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Soundtrack review: A Christmas Carol (Alan Silvestri – 2009)

Alan Silvestri month Composer of the month

Soundtrack review: A Christmas Carol (Alan Silvestri – 2009)

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“A Christmas Carol”, Charles Dickens’ immortal story gets a motion capture computer animated interpretation from Robert Zemekis. Jim Carrey plays a few parts and gets visited by the Ghosts of Christmas past and the other two spirits who show him the need to change his ways. Zemekis’ inventive vision is really gorgeous and I enjoyed watching this movie, especially in 3D. Visually, it’s one of the most exciting experiences you can have.

His favorite composer returned for the score, and his sensitive touch completed the director’s vision. Some of the cues are actually based on Christmas Carols and this gives the score the identity it needs. It’s a very nice touch. The main titles are just a goose bump inducing medley of Carols.

“The Ghost of Christmas past” is one of the most beautiful and exciting Christmas cues I’ve heard. It captures all the joy and light of Christmas as a kid, the emotion of that night in a sweeping track that makes me want to run and buy a Christmas tree. It is just one of the memorable cues from this score. Alan Silvestri took the Christmas spirit, the sadness of Ebenezer Scrooge’s life and the weight of the visits by the three spirits and blended them into one of his best scores ever. “A Christmas Carol” is rich, dense and beautiful like a well decorated Christmas tree. The choirs are powerful and intense, the orchestra is alive and I can’t wait to listen to this sore on Christmas Eve. This is how Christmas should sound like. Alan Silvestri makes me believe that he believes in this holiday and moment with all his heart. He becomes Santa himself for this one.

There’s hardly a moment when I stop flying while listening to this score. Sometimes there’s a snowstorm of choirs and orchestra, like during “Who was that lying dead?”, but that doesn’t stop me. It just makes me want to listen to more of this treasure. We get crazy wonderful cues like “Carriage chase”, there’s nothing missing from one of the most exciting scores I’ve heard this month! This cue made me remember the puzzle I got my wife from Christmas last year, where everything was nothing but madness instead of the usual calm picture perfect Christmas you see on cards.

The joy, excitement and agitation of Christmas are all here. “A Christmas Carol” is a must listen for everyone. I guarantee you’ll have a great time.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 35 / 45

Album excellence: 76%

Highlights:

The Ghost Of Christmas Past

Let Us See Another Christmas

Flight To Fezziwigs

First Waltz

Another Idol Has Replaced Me

Touch My Rob

The Clock Tower

Carriage Chase

This Dark Chamber

None Of Us Will Ever Forget

Who Was That Lying Dead?

I’m Still Here

Ride On My Good Man

God Bless Us Everyone

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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