1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Enjoyable score, good for an arachnophobe!, 16 May 2013
This is a great score, really enjoyable. As a whole the album is quite good, with (for me) maybe 4 stand out tracks in particular that are brilliant and well worth listening to over and over. It doesn't have as strong a main theme as I would normally expect in a film like The Amazing Spider-Man, perhaps, but the themes are great. James Horner is very distinctive with his beautiful chord progressions and it suits this film better than I would have thought. It's like the A Beautiful Mind soundtrack without all the depressing associations (in a good way).
"Main Title - Young Peter" is fairly typical of the majority of the score. The main theme is good (though not quite amazing) and the nostalgic vocal and piano music instantly tugs at your heartstrings. "Becoming Spider-Man" is so good it tickles (literally - the little excerpt here on Amazon has the moment that gets me wriggling happily every time). That one has to be my favourite track on this album. Amazing choice of instruments. Great little themes, building up so well and with a tiny bit of the good comical music mixed in the middle (and comical tracks in this album like "Playing Basketball" are great fun to listen to). It's maybe a little bit of a shame it doesn't build up to a better pay off but it's still excellent to listen to. And possibly skip around to. "Ben's Death" is as evocative as you could hope for with James Horner, who's a professional tear-inducer, and the action music towards the end of the track is awe-inspiring in context.
Oddly another of my favourite tracks is "The Spider Room - Rumble in the Subway". It's odd because I'm intensely arachnophobic, but what I love about this music is how spider-like it actually is. Horner is able to get spidery qualities like the smoothness and sneakiness and elegance of their web-building with the flutes and pianos, their sudden movements with the strange brass and the more creeping way they move in the plucked strings, which also makes me think of web. But it's all very positive in the music (for which I'm very grateful). Even when the spiders fall down the music is almost humorous and cool as well as scary. All of this very helpful for an arachnophobe, to the point where it's so spider-like that I get this track in my head when I see a spider, and it's actually beneficial! Positive reinforcements during spider encounters are very unusual for me, I am usually simply terrified. Thinking anything so positive when seeing a spider as a piece of music I enjoy and which portrays spider-y things in a good way is very new and different and potentially helpful. So thank you James Horner for that!
My only criticism might be that some of the more action-laden pieces are pretty standard. It's a good standard, but nothing incredible about it. The lizard-related pieces with the trilling flute are great but the weaving between themes is all quite predictable. But it is all still very good and doesn't spoil the album.
I'm glad I bought the album rather than just buying my favourite tracks as it does make good listening as a whole. All in all it's great fun, and definitely added loads both to the film and to my mp3 player. Very happy I got this. And maybe it'll even help me with my fear of spiders as an unexpected bonus!