Most helpful critical review
Brilliant Music - shame about the packaging :((
on 21 June 2015
This review applies to all three special editions of the The Hobbit soundtracks. I haven't bought "An Unexpected Journey" yet, but I have listened to it on Spotify. It covers the music and the presentation.
The music is, as expected from Howard Shore, brilliant. This is consistently on the same level as the LOTR soundtracks and no lover of full-blooded orchestral music, film or otherwise, should be disappointed. Of course, it won't be to all tastes, but then I don't suppose that any particular piece of music is. It is great that classical symphonic music, to generalise, has survived into the 21st Century and is alive and well through the medium of film - Wagner would have been very happy (he would have been a film composer if alive today :)).
So, why three stars? The grotty, cheap packaging, which is especially disappointing after the LOTR special editions. I am seriously considering contacting the record company responsible. The discs are difficult to extract from their sleeves and there is a risk of scratching them and getting fingerprints on the playing surface, not to mention ripping the cardboard. I know that other people have commented adversely about the packaging - I would like to add mine to theirs! The purchaser needs to know what he or she is getting. This is not sold as a cheap product!
The accompanying booklets on the other hand are well laid out with, inter alia, stills from the films and analysis of the music with musical examples (I am assuming that the one with "An Unexpected Journey" is the same).
So, five stars for the music but, I'm sorry, one star for the packaging, dragging the average down to three.