I own all of the Lord of the Rings soundtracks, and have listened to, and enjoyed them, often. I am pleased to say that Howard Shore's latest addition to his middle-earth cycle is much better than expected. While retaining motifs and gentle nods to the original scores, this latest offering provides plenty of new material, motifs and melodies and, when listened to in one sitting, is by turns relaxing, dramatic, suspenseful and, at times, exuberant. I was worried that it would pale in comparison to it's predecessors, but as i write this i am listening through both discs again.
If you are fond of the original scores to Peter Jackson's films, or indeed to well-crafted, polished and memorable orchestral music, then treat yourself to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey soundtrack.