David Arnold composes his fifth 007 score, once more with Nicholas Dodds conducting the orchestra. As has happened too often in the past, Arnold is saddled with a theme song he didn’t contribute to leaving him unable to integrate it into his music. Still, an excellent score with much to enjoy- the slower pieces are as good as ever, while the action cues are thankfully less reliant on upfront percussion. In places, it even feels like John Barry’s score for Diamonds Are Forever- and that’s a compliment. I hope to be adding to this review later, as I become more familiar with the film. All comments welcome!
The Quantum of Solace Score
1. Time To Get Out (3:28) The album opens ominously, with rumbling drums and low strings gradually spiralling up until exploding into a percussion and brass-centred action piece, one of Arnold’s best. The Bond Theme is heard teasingly.
2. The Palio (4:59) Pretty similar to the previous cue, both in arrangement and content albeit with more prominent string work heard between the action bursts.
3. Inside Man (0:38) A strong bass carries this short piece.
4. Bond In Haiti (0:35) Scene-setting “local” music with the Bond Theme woven in, much as with previous similar cues (eg “Welcome To Cuba” on Die Another Day).
5. Somebody Wants To Kill You (2:17) Latinesque percussion and guitars interspersed with solid work from the brass and strings.
6. Greene & Camille (2:13) A string-heavy slow-paced cue.
7. Pursuit At Port Au Prince (5:58) Once again, a low-key ominous string introduction sets the atmosphere before the pace quickens when the percussion enters, only to quicken again and again prior to a classy coda using the Bond Theme on strings.
8. No Interest In Dominic Greene (2:44) The Bond Theme, in distorted form, on keys opens an intriguing string-based cue.
9. Night At The Opera (3:02) Carrying on from the previous cue and developing its motifs while gradually increasing the excitement, this is one of the best tracks on the album.
10. Restrict Bond’s Movements (1:31) Deep strings and tinkling keys.
11. Talamone (0:34) There’s a great Bondian melody implied in this too-short cue.
12. What’s Keeping You Awake (1:40) Tinkling keys over long chords from the strings.
13. Bolivian Taxi Ride (0:39) As with track 4, “Bond In Haiti”, more Latinesque guitars/percussion incorporating the Bond Theme.
14. Field Trip (0:41) Variations on the Bond Theme.
15. Forgive Yourself (2:26) Atmosphere-setting string work, interrupted by a burst of action music before the recurring piano melody takes over.
16. DC3 (1:15) An effective tension-builder.
17. Target Terminated (3:53) Solid, driving action music, not dominated by percussion.
18. Camille’s Story (3:58) Low, slow strings with those tinkling keys once again playing the recurring melody (”Camille’s Theme”, perhaps?) leading into a lovely guitar-played coda.
19. Oil Fields (2:29) A quiet opening gradually builds with the aid of the Bond vamp.
20. Have You Ever Killed Someone? (1:32) The Bond vamp underpins the introduction; percussion and orchestral chords enter then fade away.
21. Perla De Las Dunas (8:07) Another ominous string-filled opening, more developed than previously, leads to standard Arnold action music till around the halfway mark, when sombre strings take over
22. The Dead Don’t Care About Vengeance (1:14) Haunting strings are jarringly interrupted by guitar.
23. I Never Left (0:40) The piano motif, again over lush strings.
24. Another Way To Die (4:23) Composed by Jack White, performed by White and Alicia Keys. Unusually, the main title song is placed at the end of the album- but then, in the film itself the gunbarrel sequence appears at the end too. The actual music is fine, though the lyrics and processed vocals have proved controversial among Bond fans. The version heard over the titles is edited.