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May/June 2021
6/25/21 Filmtracks announces its 2020 award nominees and winners
Filmtracks celebrates the best film music of 2020 with its annual nominees and winners in the categories of "Top Film Scores," "Top Composers," and "Top Film Cues." The nominees for "Top Film Scores" in 2020 are:
The Call of the Wild  (John Powell)
Elephant  (Ramin Djawadi)
The One and Only Ivan  (Craig Armstrong)
El Verano Que Vivimos  (Federico Jusid)
Wonder Woman 1984  (Hans Zimmer)
Visit the 2020 Awards section to view the winners (and other categories). For more information about these awards or to view the results from previous years, browse the Filmtracks Awards index page.
6/20/21 Elephant   (Ramin Djawadi)
All New Review
Buy it... if you have a soft spot for well-executed blends of African and Western musical conventions in film music, this entry a spectacularly rendered, highly thematic score for a Disney documentary.
Avoid it... if you have never cared for the prominent ethnic vocals of The Lion King or Blood Diamond, Ramin Djawadi not attempting to reinvent the wheel here.
6/15/21 El Verano Que Vivimos   (Federico Jusid)
All New Review
Buy it... if you delight in nimbly flowing European romance scores dominated by rolling piano performances, Federico Jusid providing a well-executed exploration of the genre in this lovely work.
Avoid it... if you demand a cohesive musical narrative over a longer album presentation, this score never quite congealing into the classic it could have been.
6/10/21 The Personal History of David Copperfield   (Christopher Willis)
All New Review
Buy it... if you have an established affinity for English classicism of shamelessly expressive character, Christopher Willis suppling no shortage of refined exuberance in his highly layered work.
Avoid it... if you have difficulty following musical narratives when a composer provides an overabundance of activity on top of fragmented thematic ideas, this score proving surprisingly inaccessible without several revisits.
6/6/21 Days of Thunder   (Hans Zimmer)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you desire a cross between Hans Zimmer's later bad-ass attitude and electric guitar-dominated style of Drop Zone and the easy-going romantic sensibilities of Green Card.
Avoid it... if the composer's somewhat dated, early hard rock material leaves you as cold as Days of Thunder does for those not interested in moody hunks and ridiculous cars.
6/1/21 Dolores Claiborne   (Danny Elfman)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if feelings of disillusionment in your film scores never yield boredom for you, for this music is effectively troubling in its morbidly deliberate meandering and unappealing instrumental demeanor.
Avoid it... if you need more than just a drab sibling to Danny Elfman's engaging melodrama for Sommersby to justify a listening experience that offers little relief from its solemn contemplation.
5/27/21 The Great Train Robbery   (Jerry Goldsmith)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you appreciate Jerry Goldsmith music at its most exuberant and boisterously enthusiastic, in this case brightly comedic due to its airy atmosphere and light waltz rhythms.
Avoid it... if you find Goldsmith's breezy, overly-positive comedy music to be remotely trite, because The Great Train Robbery reminds significantly of the composer's campy fluff from the 1960's.
5/22/21 Far and Away   (John Williams)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you're passionate about highly lyrical and gorgeously melodic scores, especially if they can make a splash with some boldly orchestral adventure along the way.
Avoid it... if other composers' incorporation of uilleann pipes, pan flutes, penny whistles, and The Chieftains into less applicable settings has poisoned you to even the best that John Williams can muster with those elements.
5/17/21 The X-Files   (Mark Snow)
Updated Review, With Additional Albums
Buy it... on the comprehensive 4-CD sets from 2011 to 2020 spanning all of the seasons of Mark Snow's impressive contributions to the concept if you desire most of the noteworthy and prominent cues heard within the context of the show.
Avoid it... on those pricey sets and instead seek the 1996 single-CD release if you have no interest in the more dynamic, humorous, and strikingly beautiful music from the show's later seasons and instead want the darker, atonal, and atmospheric music from the first three seasons.
5/12/21 The Karate Kid   (Bill Conti)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... on any of the Varèse Sarabande or La-La Land Records albums for the popular franchise if you are a devoted enthusiast of either the films or Bill Conti's distinctive blend of symphonic and contemporary tones typical to the era.
Avoid it... if you expect the ethnic influence in these scores to shake the stylistic habits and overarching tone that equally define the composer's Rocky scores as dated and repetitious.
5/4/21 Solo: A Star Wars Story   (John Powell/John Williams)
Updated Review, With Additional Album
Buy it... if you seek proof that "Star Wars" music can thrive brilliantly after the exit of John Williams from the stage, John Powell providing an extremely satisfying career highlight that successfully blends the undeniable Williams' legacy with his own best mannerisms.
Avoid it... if you expect this score to cure your toenail fungus, because there's no rational reason for any film music collector to shun this magnificent work.
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