Music Review: James Newton Howard, "The Village" (score) [Soundtrack]
by Scott Juba
Published: July 29, 2004
After his resounding success with his previous three films (“Signs”, “Unbreakable”, and “The Sixth Sense”), M. Night Shyamalan has tremendously high expectations resting on his shoulders with his latest release, “The Village”. After penning brilliant scores for Shyamalan’s last three films, composer James Newton Howard has similarly high expectations to create another pitch perfect score. Unsurprisingly, this tremendously talented and artistically endowed composer meets those expectations with ease.
After reading the synopsis for “The Village” and watching the trailer, a person can begin to imagine the type of sound that should define this mystically isolated rural setting. Howard makes that sound come alive with music that is at times eerie, at times terrifying, and at times emotionally stirring. He has created a score that is sure to enhance the ambiance of Shyamalan’s detailed environments and invigorate Shyamalan’s already compelling plot lines.
His score relies heavily on intense violin performances, with featured violinist Hilary Hahn meeting the challenge of using her musical talent to convey a subtle terror in many key moments. The success of this soundtrack has to be attributed in large part to her skillful violin playing.
The other noteworthy characteristic of the score is its originality. Howard is one of the few composers that rarely borrows from past projects and constantly generates unique music with a distinct and memorable sound. His score for “The Village” doesn’t even remotely imitate his score for Shyamalan’s last film, “Signs”, and properly so.
The only common elements that run through all of Howard’s music are the quality and tireless dedication that he puts into his work. In a year that has already featured several well-executed film scores, Howard’s latest addition ranks near the top. The score for “The Village” is definitely a soundtrack to add to your personal collection.
Overall Grade: A
To Purchase "The Village" Soundtrack at Amazon.com Click Here.
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