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on 1 September 2013
The few people who saw the blatant Harry Potter cash-in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief didn't seem to like it very much, so it's a bit of a surprise that three years later a sequel has arrived, in the form of Sea of Monsters. Potter director Chris Columbus hasn't come back, Thor Freudenthal taking over those duties; and neither has the original composer, Christophe Beck. Canadian composer Andrew Lockington has built up quite a fan base on the back of his relatively small number of scores so far, which generally eschew the general trend in film scoring and hearken back to the sort of thing David Arnold did so well back in the 1990s - and, sure enough, Arnold's collaborator Nicholas Dodd is on board with Lockington. I haven't quite caught the Lockington bug yet - Journey 2 in particular built up a very vocal set of fans but - nice though it was - it all seemed a bit bland to me.

Sea of Monsters is very much in the same sort of style - and is even more bland. What we have here is a thematic, primarily orchestral action/adventure score, composed and performed with enthusiasm - it's exactly the sort of thing I should love. It's exactly the sort of thing I frequently pine for when I'm listening to or writing about the latest soulless, generic Remote Control score. And yet love it I do not - it's skilfully done, it's not without its entertaining features - but I'm afraid I also find this to be soulless and generic. Don't get me wrong: I'd much rather listen to it than Steve Jablonsky or whoever. Yet there's no personality to the music - none that I hear, anyway. Other reviews will probably tell you all about the themes on display and tell you about how the composer develops them (and I imagine most of them will probably give the score favourable marks); but while I hear some nice tunes here, I've no idea whether they happened earlier in the score or not, because they are instantly unmemorable. The music goes in one ear and out the other - nothing sticks. It's such a shame because I'm delighted to see a score in this style be attached to a (reasonably) high-profile summer movie; but I really can't bring myself to like it. There's action and adventure music here but I can't tell you about any of that either, because as soon as it's over, I can't remember a thing about it. Loads of people raved about Journey 2; if you were one of them, you'll almost certainly love Sea of Monsters as well. There's absolutely nothing offensive about it and for the second review in a row, I find myself feeling a little bit guilty that I don't like it more than I do.
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on 5 August 2013
I should say at the outset that I tried very hard not to be biased in this review - I am a huge fan of Andrew Lockington, and his previous scores for Journey to the Center of the Earth, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (one of my favourites of last year) and City of Ember are all extraordinarily good fun. No doubt this is helped by veteran orchestrator Nicholas Dodd, but Lockington's scores have a wonderful bold orchestral style the likes of which are not heard frequently enough in Hollywood these days. Taking over the reins from Christopher Beck after his surprisingly good Percy Jackson & Olympians: Lightning Theif, my expectations for PJ:SOM were high, and I can say they were met.

The album kicks off with Thalia's Story, which contains a brief statement of what I assume is Thalia's theme with a brief solo female vocalist before the main PJ:SOM theme kicks in with some great brass and string writing and is probably my second favourite track on the album. This is reprised several times across the album (and forms the basis for the closing song "To Feel Alive). I won't go into all 20 score tracks, but there are some corkers on here. "Wave Conjuring" (Track 14) is almost 7 minutes in length and the writing brass, strings and choir really packs a punch. Hippocampus (Track 9) is another favourite, which goes through loads of different styles in that 3 minute 35 seconds. The final score track "Main Titles" brings the album to a close with another statement of the main PJ:SOM theme. The highlight of the album for me is the spine tingling "Resurrection", which has a stunning choral version of Thalia's theme and some fantastic writing for strings - it is one of Lockington's finest tracks to date in my opinion.

I won't comment on the final song "To Feel Alive", other than that it sounds like one of the better songs that sometimes find their way on to score albums. I'm not a huge fan of etherial/pop songs but I didn't rush for the mute button as I have done with some other releases. Whilst there will no doubt be people who just look at the album for this song via mp3 , don't bypass all the material by Lockington!

The album sounds wonderful and very well mixed as you would hope. The score part of the album lasts just over 65 minutes and I loved every minute of it.

In one respect I dislike writing reviews like this because it almost seems sickly. Yet I cannot deny this is an outstanding album and has all the ingredients you would want for an epic fantasy album. Perhaps the only criticism is that the main theme isn't perhaps the best I have heard from Lockington, but it's still pretty good. If you are a fan of Lockington's previous work, or liked this music within the film, do not hesitate to get a copy of this score. If you haven't heard any of his stuff before check out the albums I mentioned at the start. You will need to look on another site for Journey 2 (but it's worth it). It's music like PJ:SOM that reminds me why I love to listen to film scores, and think anything less than 5*s would be a disservice.
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on 10 August 2013
I think Andrew Lockington has done an AWESOME job of the music for this film, it's dramatic, it's haunting and totally amazing! I think Thalia's Story is especially good. He really captures the moment of Thalia's sacrifice, starting off dramatic and ending in a beautifully haunting way. I think this has to be my favourite piece from the whole film. The Colchis Bull is another great piece and the main title is excellent. All in all this is a epical album to match a really great film.
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on 23 August 2013
The music for this film was amazing. I particularly like how there even seems to be humour to go with one scene. My favourite tracks are the ones that use the soft vocals and especially the final track, used in the films closing credits.
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on 4 April 2014
I have been looking for this cd for a long time and got it at a fantastic price cheers

hope to buy from you again
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