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Soundtrack Review

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The Witches
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Alan Silvestri
Label: WaterTower Music
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 23 October 2020

Alan Silvestri's original score for the 2020 cinematic reimagining of Roald Dahl’s The Witches book is released through WaterTower Music. Robert Zemeckis’s film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis.  As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks our young hero away to an opulent seaside resort.  Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe - undercover - to carry out her nefarious plans...

Alan Silvestri is a composer whose work has constantly acted as a back drop through my life... but in all honesty I've only ever been a fan of a few of his scores. Two of his franchises: Back to the Future and Night at the Museum. Both of these trilogies saw Silvestri really delivering something new, fresh and wonderfully multi-layered. And The Walk, which just has so much life injected into it. The Back to the Future scores I've been listening to quite regularly since the '80s and whenever I get a chance I still revisit the Night at the Museum albums. Almost everything else he's produced has been, in my opinion, functional but not a patch on his work on the previously mentioned films.

I was really glad to discover that his work on The Witches is another worthy contender to his greatest compositions. The music covers so many emotions and brings forth so many visual images, that I'd almost stick my neck out and say this is his finest score to date.

The soundtrack contains 21 tracks (1 hr, 12 min, 10 sec) and stylistically is incredibly diverse. There isn't a wasted second here. The album is packed full of really strong and multi-layered pieces that build as the album progresses.

There's the occasional nod and wink to Silvestri's work on Back to the Future. 'The Mission' could so easily have been included in Back to the Future III and 'Pea Soup' brought to mind bits of Back to the Future II.

A wonderful score that I know I'll be revisiting for years to come.


Darren Rea

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