3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Cowboys and Aliens soundtrack is not a classic, but makes for a highly entertaining listen,
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This review is from: Cowboys & Aliens (Audio CD)
Harry Gregson-Williams is one of my favourite composers and after writing some fairly dull electronic/orchestral scores of late, I was eagerly awaiting Cowboys and Aliens as this was his first big blockbuster score for a while. I wasn't disappointed. This is a great orchestral album with some decent use of electronics and some decent choral cues, and it has HGW trademark style all over it.
The "cowboys" part of the score is short. There is some Western style music in the opening track "Jake Lonergan" and in the final tracks "Return to the Cabin" and "See You Around" but it doesn't make up a predominant portion of the album. The "aliens" don't seem to have any real theme or electronic sound associated with them!
HGW is fantastic at merging orchestral and electronic elements and in C+As it is no different. The writing for the orchestra is fantastic, and many of the cues sound pretty epic especially when combined with the choir. There are some tracks which are more ambient, but these are not that frequent. I particularly liked the tracks "Jake's Army" and "Ella's Mission" because of the great action writing.
Those of you who are familiar with HGW's previous works will likely identify influences from previous scores - I heard some cues lifted directly from Kingdom of Heaven (the most noticable was the opening 20 seconds of "Alien Air Attack"). This wasn't frequent but was slightly irksome (for those of you who don't have many of HGW's previous scores this will not be an issue)!
Overall, this is not one of HGW's best scores, but it does make for a great listen nonetheless. With a little more originality, this could have been a 5* score, but all the things I like about HGW are there, and I couldn't help but like it. Running in at just under an hour, this soundtrack is a little on the short side. That said, there is more than enough decent material presented, and makes for a great listen on album.