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Album Review: The Maze Runner – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

3 min read

The Maze Runner is the latest project by Director Wes Ball. Based on the best selling books by James Dashner, the movie joins the ranks of The Hunger Games and Divergent as the latest addition to a trend of Sci-Fi trilogies aimed at young adults. The movie is already being acclaimed for holding it’s own in an increasingly popular and competitive genre, and now Sony Music presents The Maze Runner – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – a point of difference again. Composer John Paesano was entrusted with the task of bringing the film to life, and while he credits mentors John Williams (Jaws, Star Wars), Jerry Goldsmith (The Omen, Planet Of The Apes) and Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight, Inception) for inspiring him, The Maze Runner soundtrack flags him as one to watch in his own right.

The Maze Runner soundtrackThere is something about a classical score that is just magic. The Hunger Games soundtrack appealed to the masses with contributions from modern day heavy weights Coldplay, Taylor Swift and Lorde. Divergent used the stunning vocal performance of Ellie Goulding as the main characters inner monologue, giving the soundtrack a unique and recognisable voice. The Maze Runner takes a more traditional route, using an ever changing, dynamic classical composition to take you on a journey of it’s own.

Paesano sets the tone for the soundtrack with the dark, grandiose The Maze Runner. It’s uncomfortable and suspenseful. As we move through the score it’s quickly evident that the hauntingly tense composition is not going to let up. My Name Is Thomas will peak your senses with it’s eerie, daunting drums. Banishment and Into The Maze compound the impending doom, with stunning light and shade, perfectly transitioning between slow, steady beats and spiralling, desperate strings. Going Back In and Section 7 stay heavy on the suspense, but bring a subtle bravery to the mix that is exciting and very welcome in the face of tracks like Griever!, Maze Rearrange and Trapped that are just downright scary. Sitting at number four on the track list is arguably the scariest of the lot. Ben’s Not Right is classic horror, with sharp, shrieking strings that would give a Hitchcock shower scene a run for it’s money and make me really happy I’m not Ben.

Paesano does offer a few small reprieves that give the audience a chance to catch their breath, even if only for a moment. What Is This Place? is soft and curious adding a stunning feature in the Spanish Guitar. Waiting In The Rain, Chat With Chuck and Thomas Remembers are pretty pieces that bring nostalgia, vulnerability and depth to the record not seen in the more dramatic tracks.

Final Fight is just what you would expect – energetic, desperate and punchy, with orchestral twists and turns that makes it sound more like a track from 1961’s Westside Story rather than a 2014 Blockbuster. It culminates with Finale, a lovely, thoughtful and emotionally provoking piece perfectly suited to let the credits role and the audience reflect.

The Maze Runner – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is a classic horror movie score that will leave you feeling as scared and trapped as it’s characters. It’s cunningly eerie, shamelessly unforgiving and hauntingly beautiful and now I cannot WAIT for the movie.