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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Movie soundtracks that live beyond the theater

By Christie Franke, Staff Writer

The Lord of the Rings

This is destined to be a classic, if it’s not already. The soundtracks for the three movies range in tone from English traditional to vaguely New Age to full-on epic battle music, with many stops and segues in between. Howard Shore, the composer, utilized many different types of musical styles to create something that fits every mood and every culture that the movie spans. All at once sweet and eccentric, mystical and spooky, deeply energizing and moving, the soundtracks to all three movies are awesome pieces of music. Look for the traditional Maori chants, Indian sitars and full-throated solos by Annie Lennox and Renée Fleming.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton’s cult classic features music by the irrepressible Danny Elfman, and it’s recognizable everywhere. Face it, everyone’s heard “What’s This?” and “Making Christmas.” It’s such a well-known soundtrack, in fact, that Panic! At the Disco and Fall Out Boy recently covered songs from it (“This is Halloween” and “What’s This?” respectively). The music itself is classic and has been used in everything from other trailers to commercials. The songs are ghoulish, moody and fun all rolled into one gothic package. It’s kind of like most Tim Burton movies, come to think of it.


The movie was fun in a cracktastic, emo, “I-can’t-believe-I’m-watching-this” kind of way, but it’s safe to say that the soundtrack is pretty cool. Paramore, Linkin Park, Muse, and even Robert Pattinson8212;Edward himself8212;contribute to what is a great bunch of songs in a silly vampire movie. Pattinson managed to contribute two, proving that if he fails in acting (unlikely), he’s got a promising career as a musician ahead. Paramore contributes three songs and is looking forward to putting more in the future movie. And let’s face it, vampire baseball would be nothing without Muse’s “Supermassive Black Hole” rocking in the background.

Sleepy Hollow

Another great Danny Elfman soundtrack from another Tim Burton movie. This is a great soundtrack if you’re trying to scare yourself silly. It’s very haunting and emotive, but not in a bad way. It’s good for if you are writing an essay on something like gothic fiction or serial killers because it dials up the creepy factor as high as it can. “Sleepy Hollow” is such a scary movie anyway that the soundtrack will have you jumping at the smallest noises. Be aware of that before you start listening to it late at night, alone.


First of all, anyone who hasn’t seen “Coraline” yet needs to get down to the movie theater ASAP. The music is completely astonishing. Composed by a Frenchman named Bruno Coulais, the score tinkles and swans its way through piece after piece, bringing to life a fairy tale world of Other Mothers, mouse circuses, and button eyes. In addition to the instrumental aspect, Coulais uses two choirs8212;a French children’s choir and the Hungarian Radio Choirto8212;to dial up the macabre. All of the lyrics are in French and Hungarian, and that gives the songs a quality that makes them sound a bit on the darker side. They Might Be Giants also performs one song on the soundtrack, a jazzy, upbeat tune called “Other Father Song.” It’s definitely worth the money.

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