on 5 November 2014
"Ender's Game" is one of the most well-known and beloved books in sci-fi literature. The movie adaptation requires and deserves a worthy soundtrack - and I think composer Steve Jablonsky has delivered something memorable. There are some beautiful melodies in the soundtrack, my favorite of which can be heard prominently in "The Battle Room" [Track 5]. Other cues have an epic quality - it's hard for me not to get pumped up after hearing a track like "Dragon Army" [Track 9].
For the most part, the soundtrack treats the movie as an action thriller. There's not much in the score that sounds particularly reminiscent of sci-fi, nor is there much world-building musically speaking.
I love Steve Jablonsky's work on the Transformers franchise. "Ender's Game" feels like a very similar exercise. It seems Jablonsky hasn't deviated much from the formula that works for him - on the other hand, if it ain't broke...
 Ender's War
 The Battle Room
 Dragon Army
on 28 October 2013
Steve Jablonsky is back for what I think is one of his best scores in quite a while. I'll put my cards on the table at the outset - if you didn't like his previous work for any of the Transformers films this album will not be for you. I liked the Transformers scores for what they were, which was essentially a good action romp that was easy to listen to. Some people would class Jablonsky's music as a "guilty pleasure" - easy on the ears but not that musically complex. Exactly the same can be said for Ender's Game. Jablonsky uses his usual orchestral pallet with synths and a male choir right out of Transformers. Don't say I didn't warn you!
There are 21 tracks in total so I won't go into every one. "The Battle Room" (Track 5) contains some decent writing for choir, strings and solo violin. Not particularly complex but the harmonies sound great. Whilst most the album is of higher pace, "Ender Quits" (Track 12) is a welcome change of pace, and at nearly 6 minutes 30, is the longest track on the album. It's sombre and reflective, and one of my favourites on the album. The track "Final Test" (Track 17) is almost note for note the same as "It's Our Fight" from Transformers Dark of The Moon. The similarities are so poorly hidden it's actually quite funny, but for people that have a life, you probably wouldn't notice or even care. The best track off the album is a tie between the opening "Ender's War", which contains a good rendition of the main theme and a nice viola solo towards the end. Conversely, the final track incorporates the main theme and turns epic up to the max with strings, percussion and choir to give the final minute a superb climax to the album.
The sound quality is great and is well produced as you would expect. Running in at 70 minutes this is above average for a soundtrack release, and whilst some of the tracks sound similar at times (e.g. Dragons Army is pretty much the same as the final track minus the choir), I didn't think the album dragged or outstayed its welcome.
Overall, Jablonsky has produced a decent album here that is yet again in the guilty pleasure category. Those of you who disliked his previous efforts for the Transformers franchise will find no solace in this album. These sorts of albums are not intellectually challenging and it is exceptionally easy to be musically snobbish about Ender's Game. Some people think this sort of music is highly generic and should be confined to the bin. However, that would be doing it a disservice- there is plenty of enjoyable material. It isn't a classic, but I thought it was a fun romp for most of the running time and fits firmly into the 4* category.