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Good - but could've been better...
on 6 June 2013
For me, there are 3 tracks that really stand out on this soundtrack. "A Lannister Always Pays His Debts" is one, a heroic orchestral version of 'The Rains of Castamere' that will definitely get you humming. Then there's "Myhsa", a rendition of the Daenerys theme for female and children's voices, undoubtedly the most soaringly beautiful thing Djawadi has ever composed. Finally, "For the Realm" is the main title theme played by Djawadi himself on an unaccompanied classical guitar.
My problem with this album, though, is that Djawadi seems to rely too much on themes from seasons 1 & 2 and hasn't created enough new material. "Dracarys" is a military setting of the Daenerys theme, with male choir and percussion - it's good, but over far too soon. "Chaos is a Ladder" begins and ends with an interesting motif reminiscent of Mansell's "Requiem for a Dream", but the rest of it we've heard before in Season 2. "I Have to Go North" is also nice, but it's essentially just a reworking of 'The King in the North' from Season 1.
Of course there is some new material, eg. in "You Know Nothing", but it's not very melodic or memorable. The one completely new theme written for season 3 was for the song 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair'. Presented on this album is the rock version heard in the Episode 3 credits. It's nice enough, but is really only worth listening to for a minute and a half. What I am really missing here is the instrumental/diegetic version of the song played at Tyrion's wedding, as well as at The Red Wedding. Now that was a lively jig and would've made me a lot happier had it been included on this album!
There are other enjoyable tracks, like "Wall of Ice" and "White Walkers", which develop the musical soundscape of the North in a sophisticated and satisfying way. It's also nice that they put "Shireen's Song" on the album, a heartbreaking little tune. But, for every track you like, there's probably one you'll hate. "The Night is Dark" is a complete waste of space on the soundtrack, and I feel that too much attention is given to Theon, with 2 tracks of about 3 min each. What about the music from the Hound's duel with Lord Beric, for example?
What I also don't understand is why the soundtracks for "Game of Thrones" have been getting shorter in length as the seasons go by? Usually it's the other way round! Season 1 was around 66 min, Season 2 56 min, and now Season 3 is 53 min long. Now, 53 min is not a bad length for a soundtrack, as long as that time is filled with quality. But this album does not sound complete to my ears. Where is a track to represent the Brotherhood, or something to represent Tyrion's issues? Perhaps a few extra tracks on this album could've improved its overall quality.
I will buy this CD when it releases for my collection, but alas I don't think I will listen to it as much as I listen to the soundtracks to Season 1 & 2. And that is a pity, because it's a long wait for Volume 4...