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Elysium
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of the strongest elements of the Elysium is its soundtrack. I was so impressed with this powerful music that I've had to purchase it immediately after I've watched the movie. I was even more surprised when I've discovered that Ryan Amon, the composer, never has done anything before Elysium and it is in fact his debut. He has created something between the best efforts of Hans Zimmer (Inception, The Last Samurai) and Bear McCreary's Battlestar Galactica. I believe we are witnessing the rise of the star who can reach level and quality of Hans Zimmer. At the same time it is really unfair to call Amon a "new Zimmer" as his score is so original and unique. One of the reviewer above called this soundtrack "powerful" and I think that is the best description you can give to this masterpiece. One of the best soundtracks ever and surely on top of the list of albums I've purchased in 2013.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2013
Composer Ryan Amon, a name I must confess I have never heard before has burst on to the scene with his score to the last summer blockbuster of 2013, Elysium. The score uses mainly the orchestra and a whole host of electronics and synths. There's some epic percussive sections at points, and occasional uses of choir and vocal soloists. This is one of the best, if not the best summer score of 2013 in my opinion.

The album runs at just over 70 minutes and has 29 tracks so forgive me for not going into every track in depth. The album is largely comprised of action tracks, some of my favourites were the outstanding "You Have No Idea" (Track 12) . There are nods to the Zimmer school of action scoring, "Zero Injuries Sustained" (Track 10) sounds like something you would have heard off any of Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. "Heading to Elysium" (Track 18) is fantastic and as it heads towards the climax theres some great string writing and light backing from the choir. There is some dull material present - "Darkness" (Track 5) has getting on for 4 minutes of repetitive percussion loops and ambient textures for pretty much the whole track, the same can be said of "The Raven" (Track 13). There are also some rather unpleasant sounding grinding synths in "A Political Sickness", and whilst it might work in the film, on album it doesn't make for a good listen.

This album has one of the strongest ends to a score album that I can remember for some time. The final three tracks that close the album, "Breaking a Promise" (Track 27), "Elysium" (Track 28) and "New Heaven, New Earth" are sensational, and of a generally slower pace than the preceding tracks, and was a welcome change of pace and style. Lisa Gerrard style vocals are delivered in "Breaking a Promise", that is a different version of "I don't Want to Die" (Track 15). "New Heaven, New Earth" starts off with percussion and a bit of ethnic flavour followed by a section that you will either love or hate, where there's a progressive increase in the string now being played. Screechy is the only word I can use to describe it, but it does work within the track.

The sound of the album is superb and the mixing is fantastic. The orchestral brass sections really pack a punch, and the electronic and orchestral sections where combined sound fantastic (even though some of the electronics weren't to my taste).

Overall, this is solid score release from Amon. There are some cracking action tracks here, but occasionally the album is let down by the more electronic tracks that seem to just be endless drones without a huge amount of development. I was going to take a star off for that, but after several repeat listens I have to say the music has grown on me, and whilst I might not like every track, I do think Amon has tried to do something a bit different here beyond your typical summer soundtrack. I hope Amon is a name we will hear again in the future - the guy has talent, and although I can't put my finger on exactly what, has a bit of extra musical spark that gives his music character. Despite some flaws, it is none the less a 5* score to my ears. Enjoy!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 November 2014
The "Elysium" soundtrack is a satisfying experience. The score is a blend of orchestration and synthesizers. Listening to the music, you are transported to another world - I think this score will work very well within the context of the movie.

I think this score is a fine first effort for up-and-coming composer Ryan Amon, and hopefully he gets to score more feature films in the future. After a bit of research, it seems as though Amon's background is in writing music for movie trailers. I'd imagine that composing for trailers is not too different from scoring a big summer movie - in both cases, you typically want to give the music an epic quality that makes an impact on the audience.

The following is a quote from a piece in The Hollywood Reporter, regarding Amon's working relationship with "Elysium" director Neill Blomkamp:
<< The director had him compose much of the music before seeing the film -- replicating Amon's process for scoring trailers, which are usually not prepared for composers beforehand. "He didn't want me to know what was going on. He wanted me to use my imagination," Amon said. >>

FAVORITE TRACKS:
[02] Fire Up the Shuttle
[27] Breaking a Promise
[28] Elysium
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2013
Thought if was a hans zimmer soundtract at the movies...sooooo powerful!!!!! orginial and will b deffo used for adverts and programme bkground music.
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on 16 June 2014
I seem to be in the minority, I did not like this movie maybe it was the high expectations, but I didn't enjoy it. However, I was blown away with Ryan Amon's score, I can listen to it for days and not get bored. My favourite track is titled "You have no idea".

I would highly recommend any movie score fans to purchase this even if you haven't watched the movie, it definitely needs to be added to your collection. I look forward to hearing more from Ryan Amon in the future.
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on 22 December 2013
[...] Its conformance with current film music trends (primarily those set by Remote Control) will either attract people to this score or put them off. Yes, it has all the familiar ingredients of synth pads, sampled percussion, brass stabs and string arpeggios. In my view there is nothing wrong with the ingredients - it's what you do with them. Amon respects his instruments and understands what they do. Let synthesizers be synthesizers and use them for all the wacky sounds they can produce; but let the orchestra be an orchestra and leave it to sound like a real, breathing animal. Amon does exactly that. Despite being harsh at times and visceral at others, "Elysium" always sounds organic. And that's why I started off saying that a comparison to someone like Beltrami would be much more accurate. This is the current and future sound of film music - and we're going to need more people like Amon to develop it to its full potential.[...]

Read the full review at [...]
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on 26 September 2013
I don't often write reviews, but in this case I felt I must: for some reason, Ryan Amon is getting flack for aping, of all composers, Hans Zimmer. According to some reviews the use of horns and synthetic soundscapes is directly lifting from Zimmer. However, I don't read those same reviewers arguing that Zimmer lifted his style from say Jerry Goldsmith (a pioneer and master of synthetic soundscapes integrated with orchestral scores) and such like (not to diss Zimmer - many of his scores are truly wonderful). Amon builds on the musical devices available, as all composers have done. And he does so with style and individual character. This soundtrack is incredibly rich, with so many layers - it is a sensory overload. Undoubtedly derivative, at the same time the musical tapestry is far more involved than most other film scores in recent years, and I would highly recommend it. A superb debut score!
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on 15 April 2015
Great thank you A +
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The story was a little week and relies on CGI to try and make the story, but frankly it would be easier to build an artificial island where people could enjoy the Earth rather than hanging out in a space station. While many of the characters were great and nicely cast particularly Jodie Foster who to my knowledge has never played the baddie before, but put on a convincing act as a hard nose security operative. Shartlo Copley (From district 9) put on a rather strong South African accent which doesn't quite work in places and your left thinking this is just about the ghetto's around Johannesburg. The basic story thread is about the disparity of the haves and the have nots, but its so extreme it is hard to believe there wouldn't be some kind of up rising before it got so bad, like the French Revolution. The film ends on a whimper rather than a bang but in all not bad. Nice effects, pretty good acting and casting but a week story line holds it back from what could have been rather great.
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