Film scores

Soundtrack review: A sound of thunder (Nick Glennie – Smith – 2015)

Sound_Of_Thunder_600

Every (rare) time that a Nick Glennie-Smith score comes along I stop whatever I’m doing and give it a try. This is the guy who started with Hans Zimmer 30 years ago and has been part of a few legendary scores, none more so than “The rock” which still has the most bad ass action theme ever written. And when the score he writes is for a movie with a subject very dear to me, time travel, all the starts seem to be aligned. The story is “A sound of thunder”, written by Ray Bradbury and dealing with the effects of altering past, present and future too much. If you are familiar with the theory of “The butterfly effect”, this story plays on that.

I haven’t learned yet to tone down my expectations of a score. I’m not that good yet at completely separating the current work of a composer from my previous image of him so it takes me a while to warm up to “A sound of thunder”. The dark and powerful “Rules – time jump” is the moment when I climb aboard this score clinging to the handles so I wouldn’t fall. This is the kind of action I was looking for. It sets a mood I can relate to. “Major problem” is next and I get the very strange sensation of knowing this sound so well that I feel like looking in a mirror when listening to this cue. Yes I’ve heard it before but I can only accept it as part of me and just enjoy it. This is my idea of a serious and dark science fiction score. The music hypnotizes and blocks me and I feel lost inside it. I know this sound so well that my mind almost goes blank because I feel safe and relaxed when I hear it. It’s like opening the door and welcoming a long lost friend with which no matter how much time passes without any contact you can just start where you left off. You can enjoy a comfortable silence together, you can communicate without talking and that’s what happens as I listen to “A sound of thunder”. I would say words I’ve said before and they might be meaningless. Imagine a gesture or an action you’ve been doing for so long and so often that it’s become more of a reflex. If someone would ask you to explain how you do that you would find yourself strangely unable to reply because you forgot the steps. You just do it from instinct. The sound that Nick Glennie Smith wrote for this movie is part of so many scores now, is part of the fabric of film music and of the works of Hans Zimmer, Ramin Djawadi, Steve Jablosnki even and many more so their fans will embrace this score.

So yes, I loved “A sound of thunder”. I loved it like I love my favorite T-shirt that I wouldn’t throw away no matter how old it gets or how often I might wear it. It’s been with me through too much and that level of comfort is too precious to give up. It’s the sound of “The rock” or “Crimson Tide” and it’s unforgettable.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 46 / 62

Album excellence: 73%

Highlights:

Ancestor

Rules – Time Jump

Major Problem

Morning News – Eruption

Time Wave

Jumping Alone – Another Time Wave

Access Denied

Cab Ride

Tami’s Hard Drive

University – Butterfly Saved

Look At This – End Titles A

End Titles B – End Roller Suite

 

 

About the author

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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