Gregson-Williams coming off, among other projects, his critically popular score for Ridley Scott's KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, which in the minds of some, truly took Gregson-Williams to the level of A-list composer. The announcement of his involvement with the NARNIA film came to have fairly high and hopeful expectations attached to it.
While THE LION, THE WITCH AND WARDROBE is a classic tale, the score has a bit of an unexpected, contemporary edge. It is hardly predictable and fancifully eclectic. While employing a full orchestra, more often than not, it's the subtle, lead, woodwinds and crystal-like percussions, occasionally accompanied by a chorus, that help transport the audience to this land called Narnia. The majority of this score might be considered a bit understated, but it is not without its moments. Tracks such as "To Aslan's Camp" "Father Christmas" and "The Battle" certainly give the soundtrack a much needed shot of life.
Gregson-Williams' score for THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE does lacks the dramatic depth of some of it's contemporaries such as THE LORD OF THE RINGS or even HARRY POTTER. This may be due to the arrangement or the mix causing the score can feel more synthetic than organic. Oddly enough it gives the work a personality of its own. The light, playful, transcendence of the music could be said to fit Adamson's style of storytelling...and may even help to set this new Disney franchise a part. The music of Narnia is not likely to be confused for any other.
The general soundtrack release contains almost an hours-worth of score and another 15 minutes of pop cues. These songs are grouped at the end of soundtrack, so the hard-core, score afficiando can easily bypass them. Still, if one dares to let the CD play through, at least one of these tracks might be found as surprisingly enjoyable in the context of this predominatly score album.
As Harry-Gregson Williams recently mentioned in Tracksounds' interview with him, it looks as though there is more to come from the land of Narnia. (read the full interview here)
Tracksounds Rating: 7/10
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