Composer James Newton Howard is always reliable - that's why he's one of the most well-known and prolific film composers working today. He has collaborated with director M. Night Shyamalan many times now, and his score is often one of the most memorable aspects of those films (his music certainly elevated "The Village" and "The Last Airbender"). Overall, I think "After Earth" is another successful soundtrack.
For a large portion of the movie, the young character Kitai is on his own - and there are many threats. The soundtrack reflects the many dangers he faces - much of the music has a suspenseful and menacing tone. Some of the action-heavy music is very interesting to listen to, and I'd imagine the music works even better within the film. After working on films like "The Bourne Legacy" and "Snow White and the Huntsman", James Newton Howard is quite experienced when it comes to scoring action movies like this.
There are some slower and more emotional tracks as well, but even those are quite suspenseful and the effect is that the whole album leaves the listener on edge. I know a lot of people prefer more pleasant melodies - and this soundtrack falls a bit short in that area.
The music sounds completely appropriate for the environment in which the film takes place. This may be Earth, but it's not the Earth you know. There's an element of discovery to it all; you never know what will be around the next corner.
Same old sounding modern score. Orchestra buried on top of electronics. Last couple of tracks show potential but most of the action is drum loops. I remember when JNH wrote complex and exciting orchestral cues for his scores. Why can't we be allowed to hear the orchestra in scores like we used to??? I am sick and tired of these tedious modern scores. Give it a rest Hollywood.