|1. Die Another Day/Performed by Madonna|
|2. James Bond Theme (Bond vs. Oakenfold)|
|3. On The Beach|
|4. Hovercraft Chase|
|5. Some Kind Of Hero?|
|6. Welcome To Cuba|
|7. Jinx Jordan|
|8. Jinx & James|
|9. A Touch Of Frost|
|11. Laser Fight|
|13. Iced Inc.|
|15. Going Down Together|
After the dismal techno-rock assault that made The World Is Not Enough just another action blockbuster soundtrack, Arnold--who came to prominence providing the epic strings for Bjork's "Play Dead"--has largely returned to Bond staples, namely the rasping horns and brooding military marches that defined John Barry's classic scores. Yet all real moments of drama are subtly underpinned with futuristic add-ons. As the stunning orchestration of "On the Beach" lowers to a chilling hush, the sense of foreboding is guaranteed by a murmuring electronic pulse. The clattering mechanical beats of "Hovercraft Chase" add frantic urgency as the rallying horn salvos punch out the Bond theme and the bleeps and squelches of "Laser Fight" carry as much suspense as the vintage aquatic strings.
This time around Arnold's computer-enhanced atmospheres meld rather than compete with his orchestration. For sure, it's not perfect: the excessive use of choirs is more Star Wars than Bond and Madonna's club-friendly title song lacks the grace and drama to do the opening credits justice. For the most part though, it's a glorious return to form that's as welcome as the return of 007's Aston Martin. --Dan Gennoe
The score by David Arnold is a rushed and uninspired effort. It contains no genuine dramatic punch or thematic weight. It is a poor and lazy amalgamation of motifs and electronic samples from 'The World Is Not Enough'. Nicholas Dodd's orchestrations are boring and to similar to those heard in all of Arnold's previous works, adding to the scores predictability.
The album is far to short with only 45 minutes of Arnold's score included. Would it not of been possible to include the music from the surfing sequence in 'On The Beach' or the music accompanying Zao's escape from the Cuban clinic? The Oakenfold mix is pointless and unrewarding. The clanging percussion of 'Hovercraft Chase' is over powerful. 'Icarus' is a poor imitation/pastiche of John Barry's 'Spacemarch' style brass sound and the choral chanting is inappropriate. (George S. Clinton's spoof scores for the Austin Powers movies are far more effective in capturing Barry's 60's sound). Although used successfully in 'Moonraker' and 'Tomorrow Never Dies', the chorus sounds out of place here. The 'Antonov' track jumps genres so quickly it is impossible to adapt whilst the jollity of 'Welcome to Cuba' is disrupting to the flow of the album and irritating divorced from the film.
The score lacks John Barry's mastery and touch of class. Even the softer cues on the album such as 'Jinx Jordan' and 'Jinx and James' contain a lack of genuine thought and invention. Arnold simply can't write those hauntingly beautiful flute melodies which Barry could produce at will (Octopussy). The album ends with a laughable parody of John Barry's finale cues, and, like the 'Antonov' track, 'borrows' to much thematic material from The World Is Not Enough. The song's melody (if there is one) is not used in the underscore but this is not Arnold's fault as there is little he could do with such a song. However, the score still contains insufficient original thematic substance and demonstrates no musical arc, pacing or sustained character development.
'Die Another Day' continues The World Is Not Enough's excessive electronic grounding. Once again the precise balance between traditional orchestral scoring and synthesised accompaniment is lost. Arnold messes around with the editing and consequently the flow of such cues as 'Hovercraft Chase'. The album suffers from Arnold's excessive over mixing of synth, drowning some marginally more interesting orchestral writing. The constant electronic drowning truly grates and the terrible electronic slashing reaches a head in 'Laser fight' as the synth beat becomes un-listenable. (Perhaps the electronic onslaught is the only way his music can overcome the excessive volume of the Sound FX in the film).
The score feels appropriately modern and the techno beats and pulses deliver suitable drive but as with The World Is Not Enough, Arnold seemingly loses or forgets the inclusion of the 'Barryesque'. This is strange given Arnold's enthusiasm and admiration for Barry's James Bond music.
Comparing new Bond scores to Barry's past excellence is a pointless exercise, but with such lacklustre efforts becoming, rather disturbingly, common place one can't help missing Barry's touch. Nobody has done it better. Arnold's score arguably rivals Eric Serra's 'Goldeneye' for worst Bond score ever. It will be interesting to see if David Arnold survives to score another day. I suspect he will but needs to do much better. The quality of the album as a commercial product and a musical whole is shocking. Positively shocking.
1. Die Another Day Theme: Madonnas finest song yet, and manages to keep the standard high for bond theme songs!
2. James Bond Theme: Not much changed here from the Moby version, but excellent futuristic sounds.
3. On the Beach: Contains the gunbarrel music, bar the gunshot! good introduction to the next track.
4. Hovercraft Chase: This has to be the best song on the soundtrack! repeats the 007 theme over and over! fast moving, makes u feel like ur actually bond! brilliant!
7. Jinx Jordan: This piece of music is a great introduction to Jinx, shame its quite short.
11. Laser Fight: Again, one of the best songs on the album, espeically near the end, when david arnold really lets go with the electrifying theme!
12. Whiteout: Another fast moving piece, really complements the soundtrack, providing more electric bits. Best near the end, when the 007 theme is played.
13. Iced Inc: Really really fast moving, makes u feel like bond driving the aston martin!
15. Going Down Together: Nice piece of music to end the film, just like The World is Not Enough.
Overall, i really recommend this soundtrack to any bond fan, especially if u luv the new bond film. An essential purchase!
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