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Soundtrack Review

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Night at the Museum
Secret of the Tomb
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Alan Silvestri
Performed by: Hollywood Studio Symphony and Hollywood Film Chorale
Label: Varèse Sarabande Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 06 January 2015

Varèse Sarabande Records release Alan Silvestri's score for Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb. Get ready for the most wild and adventure-filled Night at the Museum ever, as Larry spans the globe, uniting favourite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever...

Alan Silvestri's score for Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb builds on the scores of the first two movies. In fact, on first listen through of the 19 tracks (57 min, 08 sec), I was a little concerned that too many themes were slightly reworked to give us variations on a theme. Thankfully, on repeat listenings this isn't the case. Sure some of the franchise's themes are revisited, but this is to be expected given the fact that all three movies follow a very similar formula.

I first fell in love with Silvestri's music when, as a teenager, I went to see Back to the Future (1985) at the cinema. I bought that score and was a little disappointed that it was mainly a various artists album, with only around 20 minutes of Silvestri's music. Thankfully the releases of Back to the Future II and III (which incidentally was also originally released through Varèse Sarabande) put that wrong to right.

While Silvestri has written plenty of other scores over the years, most of them (aside from the Predator movies; Van Helsing; Beowulf; G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra; and The Avengers) seem to have passed me by. It was only recently, with his scores for Night at the Museum and Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian that I realised how lacking my soundtrack collection was of Silvestri scores.

Fans of his earlier work will no doubt be pleased to learn that there are elements of his scores for the Back to the Future movies interwoven within these tracks. You'll spot the odd bar of music here and there. Most notably 'The Grand Re-Opening' has elements of Back to the Future III, while 'Sir Lancelot', 'Seeing Your Boy Become A Man' and 'A Farewell Kiss' includes elements from the original Back to the Future film.

The score ends on a beautiful note with 'A Farewell Kiss' and 'Teddy's Goodbye' (which is made even more poignant as this was one of the last movies that Robin Williams (who plays the museum's waxworks Theodore Roosevelt) made before his tragic death.

Okay, it may be a little to similar to the music from the first two movies (in much the same way as his scores for Back to the Future II and III echoed the first film) but if it isn't broken, what's the point in fixing it?

Once again Silvestri delivers a beautiful collection of themes that soundtrack collectors will love.


Darren Rea

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