Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Sunday, April 27, 2008


The Spiderwick Chronicles
Music by James Horner
Lakeshore Records LKS 339802 (US)
15 Tracks 71:37 mins

This magical family adventure recently made a favourable impression on its release in UK cinemas and stars talented young English actor Freddie Highmore, old enough now to be trusted with an American accent, among its case of youngsters, ably supported by the likes of Nick Nolte, Joan Plowright, Mary-Louise Parker and David Strathairn.
Music for the film was provided by James Horner and this more than generous album showcases what is his best score for many a while. Of course his style will be instantly familiar, and the usual Hornerisms are on display; but whatever your opinion of his music, there's no doubting it always serves its subject well. He really is a master of his art.
It's quite a dark score for much of its playing time, with much threat and some really menacing action writing, but there are also magical touches, with subtle use of voices, and there are a few moments of calm, where the composer introduces some tenderness and innocence. Horner also features a kind of quirky, comic march for the Hogsqueal character.
Standout track for me is "The Flight of the Griffin" which, after a gentle start becomes ever uplifting until it positively soars, complete with Troy-like brass fanfares. After all the dark action, "Jared and Mulgarath Fight for the Chronicles" introduces a more heroic figure as victory is achieved over the forces of darkness, with "Coming Home" and the "Closing Credits" bringing matters to a gentle, peaceful end.
Recommended not just to Horner fans, but to everyone who appreciates good film music. This is certainly one of the better scores of the year so far.

Composer Alan Williams has notified me that his new website is now open. Excellent though his previous site was, this is even better, with plenty of great features. There is plenty of music to sample, plus video clips showcasing his work, as well as biographical details, credits, interviews, a photo gallery, and reviews of his constantly expanding Silverscreen catalogue. Well worth a visit. Go to and enjoy all that is on offer.


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