War Horse Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score War Horse by John Williams.
“I am not John Williams biggest fan, but when he delivers, he delivers big and it doesn’t come much better than War Horse”
War Horse is the second film by Steven Spielberg this year. It’s a film about friendship and loyalty during world war one. There’s a young man, Albert, and his horse, Joey, who get separated when Joey is sold to the cavalry and sent to the trenches. Albert heads to France to save his friend. The film premieres December 25th and the composer is John Williams.
|1. Dartmoor, 1912||*****|
|2. The Auction||****|
|3. Bringing Joey Home, and Bonding||****|
|4. Learning the Call||*****|
|5. Seeding, and Horse vs. Car||*****|
|7. Ruined Crop, and Going to War||****|
|8. The Charge and Capture||****|
|9. The Desertion||***|
|10. Joey’s New Friends||****|
|11. Pulling the Cannon||****|
|12. The Death of Topthorn||****|
|13. No Man’s Land||****|
|14. The Reunion||*****|
|15. Remembering Emilie, and Finale||*****|
|16. The Homecoming||*****|
Isn’t it just fantastic with not just one, but two John Williams releases in one year? It’s an event that doesn’t happen quite a lot believe me. First was The Adventures of Tintin that I recently reviewed and it showed that Williams is still young at heart and can compose with such energy and charm. War Horse is a very different film than Tintin. It’s classified as a drama/war film about friendship and loyalty in time of war.
It’s a score that to me takes me back to how great scores sounded 10-20 years ago. The score is filled with romantic and treacherous themes from start to finish of what seems to be a fantastic adventure.
For me, this score contains almost everything I love about John Williams and film music in general. The pure quality of the score is second to none.
As for the themes, there are three that stands out for me personally. There’s the main theme, or the bonding theme as some like to call it. It is definitely the best theme I have heard all year and possibly for years to come. You can hear it in ‘Bringing Joey Home, and Bonding’ from 3:17 and in ‘Remembering Emilie, and Finale’ plus a number of other cues. It is such a brilliant theme, a romantic tour de force of a theme that has plenty of goosebump moments.
There’s the friendship theme which can be heard in the last three tracks of the score. It isn’t as powerful as the main theme, but I love it’s small details and how terrific it is in all it’s subtlety.
The war theme can be heard in a number of cues like ‘Ruined Crop, and Going to War’ from 2:30. It’s pretty much a great war theme with horns and percussion, a little dark compared to the other two themes I mentioned, but a great contrast and well orchestrated theme overall.
There’s a lot more here than just the three themes I mentioned, but I won’t bore you with the details but let you discover them yourselves.
I am not John Williams biggest fan, but when he delivers, he delivers big and it doesn’t come much better than War Horse. Is it an Oscar contender? Definitely. I liked this a lot, better than Tintin in fact. It’s such a shame we have to wait until next year for more John Williams, but the two releases this year is plentiful and fun and War Horse is a good as it gets. Go grab it folks!
CUE RATING: 87.5