Soundtrack Review: Lincoln (2012)

Lincoln Soundtrack

Lincoln Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Lincoln by John Williams.

“This is a score you shouldn’t miss.”

Lincoln is the Steven Spielberg directed biopic about one of the greatest American presidents Abraham Lincoln. As the Civil War continues to rage, America’s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and David Strathairn stars in this movie and John Williams is the composer.

Track List

1. The People’s House 100
2. The Purpose of the Amendment 80
3. Getting Out the Vote 80
4. The American Process 80
5. The Blue and Grey 80
6. With Malice Toward None 100
8. The Southern Delegation and the Dream 60
9. Father and Son 80
10. The Race to the House 80
11. Equality Under the Law 80
12. Freedom’s Call 100
13. Elegy 80
14. Remembering Willie 80
15. Appomattox, April 9, 1865 80
16. The Peterson House and Finale 100
17. With Malice Toward None (Piano Solo) 80

If you ever heard John Williams (and who hasn’t), then I can tell you right away that this isn’t going to be something you haven’t heard before. It’s very formulaic John Williams and that can be a very good thing if you are looking for that. The opening theme ‘The People’s House’ is simply superb and worthy of John Williams who we know can knock these themes up for every occasion. There’s some great stuff in here as every cue continues in the same vein, some more successful than others.

Williams doesn’t take chances with this one. There’s no experimental cues like there was for Tintin or Harry Potter for example. This is all very perfectly laid out and it all sounds beautiful, but since it’s John Williams, shouldn’t we expect more? I think so, at least I did. With War Horse he had more to go on, but perhaps it’s the material of the film that required this sort of score. I feel like Williams is holding back.

There’s a fantastic 11 minute cue ‘The Peterson House and Finale’ and it’s really more of a suite. It’s tempting to say that if you listen to this cue, you have heard the score. In this case it’s almost true, but since it’s John Williams, every single note needs listening. It’s beautiful, that’s for sure.

Conclusion

It’s formulaic John Williams, but you know what? I’d rather have that all year than a lot of the scores out there. It feels very safe and knowing that it’s John Williams and the way he constructs beautiful themes, this is a score you shouldn’t miss. Perhaps we should expect more from him, specially since he doesn’t compose many scores these days, but overall, this is a score that just sounds good.

GEEK SCORE: 83.7

Buy the score at Amazon CD, Amazon MP3 or iTunes.
GD Star Rating
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Soundtrack Review: Lincoln (2012), 8.1 out of 10 based on 10 ratings
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  • http://twitter.com/IamBoDigidy Bo Digidy

    Lincoln’s music works well within the movie. However, the lack of themes make it feel plain to me. “Good” Williams just not “great”.

    • http://soundtrackgeek.com/ Jørn Tillnes

      I agree, except I would add “Good enough”, and for me a “good enough” Williams score is pretty damn good. It’s certainly not great though. I was hoping for more.

  • Ivan

    I can’t help to compare it with War Horse, and War Horse is better. Freedom’s Call is a total killer tho.

    • http://soundtrackgeek.com/ Jørn Tillnes

      Oh yeah, I agree with you. War Horse is better, quite a lot better actually.

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