James Newton Howard

" Maleficent revives the good old JNH "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

A strong enough return to form, that's the only way we can describe James Newton Howard's Maleficent. A combination between lovely magical music, wondrous adventurous eruptions, powerful enough action music and seductive choral lullaby's, Newton Howard delivers a strong experience that aids the movie where it needs to. Of course several highlights explode from the screen without a fight, such as the opening "Maleficent Suite", THE HIGHLIGHT "Maleficent Flies" (a wondrous example of adventurous lyricism that you rarely hear in movies anymore), the powerhouse "Maleficent is Captured" that tries to box up against the best of King Kong's action music, and the final track "The Queen of Faerieland" that offers the lovely magical sweetness of the fairytale, including an encore of the carnival esque motif that's used briefly in one particular track.

All in all, it's not the finest James Newton Howard we're hearing here, but it's a major improvement over the last couple of years, and a strong enough candidate courtesy of the various excellent highlights that bring back the one and only magical voice of James Newton Howard. A voice we had to miss so much these past few years. I don't know what changed for Maleficent, but whatever triggered him, keep using it Mr. Howard. You're too good to let it go to waste.

Oh, and kudos to the recording as well, it's an incredible vibrant mix.

Favorite Moment - Maleficent Flies (1.35 - 4.00)
Welcome back the good old James Newton Howard magic, truly amazing

Track Listing

1. Maleficent Suite (6.39) Excellent track
2. Welcome to the Moors (1.05)
3. Maleficent Flies (4.40) Excellent track
4. Battle of the Moors (4.59)
5. Three Peasant Women (1.05)
6. Go Away (2.26)
7. Aurora and the Fawn (2.29)
8. The Christening (5.31)
9. Prince Phillip (2.29)
10. The Spindle's Power (4.36)
11. You Could Live Here Now (2.27)
12. Path of Destruction (1.48)
13. Aurora in Faerieland (4.41)
14. The Wall Defends Itself (1.06)
15. The Curse Won't Reverse (1.21)
16. Are You Maleficent? (2.11)
17. The Army Dances (1.28)
18. Phillip's Kiss (2.21)
19. The Iron Gauntlet (1.35)
20. True Love's Kiss (2.33)
21. Maleficent is Captured (7.42) Excellent track
22. The Queen of Faerieland (3.25) Excellent track
23. Once Upon A Dream: Lana Del Rey (3.20)

Total Length: 71.57
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 33 votes - average 4.21/5)

Released by

Walt Disney Records D001908702 (regular release 2014)

Orchestrations by

Jeff Atmajian, Peter Bateman, Jane Antonia Cornish, Jon Kull & John Ashton Thomas