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Album Review: Maleficent – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

4 min read

Disney’s new live-action movie Maleficent is one of 2014’s most highly anticipated film releases, reeling in big guns such as Robert Stromberg to direct, Angelina Jolie to star as the evil tyrant and renowned composer James Newton Howard to compose the musical score for the picture. The music to Maleficent-Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is expected to be phenomenal, Howard was responsible for composing scores on massive films such as Pretty Woman, I Am Legend, The Dark Knight and The Hunger Games. 

Maleficent-OriginalMotionPictureSoundtrackMaleficent Suite opens the soundtrack with dramatic beginnings, it successfully spikes the curiosity and anticipation experienced by an audience when being introduced to a film; its classical composition is as soothing as it is edgy, and it has so many traits and build ups. The short and sweet Welcome To The Moors lifts the spirits and ups the mood with its enthusiastic string section and wonderful choir vocals, whilst Maleficent Flies begins with a similar vibe but transitions into something a little more curiously soothing, until it blossoms into this explosion of music before it gently withers away. Battle Of The Moors is a climactic and energetic piece, it would serve the purpose of accompanying a scene of battle effectively; you can hear all the drama unfold and escalate throughout the composition.

Three Peasant Women was a fun and curious little piece made up of a string section, brass and the flute. Go Away seems to have an element of frustration added to it, each part of the track was building up to something only to return to a solemn state now and again; Aurora and the Fawn was yet another uplifting piece with such a positive aura, the strings and vocal arrangement were beautiful and the piano added a lovely element to the atmosphere; however, it wasn’t long before the track grew extremely dramatic, the punchy brass arrangement made sure of that. The Christening wasted no time getting into it, the doom and gloom existed from the very beginning, and continued even when the track transitioned into a lower key before the loud finale. Prince Phillip was a sweet serenade, it gave us a break from all the drama present in previous compositions.

The Spindle’s Power is a fast paced dramatic piece that captures the curiosity, you could say that you would actually question the magic that is the power of the spindle; it leaves you wanting to know exactly what we’re in for. You Could Live Here Now wasn’t as loud or dramatic as previous pieces, it was surprisingly low key yet it still fit in with the nature of the soundtrack thus far; however, it was back to the emotive darkness in the action packed composition, Path of Destruction. There is something beautiful about Aurora In Faerieland, the classical arrangement is so soothing and extraordinarily enticing. The Wall Defends itself is a very short and drama laden piece that is fantastic for a climactic build up, whereas The Curse Won’t Reverse is a short return to the curiosity felt when listening to the music. Are You Maleficent is just as questioning as it sounds, you wonder where the music is taking us; it would be great to see this track in action as it accompanies the scene it was written for.

The Army Dances is yet another action packed number with punchy brass and strings, Phillip’s Kiss gives the soundtrack another low key and soothing break before launching into the equally down key The Iron Gauntlet. The serenading continues, and even has its own slight build up, with True Love’s Kiss; the dramatic theme returns mightily in the energetic Maleficient Is Captured, which sounds like the perfect close to a movie’s climactic events, The Queen of Faerieland is a beautiful ballad with a punchy ending perfect for closing the final scene. Lana Del Ray contributed to the soundtrack with a new take on the beloved song Once Upon A Dream, which was originally featured on Disney’s 1959 adpatation of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale; Del Ray was handpicked by Jolie to perform the cover, it will be used as the title track of the movie and in the credits, it is a wonderful take on the song.

Maleficent-Original Movie Soundtrack is jam packed with drama, action and beauty. Disney made a great decision in hiring and entrusting James Newton Howard to write the score for the film, not just due to his experience in writing the music for massive blockbusters, but because he clearly knows what would be perfect to accompany a movie. This soundtrack has so many personalities, traits and elements and seems as if it is among the living and not merely an accompanying soundscape for a high budget feature film. The soundtrack for Maleficent sounds perfect on record, it would be fantastic to see the music in action during the film.