This is a really crackingly good James Bond score. On his fifth outing as composer, David Arnold has created a work that is both listenable and catchy.
I'll admit right away, I am firmly in the camp that has cringed through Arnold's work on three out of the five previous, John-Barryless films. Arnold's love of sequenced layers of percussive turmoil drowned out any semblance of melody and the James Bond theme was plastered on with a trowel at various moments when other ideas had obviously run out.
Thankfully, all this seems to be changing now. Casino Royale began a return to proper Bond form and Quantum of Solace has taken it still further. Even the wierd, faux Live and Let Die title song is properly referenced and included throughout, albeit as a variation.
It's really nice to see David Arnold getting more melody into the dramatic passages of his Bond scores. Not that it was totally absent before, but he did have a tendency not to stick with any one idea long enough for it to remain memorable. This may be slightly true of some portions of the action music in Quantum of Solace but it has to be said, this work stands head and shoulders above his previous efforts.
Bond is starting to sound like Bond once more.
Footnote: If I were David Arnold, given Eon Productions' erratic hiring tendencies, I'd now be worried for my job. Main title designer, Danny Kleinman did some of his best work on Casino Royale and was rewarded by getting dumped from this outing.