Top positive review
A good solid first entry to the Bond series from Thomas Newman
on 5 July 2013
The score for Skyfall is a long one, coming in at just under 80 minutes and boasting 30 tracks, which range from the minimalist and atmospheric to the action-packed. As some other reviewers have noted, it doesn't include Adele's title song, but it features a very high proportion of the other music used in the film, so I haven't allowed this to affect the star rating.
I had some doubts about buying this soundtrack after seeing the mixed reviews, and was unsure about it on my first play-through, but most of the tracks have grown on me considerably. As is common with Thomas Newman's soundtracks, there is a large array of different musical ideas that are used for a short while and then dropped, rather than frequent use of leitmotif (recurring use of an individual theme), which may put some off, but the James Bond theme is subtly integrated into many of the tracks and at least two tracks have subtle cues from Adele's title song.
The score combines elements of Thomas Newman's style with the Bond style, resulting in something that sounds a bit different, and that benefits from repeated listenings. The theme used in "Voluntary Retirement" and "Mother" is quite memorable, as is the sequence used in "New Digs" for example. It's worth having a sound system with a good "bass" to get the most out of some of the tracks, particularly regarding the frequent "action" tracks during the second half of the soundtrack.
I wouldn't quite place this soundtrack up there with John Barry's best efforts, but I find it the most enjoyable of the non-Barry Bond soundtracks, and I'd certainly be up for Thomas Newman being given another go for Bond 24.