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NESP Reviews


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Music Composed, Orchestrated and Conducted by Howard Shore

Review by Álfta “Svanni” Óðinssen

       As this is the soundrack to the second film in the series one might be tempted to think it a retread of the soundtrack to the first film with some variation more or less. If one thought that, one would be wrong. The familiar themes are still here of course but this is a whole other beast of a soundtrack. In my review of the first soundtrack I gave a glowing review and thought it was the best soundtrack I had heard in quite some time and easily was in my list of the top 5 best ever soundtracks. I doubted it could be topped......until now. Howard Shore has brought those of us who love soundtracks another gem. In this soundtrack Dermot Crehan plays the instrument I have fallen in love with since the first time I heard it played, the Norwegian Hardinger Fiddle. Crehan's fiddle serves as the theme for the riders of Rohan, a very good choice considering they were modeled after the Northmen of old. Especially beautiful was the voice of Isabel Bayrakdarian on “Evenstar.” The choral work was sung in two of the Elvish tongues that Tolkien created as well as highlights in Old English and it is moving to hear. It sets the mood perfectly. The voices of Sheila Chandra on “Breath of Life,” Ben Del Maestro on “Forth Eorlingas,” and Ben Del Maestro and Elizabth Fraser on “Isengard Unleashed” are beautiful as well and serve to give the soundtrack even more character. The sountrack overall gives a menacing feel that is perfect in line with the climatic battle of Helm's Deep that the second film ends with.
       The only negative thing I could say about this soundtrack is so minor that it matters very little. The very last track if a song sung Emiliana Torrini and is so out of place as to be jarring. It sounds to me more like a song from a James Bond soundtrack than from Lord of the Rings. The song itself is beautiful, no doubt and Torrini's voice is beautiful as well but the song is completely out of character with the rest of the soundtrack and coming after such a distinctive and wonderful soundtrack, it serves more to jarr one out of the mood which the soundtrack has built. But the producers of the soundtrack put it last instead of somewhere in the middle and for that I am thankful. As with the first soundtrack, I will say again, if you love soundtracks then this is a soundtrack that is a “must have.”

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