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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
The Amazing Spider-Man
Format: MP3 Download|Change

on 11 September 2012
James Horner? Who's that? For many, many years before my interest in film scores was spurred, I've been a huge fan of Horner's work. This iconic and legendary composer elevated great movies into masterworks of visual, aural, and downright visceral experiences, and continues to do so to this day. From Project X to Batteries Not Included, Aliens to Krull, and most notably Wrath of Khan to The Search For Spock (Star Trek II and III, respectively), Horner's music has grabbed my soul and never let go. Few composers can drive grown men to tears, and Braveheart in particular is absolutely unforgettable in that respect. Well, with The Amazing Spider-Man, Horner continues his irrefutable streak as one of the best film composers of all time, and delivers an eccentric, enigmatic, and truly awesome score.

I haven't heard any of Danny Elfman's scores for the previous iteration of the Spider-Man films, but I was coincidentally struck at how similar opening track "Main Title - Young Peter" is to Elfman's work on Edward Scissorhands; the onset of the album yields twinkling piano notes, accentuated by light electronics and most notably female choral-style vocals. As the next several tracks progress, the music shifts to and fro between triumphant and grandiose numbers (reminiscent of Tyler Bates' Watchmen and John Ottman's X2: X-Men United) and engaging yet soft sequences (reminding of John Williams' work on the first three Harry Potter scores). Horner's score, while initially generating a subdued, delicately beautiful, and mysterious vibe, also includes tiny forays into ethnic and tribal-type sounds, eerily capturing moments a la James Newton Howard's Signs and Blood Diamond all wrapped into one. Once the thirteenth track, "The Bridge," kicks in, Horner's surging and empathetic work on Apollo 13 becomes apparent, before "Making a Silk Trap" reintroduces the female chorus and ever-so-slight electronics and then powerfully combines all the elements of the score thus far and funnels into "Lizard At School!" and changes the pace completely. On that track and the next two, I'm greeted by a thrilling entrance into the non-stop excitement and chilling zenith leading up to the closing of the album. The second-to-last song, "I Can't See You Anymore," is where Horner really shines, with wavering strings snapping into a piano tune of heartbreaking beauty that brings to mind Mark Isham's delicate work on Life As A House. The final track, "Promises - Spider-Man End Titles," then begins with soulful piano that dredges up the score's theme and closes the album with casual aplomb.

Admittedly, I haven't seen The Amazing Spider-Man film yet, but given the strength of Horner's score, I'm very excited to see how it's applied in various scenes and how its weight will carry the current movie and undoubtedly others to come. Rest assured, Horner's created a near-perfect score here, emotionally arresting and thrilling and uplifting all the while, indeed one of the best scores thus far in 2012 next to Marc Streitenfeld's brilliant work on Prometheus and The Grey. This score is highly recommended to all fans "superhero movies," Horner's legacy works, and film score fans everywhere. Fantastic!
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on 16 May 2013
This is a great score, really enjoyable. As a whole the album is quite good, with (for me) maybe 4 stand out tracks in particular that are brilliant and well worth listening to over and over. It doesn't have as strong a main theme as I would normally expect in a film like The Amazing Spider-Man, perhaps, but the themes are great. James Horner is very distinctive with his beautiful chord progressions and it suits this film better than I would have thought. It's like the A Beautiful Mind soundtrack without all the depressing associations (in a good way).

"Main Title - Young Peter" is fairly typical of the majority of the score. The main theme is good (though not quite amazing) and the nostalgic vocal and piano music instantly tugs at your heartstrings. "Becoming Spider-Man" is so good it tickles (literally - the little excerpt here on Amazon has the moment that gets me wriggling happily every time). That one has to be my favourite track on this album. Amazing choice of instruments. Great little themes, building up so well and with a tiny bit of the good comical music mixed in the middle (and comical tracks in this album like "Playing Basketball" are great fun to listen to). It's maybe a little bit of a shame it doesn't build up to a better pay off but it's still excellent to listen to. And possibly skip around to. "Ben's Death" is as evocative as you could hope for with James Horner, who's a professional tear-inducer, and the action music towards the end of the track is awe-inspiring in context.

Oddly another of my favourite tracks is "The Spider Room - Rumble in the Subway". It's odd because I'm intensely arachnophobic, but what I love about this music is how spider-like it actually is. Horner is able to get spidery qualities like the smoothness and sneakiness and elegance of their web-building with the flutes and pianos, their sudden movements with the strange brass and the more creeping way they move in the plucked strings, which also makes me think of web. But it's all very positive in the music (for which I'm very grateful). Even when the spiders fall down the music is almost humorous and cool as well as scary. All of this very helpful for an arachnophobe, to the point where it's so spider-like that I get this track in my head when I see a spider, and it's actually beneficial! Positive reinforcements during spider encounters are very unusual for me, I am usually simply terrified. Thinking anything so positive when seeing a spider as a piece of music I enjoy and which portrays spider-y things in a good way is very new and different and potentially helpful. So thank you James Horner for that!

My only criticism might be that some of the more action-laden pieces are pretty standard. It's a good standard, but nothing incredible about it. The lizard-related pieces with the trilling flute are great but the weaving between themes is all quite predictable. But it is all still very good and doesn't spoil the album.

I'm glad I bought the album rather than just buying my favourite tracks as it does make good listening as a whole. All in all it's great fun, and definitely added loads both to the film and to my mp3 player. Very happy I got this. And maybe it'll even help me with my fear of spiders as an unexpected bonus!
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on 2 July 2012
Ever since I heard that James Horner was scoring The Amazing Spider-Man, I have been looking forward to this score. He is a legend in the film score business with well over a hundred scores to his name. He is of the old school, so I knew we were in for something traditional but exceptional. Most of the score is orchestral, but there are electronics scattered about.

The main title "Main Title - Young Peter" is a great main theme. Horner mixes live orchestra with synthetic electronic flourishes and undercurrents. He clearly went for brass-led orchestrations, which are appropriate for super-hero movies. It sounds like it's a combination of Danny Elfman's Spiderman 1 and 2 main themes, Christopher Young's Spiderman 3 main theme and of course fresh Horner music. I love the vocals in this track! You cannot fail to recognize the old Horner style of overlaid piano. Brilliant!

In "Becoming Spider-Man", the theme and main title instrumentation is increased in scope with a choir and string music. I love the electronics that are brought in towards the end of this track.

Do not be tempted to skip the first couple of tracks. The album may seem to be a bit of a slow starter but this isn't the case.

"Playing Basketball" sounds comic. "Hunting for Information" has a lot of rich texture and is anything but boring. "The Briefcase" has some ponderous and very mysterious piano sounds. The comic feel of "Playing Basketball" grows stronger in the dance rhythms of "The Spider Room - Rumble in the Subway" and sounds like music from the Seventies. The ascending 6-note motif in "Secrets", ties things together and I love the echo sounds that come next before it dulls down a bit.

I love the wonderfully soft and mild strumming of the guitar in "The Equation". The whole track feels so simple, healthful, and close to nature. This track is quite tranquil and the piano solo is really lovely.

Listening to "The Ganali Device" is the closest you will get to the "A Beautiful Mind" score. You hear the unmistakable Horner instrumentation in a brilliant way. A lovely track.

The core of the whole amazing Spider man score starts with this track, "Ben's Death" and continues until the end. This track features very dramatic and beautiful cues and some loud manly intonation in the later stages! This is great stuff from Horner.

I love the swirling strings of "Metamorphosis". The string-led themes lead in to a somewhat Panic mode with pursing strings and brass cries. Outstanding stuff!

The theme in "Rooftop Kiss" is truly moving and emotional, particularly in its solo piano form. I love this piano solo.

"The Bridge" has a good beginning followed by what sounds like disagreeable sounds blending together along with some vocal effects that arouse attention. I love the use of horns in this track and the use of the guitar as underscore.

The tracks "Lizard at School", "Saving New York" and "Oscorp Tower" make up the explosive finale.

Lizard at School' is a fast-paced menacing action track with some stimulating and great intensity percussion sequences.

Horner handled the dynamically fluid action route of undisturbed continuity through "Lizard at School", "Saving New York" and "Oscorp Tower" in an impressive manner.

"I Can't See You Any More" is an impressive composition in its own right with a beautiful string opening. This track slows things down a bit, which is welcome, after the 14 minute action music trio of "Lizard at School", "Saving New York" and "Oscorp Tower" before it. "I Can't See You Any More" is a very strong emotional, tear jerking track.

"Promises - Spider-Man End Titles" follows on the same note as "I Can't See You Anymore" but ends with some really good pulsating action music.

The original qualities of this score are unimpaired by some tracks sounding a bit similar to other James Horner scores (Particularly "The Ganali Device" and The A beautiful mind score ) and it is perfectly suited for The Amazing Spiderman. A Must Buy!
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on 5 November 2014
When listening to the album for the first time, one may think it's kind of an odd score for a superhero movie, but I enjoy that the composer James Horner took Spider-Man in a different direction musically. It was important that the soundtrack for "The Amazing Spider-Man" be differentiated from what composer Danny Elfman did on the previous Spider-Man trilogy.

I will also note that there are a few moments when listening to this Spidey score when I am reminded of Horner's own music from " A Beautiful Mind" (and that's not a bad thing). At this point, it should be expected - Horner has been known to recycle his own material in multiple films.

The primary reason I'd recommend this album is because of the main theme for Peter Parker, which can be heard in the very first track and is quite spectacular. Fortunately, the theme reappears in many other tracks and takes various forms throughout the album.

[1] Main Title - Young Peter
[2] Becoming Spider-Man
[20] Promises
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on 22 March 2016
If you like spider-man then this soundtrack is for you, it is a little better than the first spider-man film as there is more songs.
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on 11 November 2012
James Horner has written an excelent score for this film.
It may sound strange, but after listening many superhero scores composed by modern (most computer-trained) composers, to listen now to this score by a classically-trained composer like James Horner is like breathing some fresh air.
A simple but great theme, some electronic layering, bombastic action cues, and also some delicate voice and piano performances are the main ingredients of this score.
One of the best scores of 2012. Absolutely recommended.
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on 23 February 2015
Great soundtack
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on 5 March 2013
I found the score to be quite enjoyable. The film may not be the greatest thing ever but at least it had a good score by Horner to back it up.
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on 19 August 2012
I bought this soundtrack after reading several positive reviews. It's not a bad score, Horner does not self copy as much as in other works of his... Yet, nothing catches me, no strong theme, orchestration is just so predictable that seems to be stored in a sound library....

I don't find this music "fresh".
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