The Others (Soundtrack)  by Alejandro Amenábar

 

 

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The Others (Soundtrack) by Alejandro Amenábar

I Hear Dead People
Review by Christopher Coleman

 

The Others (Soundtrack)  by Alejandro Amenábar

The Others
8/10

The Others (Soundtrack)  by Alejandro Amenábar

 

Category

Score

Originality 8
Music Selection 8
Composition 9
CD Length 7
Track Order 7
Performance 8
Final Score 8/10

 

 

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Composer 
Alejandro Amenábar

 

Quick Quotes

"Sony Classical's forty-one minute album is a pitch-perfect representation of the music that never overstays its welcome." ****.5

Matt Barry - SoundtrackNet Reviews The Others

 

 

Composed and Orchestrated by Alejandro Amenábar
Orchestrations by Xavier Capellas, Claudio Ianni, Lucio Godoy
Performed by The London Session Orchestra
Conducted by Claudio Ianni
Concert Master: Gavyn Wright
Released by Sony Classical - July 2001

The name, "Alejandro Amenábar" may not mean much to most film goers and even less to those who listen to and appreciate film music; however, the days of  anonymity for the Chilean born director/writer/composer, are just about over.  With the release of Dimensions' The Others, Alejandro Amenábar makes his English-film debut.  Despite edging dangerously close to The Sixth Sense-territory, opinions of both the film and score have been favorable.

Amenábar first pulled the spotlight with his Spanish effort entitled, Tesis (Thesis) back in 1996 -  a film he both directed and scored.  Released in 1997 and shown at the Sundance Film Festival, Amenábar stirred things up with his film Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes).  The film ignited a partnership between Amenábar and actor, Tom Cruise.  The new partnership has resulted in an English-remake of Open Your Eyes, entitled Vanilla Sky, which is directed by Cameron Crowe and stars Cruise, and has also birthed the Cruise-backed film, The Others.

The Others has gained much press about its plot twists and surprises, much like another popular film of the paranormal, The Sixth Sense.  The intersection of the living and ghosts seems an extremely popular formula these days and as it provides both directors and composers with an creative foundation from which to build.  Once again, Amenábar takes the helm both visually and musically- demonstrating his considerable talents in both arenas.

As a score, The Others, is beautifully surprising.  While there has been and always will be an abundance of atonal, dissonant scores for films of this nature, once in a while a composer will produce a theme or cue that truly stands out - something composer Christopher Young did so in his score for The Gift (2000).  Alejandro Amenábar does similarly in The Others.  While there are a good number of the obligatory, dissonant rumblings and high pitched string-shrieks in The Others, Alejandro Amenábar doesn't allow his score to rest on such genre-staples.  His departures from the well-worn musical path of the suspense/thriller, is exactly where this score excels.

The opening track, The Others (1), is a beautiful piece that evokes thoughts of any number of bright, classical pieces much more than thoughts of "seeing dead people."  Relying upon woodwinds and brass in its opening moments and later upon vocals and strings , the track surprisingly sets the listener at ease instead of on pins and needles.  It is this performance that engages the listener's full attention and it is this track that makes it clear that this is no ordinary scary-score.  The only unfortunate things is that this wonderful woodwind and brass performance is not heard again until the End Credits (15).

Wakey Wakey (2) and Old Times (3) represent a good portion of the first half of the score as it understated, mysterious, and just full of an awkward suspense.  Amenábar is able to combine a foreboding quality with a twisted bit of childlike innocence - much the same way Elmer Bernstein did with To Kill a Mockingbird.  In Wakey Wakey (2) Cellos, harpsichord, piano piece out the film's main theme before strings slowly build up behind them, take center-stage.  In Old Times (3), a lonely piano, harpsichord, and violin slowly, almost spiritually, meander around subtle string accompaniment.

For lovers of the dark and threatening, Amenábar does not disappoint either.  The latter half of the soundtrack turns sharply more threatening.  Starting with track 9, Communion Dress, the overall intensity of the score is pushed up two or three notches, until the last two tracks return to the more mournful and beautiful, tones. 

The 40 minutes of score released by Sony Classical is sufficient in the case of The Others as the high points of the score are well represented.  For those looking for something different to "sink their ears" into, The Others, may just amply provide the diversion they are searching for.  Composer/ Director Alejandro Amenábar has certainly caught the attention of Hollywood, and with this effort, should also catch the attention of film music fans and collectors around the globe.


Track Listing and Ratings

 Track

Title Time

Rating

1 The Others 2:24  *****
2 Wakey Wakey 1:44  ***
3 Old Times 3:25  ****
4 They Are Everywhere 2:35  ***
5 Reunion 1:06  ***
6 Changes 1:37  ***
7 I Do Believe It 3:15  ****
8 Charles 1:45  ****
9 Communion Dress 1:21  ***
10 No Curtains 2:48  ***
11 Give Me the Keys! 1:32  ***
12 The Attic 1:47  ****
13 Sheets and Chains 5:49  ***
14 A Good Mother 5:42  ****
15 End Credits 4:10  ****
 

Total Running Time

41:01  

The Others (Soundtrack) by Alejandro Amenábar

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.

 

Referenced Reviews
The Gift 

 

 

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