CD: Kong: Skull Island - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

 

Kong: Skull Island - Soundtrack


English CD Title

Kong: Skull Island - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

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Henry Jackman
WaterTower Music
March 2017
56:42
WTM-39884

Based On:

Kong: Skull Island

CD

Review

By: Anthony Romero

Like many, my introduction to Henry Jackman was from his work on X-Men First Class. From that experience, especially for his wonderfully powerful Magneto theme, I marked him as a composer to watch out for. While I have yet to see another soundtrack that captures that same level of feeling and ferocity that he imbued in the magnetic wielding mutant, I have been impressed by his general reliability to produce good scores and his habit for experimenting. Seeing the composer tackle Jordan Vogt-Roberts's Kong: Skull Island follows the trend for both of those aspects, and is one of his better scores. It succeeds in its diversity, experimentation and at the heart of things just letting loose with some nice action pieces.

Speaking of, let's start to focus on those action motifs. One of the first is "Kong the Destroyer", which is an okay theme but has a nice element where it transitions to a more tragic component at the end. The Skullcrawlers also get a nice action theme found in the track "Ambushed". While the choir work here doesn't resonate as it should, the track does expertly convey a sense of energy and danger. The main action theme, though, is from the climax. Fittingly called "The Battle of Skull Island", the track is on the longer side at over 5 minutes. It uses a lot of blaring horns to really convey the size of the characters, which works both in the movie and without that context. There are a few moments here that sound similar to the composer's work on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, although the end result does good to raise the adrenaline of the scene.

One thing to compliment Jackman for is his ability to utilize the era of the film to help transport the audience without making it cheesy or overt. The movie already utilizes a number of period related songs, which some fans might be saddened to note are not found on this disc. The score, though, ties this together in a couple of creative ways. The first is in the fantastic track "The Island". Heavy with guitar work to start, the cue sounds a little dated before a sweeping orchestration kicks in. This switches back and forth with the guitar work, offering a perfect melding of timeless orchestration while weaving in the guitar to help set the stage. My favorite use of the guitar, though, is its use as a theme for colonel Packard, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Although played a couple of times during the soundtrack, its most overt in "Packard's Blues" and "Lost". The guitar work does a great job of conveying someone who is starting to become unhinged. It has an ominous quality to it that really makes it stand out. The composer has described the theme for in-depth interviews and does a great job both understanding the character and using that as a nice backdrop for a memorable theme.

Overall, one of the strengths of this score is simply consistency. There isn't a bad theme on the disc, and a bit of a variety to help it along as well from the more ancient sounding "The Temple" to the well documented action pieces. All in all, fans of action scores should do well to search this one out as there are a lot of great themes contained here.

Rating: Star Rating

Tracks

  1. South Pacific
  2. The Beach
  3. Project Monarch
  4. Packard's Blues
  5. Assembling the Team
  6. Into the Storm
  7. The Island
  8. Kong the Destroyer
  9. Monsters Exist
  10. Spider Attack
  11. Dominant Species
  12. The Temple
  13. Grey Fox
  14. Kong the Protector
  15. Marlow's Farewell
  16. Lost
  17. The Boneyard
  18. Ambushed
  19. The Heart of Kong
  20. Man vs. Beast
  21. Creature from the Deep
  22. The Battle of Skull Island
  23. King Kong
  24. Monster Mash (Bonus Track)