Godzilla - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
International Title
Music By: Alexandre Desplat
Record Label: WaterTower Music
Running Time: 60:28 Discs: 1
Release: May 2014 CD Number: WTM-39519
Anthony Romero
Ten years since the last Godzilla soundtrack, and 16 years since David Arnold's engaging GODZILLA (1998) score, the latest CD in the long running franchise is upon us. Composed by six time Academy Award nominated Alexandre Desplat, the score certainly has larger pedigree than the Godzilla series has enjoyed to date. However, despite some good themes, the disc as a whole is lacking in memorable cues that tether down the soundtrack from being great although don't stop it from being an enjoyable soundtrack on the King of the Monsters.

Alexandre Desplat was always an interesting choice to compose for the 2014 Godzilla film. On one hand, I love Desplat's Academy Award nominated score for The King's Speech. The piano work is beyond fantastic and even four years later the cues are a favorite. Godzilla is a 180° in terms of subject matter, and a chance for the composer to really set his foot down for action oriented theme work. It's not a matter he hasn't tackled before, though. His split scores for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were also good to okay, with Part 1 having some solid cues and Part 2 missing a few beats. While I would consider my reaction to the Godzilla score similar to both of the Deathly Hallows soundtracks, the two aren't styled in a similar fashion at all. Desplat has range, he deserves a lot of credit for that. The score for this 2014 film has some slight experimentation involved, with some electronic work thrown in, but ultimately it only falters for lacking in the number of stand out themes.

Despite any later short comings, the CD starts off strong with its best track in "Godzilla!". The theme is a mix of horns to give a sense of foreboding, before it dives into a more energy inducing march fitting of the franchise. It's a great main title theme, even with the odd blaring noise heard toward the end of it, and makes one wish the rest of the cues reached this height. The theme makes a more muted return toward the end of the score with "Last Shot". This version forgoes the odd blaring sound, but lacks the level of energy that the first track had which is a little unfortunate. Regardless, its potential for being good battle music is clear and is pleasing as a stand alone cue.

Adhering to the source material, Desplat has a few themes on this disc that could be considered Japanese inspired. These include "Back to Janjira" and "Ford Rescued", which feature wind movements similar to traditional Japanese music. It doesn't quite click as a standalone experience, but does continue to show the composer's willingness to try new things. Speaking of "Back to Janjira", the beginning of this track is one of the few to feature the composer's piano work, which is so minor but none the less pleasing.

Sadly, not all of the soundtrack is good to okay. "Entering the Nest" is the one theme here that misses the mark. It has an awkward and slightly cheesy blare that lasts for like 20 seconds. It's not something one would expect from the composer, and sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the work here.

Bottom line, I like Desplat's Godzilla score. It's good, but doesn't leave the lasting impression I hoped it would or give us a collection of themes that I might stick on a "best of" Godzilla compilation, outside of the new main title here. It's worth owning all the same, and does offer some variety compared to the scores we have seen in the franchise to date.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. Godzilla!
  2. Inside the Mines
  3. The Power Plant
  4. To Q Zone
  5. Back to Janjira
  6. Muto Hatch
  7. In the Jungle
  8. The Wave
  9. Airport Attack
  10. Missing Spore
  11. Vegas Aftermath
  12. Ford Rescued
  13. Following Godzilla
  14. Golden Gate Chaos
  15. Let Them Fight
  16. Entering the Nest
  17. Two Against One
  18. Last Shot
  19. Godzilla's Victory
  20. Back to the Ocean