Force Awakens soundtrack?

At first i thought it was an action film mush with the exception of the x-wing/tie fighter battle at Takodana…but a few relistens and it really comes through. Rey’s Theme actually kind of reminds me of parts of Ron Grainer’s Omega Man.

And I can’t actually nail down that battle theme but I’m going to guess its March of the Resistance.

A superior effort…especially considering the entire prequel trilogy only gave us two standouts in Duel of the Fates and the sorta similar Battle of the Heroes.

For those without a copy of the soundtrack but want to listen along, Disney Music has made the official soundtrack available for streaming on Youtube.

In a movie with so many callbacks to the original trilogy, John Williams made only a few, but very judicious, musical callbacks of his own. As you’d expect in a movie subtitled The Force Awakens, the Force theme (aka “Binary Sunset”) is heard throughout. Han and Leia’s love theme was very prominent, of course. As the Rebel Alliance is now the New Republic, the Rebel Fanfare is now associated with the Millennium Falcon. The First Order isn’t the Galactic Empire, so the “Imperial March” only played once, when Darth Vader’s helmet was revealed.

The new stuff, I agree is top-notch. In contrast to the other Star Wars themes, “Rey’s Theme” doesn’t hit you over the head with its motif from the opening bars. Rather, it develops quietly, slowly, almost tentatively, until it finally emerges triumphantly several bars later. As the movie progresses, and Rey’s character develops, you’ll hear her theme alternate with “The Force” theme. And if you waited until the very end of the credits, you’ll hear both themes played simultaneously.

Rey’s Theme
The Ways of the Force
The Jedi Steps and Finale

I would disagree. After watching Force Awakens, I can’t recall a single theme that stood out. Mostly it just seemed like a lot of generic John Williams dee…deedee deedee dee dee BA…dee…BA BAHH…WAAAAAAA…dee dee dee… BA-BUMM BA-BAMM BAA-DAA DA DA DAUMMM!

Basically any chase scene from any Spielberg film.

How could “Rey’s Theme” not stand out? It’s beautiful. Otherwise, yeah, generic Williams.

However, note the presence of guest conductor Gustavo Dudamel on selected tracks. Love that guy.

Another fan here of Rey… and her Theme.

Glad to see it’s on YouTube. I have all the other Star Wars sound tracks (even the one to Shadows of the Empire!) so I was thinking I’d probably pick this up, but I don’t remember the music being terribly memorable when I saw the movie in the theaters (twice). I’m hoping it stands up better when there’s not so much action noise in front of it, and the YouTube link will make that convenient.

The more I think of it, the more “Rey’s Theme” reminds me of this other John Williams tune from 2002. Some definite echoes there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJZ5_fx-hR8

Wikipedia is unclear how much of the soundtrack John Williams actually conducted. It’s clear, though, that he composed the score, but the orchestra was composed of session musicians and not the London Symphony Orchestra.

Andrew Kahn on Slate made this comparison on the old vs new scores:

He, too, likes “Rey’s Theme”, comparing to a “sweeping, Slavonic folk dance”. He also compares it to the Harry Potter theme (I don’t know if I see it myself).

There’s something very different in the main theme. A different emphasis on some moments, with subtle alterations of instrumentation. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but it sounded a bit less powerful at first listen.

On further investigation, the main title and end credits themes weren’t conducted by John Williams but rather by “special guest conductor” Gustavo Dudamel. You can point to this instance when someone asks you about the importance of a conductor to an orchestra.

In the trailers, they used the familiar themes with new instrumentation, an emphasis on strings, voices, and percussion (plus piano). I really liked those pieces, and would love to have heard more like that instead of the traditional dominant horns.

It’s a disappointment, but not a gigantic one. The odd thing is how great Episode I and Episode III’s soundtracks were, even though the movies were terrible. Episode II was mainly, I believe, reused themes and Williams only worked on one or two new themes while the rest was passed off to someone else who could fill the gaps and handle a lot of the basic work.

I think Episode VII is excellent, a greatly made movie. Williams did his best, but only ended up putting in 2-3 good themes. It’s not a waste, but hardly his best material or his most inspired.

I love that Williams was able to do great work for Lucas despite Lucas having no idea how to direct actors. I guess Williams doesn’t need massive direction.

Having listened to the whole thing on YouTube, I’m decidedly “Meh” about it. I’m pretty much in the same boat as Mahaloth, including on the prequel soundtracks.

Even though I am a huge fan of John Williams, as a kid I had all the Star Wars LPs on vinyl, I still find this parody really funny…

I agree that there was some good sounds in the trailers that didn’t show up on the soundtrack :frowning:

I don’t have a huge argument to make, but I might refer to William’s conducting as overpowering and forceful (um, I see what I did there, but I didn’t mean to), and Dudamel’s as textured and nuanced.

I’m a Dudamel fanboy, so YMMV.