If there’s one guy we want desperately to take home an Oscar, it’s American composer Thomas Newman. Having already been nominated for 10 times, we feel that it’s high time the Academy recognised his talent. The man behind the music for brilliant scores like The Green Mile (1999), Road to Perdition (2002) and Wall E (2008) is back with his latest work for director’s John Maddens’ feel good British drama about life.
And like the movie, we are glad that this soundtrack album comes highly recommended.
Those familiar with Newman’s work will smile when the 46 minute album opens with “Long Old Life”, a signature Newman cue with soothing rhythmic beats that calm the most nervous souls. The beautifully crafted “The Chimes at Midnight” is the gem on the disc, a magically enchanting tune. The main theme can also be heard here, a melody which will recurs later in the album.
With the film set in India, Newman spices up his compositions with Indian instrumentations, first heard evidently in “Road to Jaipur”, an energetic track which paints a picture of colours and life. The same exoticism is presented in “Night Bus” and “Tuks Tuks”, which are spiritedly engaging with the aid of vocals.
Serenity is felt in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”, a track which will make you appreciate Newman’s talent for bringing out the emotions in music composition. The heartfelt “Anokhi” and the bittersweet “More Than Nothing” are also reflective pieces which the Grammy award winning composer is known for.
Elsewhere, tracks like “Turning Left”, “Young Wasim” and “Progress” illustrate Newman’s versatility in film composing. With the added Indian flavour, this score shows us yet another side of his talent. And when the album ends with the smile inducing “A Bit of Afters”, you’d want to revisit the soundtrack again.
Although this album doesn’t contain bombastically memorable tunes, we are sure that it will go down well with anyone who appreciates life’s small but beautiful moments.
Recommended Track: (3) The Chimes at Midnight
Review by John Li