn Tillnes|
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Soundtrack Review: This is a review of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader soundtrack by David Arnold.
"The sounds and themes of Narnia feels so much part of the franchise that I was wondering what Arnold could bring to it"
I grew up with Narnia, but I am not talking about the books or the movies. It was the BBC TV series that I thought was the greatest thing ever. Hey, I Was only 12 at the time! When Hollywood got their hands on this, I was excited and so far they have kept me entertained. I loved the music by Harry Gregson-Williams as well. Harry did the two previous movies and everyone including me was expecting him to step up for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but instead we got David Arnold. Those are big shoes to fill, but has it been in vain?
|1. Opening Titles||****|
|2. The Painting||****|
|3. High King and Queen of Narnia||*****|
|4. Reepi Cheep||***|
|5. Land Ahoy||***|
|6. The Lone Island||****|
|7. Lord Berne||***|
|8. The Green Mist||*****|
|9. Market Forces||****|
|10. 1st Sword||***|
|11. Eustace on Deck||***|
|13. The Magician's Island||***|
|14. Lucy and the Invisible Mansion||***|
|15. Coraikin and the Map||***|
|16. Temptation of Lucy||***|
|17. Aslan Appears||*****|
|18. The Golden Cavern||***|
|19. Temptation of Edmund||***|
|20. Dragon's Treasure||***|
|21. Dragon Attack||*****|
|22. Under the Stars||****|
|23. Blue Star||****|
|24. Aslan's Table||****|
|25. Liliandill and Dark Island||****|
|26. The Calm Before the Storm||****|
|27. Into Battle||*****|
|28. Sweet Water||*****|
|29. Ship to shore||****|
|30. Time to go Home||****|
After the initial disappointment of not having Harry Gregson-Williams compose this score, I became more and more positive. I like David Arnold and he has created some amazing adventurous scores before (Star Gate, ID4), but Narnia is something special. The sounds and themes of Narnia feels so much part of the franchise that I was wondering what Arnold could bring to it. After listening to the samples online a few weeks ago, I allowed myself to get excited again. He was definitely using the Narnia theme by Gregson-Williams and the other stuff didn't sound so bad either.
Allowing myself to be excited again and completely clear my mind before listening to the new Narnia score wasn't easy, but I did it.
David Arnold has balls, I'll give him that. After listening to the score a few times, I would say 90%, maybe even higher, is all David Arnold, but is it Narnia?
The New Theme
It's not Narnia as I know it, and the new main theme heard in 'Opening Titles' and 'The Painting' pales in comparison to the wonderful theme created by Harry Gregson-Williams. You do get the best of both worlds (briefly) as the Gregson-Williams theme can be heard in 'High King and Queen of Narnia' and 'Aslan Appears'. The David Arnold theme is a more classical inspired theme, but it lacks something that evokes emotion, but perhaps that will change after I watch the movie a few times.
So far I am not convinced.
I don't like the short length of most cues as it breaks up the story in too small bites. The gigantic cue 'Into Battle' almost makes up for it though. Weighing in at 11 minutes, it's a thunderous cue that manages to keep me entertained throughout, not an easy task.
What's good here is clearly the use of the Gregson-Williams themes for familiarity reasons of nothing else. Then there are some great action material that I felt could be expanded upon. I feel it lacks the adventure, the soul of Narnia. You may accuse me of being biased, and I admit you may be right. I am a bit too attached to Harry Gregson-Williams two great Narnia scores, but in all honesty, I wouldn't have it any other way. Maybe if I never known the history of Narnia, never knew it existed, the outcome might have been different. It is still a good score though, just not quite Narnia and not quite living up to my very high expectations.