"Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow"
Composed by Edward Shearmur
Edward Shearmur is a talented, versatile composer who knows how to gauge a tempo for a movie. Some examples of this include the brawn behind "Reign of Fire," elegance alongside ethnicity with "The Governess," and now, the campy, heroic anthems for "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow."
When I first listened to the score, I was actually befuddled since I detected a strange, unusual occurrence with what I heard, and that is a main theme! Can you imagine, a bona fide main theme was actually written and performed. It's been far too long within the past couple years since such a classic approach has been taken so successfully, and Shearmur brings it in with some great energy. Barred are the incidentals that plague so many soundtracks these days, and quite distant are the electronics. This CD is for the score lover who enjoys his music orchestral and well balanced.
From the outset I knew I would enjoy this body of work. The album launches with a soaring anthem for Sky Captain, which is simple yet memorable, and quickly segues into action and romance cues that are written with enthusiasm. With so many opportunities at adventure, Shearmur made sure not to waste this chance by crafting a subpar theme. The main theme, along with a very upbeat, militaristic march geared for the British defenders, are the true gems of this album. While I am not charmed by the romantic medleys at work in the movie, I do appreciate the sounds of yesteryear that it conjures up.
The action cues offer up some vintage dogfight music that truly thrusts you into the action. It is not as harsh as "Reign of Fire" but there is a high level of intensity that the music captures, which signifies the peril our main heroes are in. This was another effective deliverable from Shearmur, who makes one reminisce about dogfight battles in galactic trenches during some moments.
Perhaps what keeps this score from ascending even further is that there is not enough variation. It's really just a couple tracks away from being a true blockbuster. I would have also enjoyed an end credits suite that featured the march for the British sky forces. In all though, there is very little to complain about. Shearmur does not experiment or take any unnecessary risks; he merely hits the target, and does it with flair. In a movie music world that is currently jammed in a rut, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" offers a new hope for us all.