Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dan's thoughts on Casino Royale Soundtrack!

Contrary to what this site implies, my true and real addiction to life are James Bond Soundtracks. They are my favorite thing in the world to listen to over and over and over and over again. I have a cd from every Bond movie except the Never Say Never incident, but who counts that, when it doesn't have the rights to the original score anyways (thats a different story, or was that the same story as Thunderball...)

So, AT LAST! Casino Royale is out on the CD shelfs. It was a task to get today, two stores I went to were too lazy to even stock it yet. Best Buy actually pulled through on this one for once. Usually soundtracks are the least of stores worries to get out on time. Thankfully I found a copy and can now calm down a bit.

After the huge coolness that was Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough I says, 'If David Arnold writes another score half as good as his first two, the CD player is in for a treat. Then came Die Another Day. It wasn't that great,(stupid Madonna). Well the Die Another Day score was good in the film, and lots of neat stuff was omitted on the cd which really weakened it, as well as the over use of the Bond music, which ended up feeling forced, hey another coma. So with that in mind I was worried about Casino Royale. Would Mr. Arnold go back where he started or start moving off into a real bizzar land?

The answer is he went somewhere else.

Casino Royale is David Arnold's fourth bond score and its pretty darn good above okay!!! Yeah its missing the Oh so Fun swing feel of TND, or the Intence pulse pounding techno of TWINE. It does have a nice theme to go off, probably from the interpolations of the standard song that goes along with the movie (which is not on the CD though??? thats a first in soundtrack history...the song usually bumps the score) The theme kind of has a hint of the actual Bond theme in it. Which makes me question that since this is an origin story of Mr Bond, then so is the music. I imagine as the movie goes on the theme slowly transists into the good old fashioned Bond theme we all know and love. As for that theme its slightly slightly smally peppered very slightly throughout Casino Royale, a trick often used in all the other scores. It always seems unfortunatly that the CD releases have little of the main theme, while the movie versions have a ton extra added in. Maybe last minute edits to get the film Bonderific. (Very much the case in the famous Tank scene in Goldeneye, Eric Siera's music was so crappy, they had to replace it with someone else's work to make the scene fly...er tread)

Even without using the main Bond theme very much there is still much to listen to. Some great action tracks throughout the score are the strong points. Now, some people can get tired of David Arnolds over lengthy action tracks, I find them exciting. They start and keep gaining speed until you can't hear anymore. (thank you TWINE) Track 8, Miami International is almost 13 minutes of great fun. It must cerainly tell the whole story in itself. I will be listening to that one at great length.

The score does bottom out towards the end, lots of quiet thinking stuff I would say. But the intensity of the first half makes up for that. Besides the score is over 70 minutes long, plenty to listen too (many scores on the market are rarely above 45 minutes)

The last track is a spiffy homage to John Barry's classic stuff. A great rendition of the Bond music and really shows off how perfect Arnold is for this franchise. He pulls it off with lots of power and fun. I hope he stays a long long time. As of now I'll give Casino Royal 3 out of 5 stars, if it survives months of listening, Ill bump it up to 4 out of 5, if I listen to it for a full year straight 5 out of 5 (which only a very very very select few scores have done).

If I were to rate Arnolds scores it would go...

TIE 1. Tomorrow Never Dies/ World is not Enough *****
2. Casino Royale *** (maybe * added later) (and * even added later)
3. Godzilla ****
4. Die anther Day *** (okay but no forth star0

Oh, I'm so glad Optimus Prime edged out as the New Bond! I like all the Daniel Craig visuals in the previews to trick us too.

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