The usual score problem here - some lovely music here but only about 3 of the pieces are listenable as stand alone - just when a nice bit comes on it gets puctuated by some crashing sound effect or chase scene. They should put a extraction at the end - maybe a recap of all the themes (and there are some lovely ones). As it is, I ripped it to MP3 and using Audacity edited out all the non-musical bits to leave myself with about 15 minutes of lovely (and Christmassy) orchestral music. I'm pretty sure that most people buying the score don't do it for the chase scenes......
The whole album has a consistently high quality throughout. The main theme for the film gets its first showing in "Mission Control" and is reprised several times across the album. "Goodbye Evie" contains a wonderful statement of of this, but other tracks have a different sound. For example,"Operation Christmas"has a wintery bond sounding going on with some electronic beats in with the mix (but this just aids the rhythm and isn't overtly obtrusive). "Arthur's Sadness" is one of the more slower melancholic tracks - but that said, the writing for strings and piano is sublime. "Christmas Morning" has a tranquil opening with some really pleasant writing for strings and piano before a final burst of the main theme ends the main score portion of the album.
"Dash Away" deserves a special mention and is my favourite track on the album - the main theme for the film gets multiple arrangements with orchestra and choir and it really does sound stunning.
There are a couple of additional tracks on the end - the first is a nice (but somewhat cheesy) arrangement of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and a song with Bill Nighy closes off the album. I didn't particularly like it, but that's very much personal taste.
Overall, this is definitely one CD that HGW fans shouldn't be without. The wintery Christmas sound is present, but is in no way cheesy in a way that I would consider to be annoying. The main theme is great and the music but it never takes itself to seriously - but don't think for a second that corresponds to a decrease in quality, this is HGW at the top of his game. It's a fun Christmasy romp pretty much start to finish, and for anyone who likes orchestral scores and HGW will really enjoy this release. It's one of his finest in quite a while.