Soundtrack Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Soundtrack Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by Howard Shore.

“2012 has been a good year with some great film scores, but The Hobbit stands proudly over them all.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first film in a new trilogy based on the novel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Directed by Peter Jackson and starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage this is a tale about a curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug. The score is composed by Howard Shore.

Track List

1. My Dear Frodo 100
2. Old Friends (Extended) 100
3. An Unexpected Party (Extended) 80
5. Axe or Sword 80
7. The Adventure Begins 100
8. The World Is Ahead 100
9. An Ancient Enemy 100
10. Radagast the Brown (Extended) 100
11. The Trollshaws 100
12. Roast Mutton (Extended) 100
13. A Troll Hoard 100
14. The Hill of Sorcery 100
15. Warg-Scouts 100
16. The Hidden Valley 100
17. Moon Runes (Extended) 100
18. The Defiler 80
19. The White Council (Extended) 80
20. Over Hill 100
21. A Thunder Battle 100
22. Under Hill 100
23. Riddles in the Dark 80
24. Brass Buttons 80
25. Out of the Frying-Pan 100
26. A Good Omen 100
28. Dreaming of Bag End 80
29. A Very Respectable Hobbit 100
30. Erebor 100
31. The Dwarf Lords 80
32. The Edge of the Wild 80

I was lucky to get a promo of the Special Edition which is what I am reviewing here. It’s been far too long since Lord Of The Rings graced my ears. I currently hold all three scores in high regard, certainly in my top 10 best scores of all time. That is why the anticipation for a new Howard Shore score from the Tolkien universe is sky high for me and everyone who loved the Lord Of The Rings scores. This Special edition contains 32 tracks, 29 of which are by Howard Shore, all in all 2 CD’s and around 2 hours of music.

With the opening cue ‘My Dear Frodo’, which is an excellent opening cue by the way, you go right back into that universe of hobbits, elves and dwarves. It’s just so good to be back! There’s no new major theme yet, but you get to hear the hobbit/shire theme from the previous films quite clearly. In ‘Old Friends (Extended) the hobbit/shire theme unfolds perfectly and I am drawn into a comfortable place of nostalgia.

There’s a song here by Neil Finn called ‘Song Of The Lonely Mountain’ which is a brilliant piece of music and forms the major theme of this score which you can hear in a number of cues like ‘The World Is Ahead’ and ‘Over Hill’. I think it’s a wonderful theme and although there are other minor themes in the score, this is the one that stands out. Beautiful!

There’s of course not a single word I can write about this score that you probably don’t already know and for good reason. This score has the horns, the choirs, the massive quality of sound that is as good as you have ever heard, the works!

Conclusion

This is for me the best film score of 2012 so far and by some distance. The quality here is immense and even though it is a fantastic score, I expected more. There were parts in this score that I wish could have been better so for me, it’s quite a long way behind his three Lord Of The Rings Score. Still, 2012 has been a good year with some great film scores, but The Hobbit stands proudly over them all.

GEEK SCORE: 93.7

Buy the score at Amazon CD, Amazon MP3 or iTunes.
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Soundtrack Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), 8.8 out of 10 based on 39 ratings

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