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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (John Williams)

January 16, 2016


John Williams, 2015, Walt Disney Records
23 tracks, 77:16

Oh da biiig one, “Star Wars” issa back and so issa John Williams. Ganna it has been worth da wait?

Review by Pete Simons with a special introduction by J.J. Binks

What isa – introduction by Jar Jar Binks

Do “Star Wars” ne more introduction? Jar Jar Abrams direct da longo await sequel or prequel, which sees da return of Look Skywalker, princess Liar and Hands Olo. Also return is composer John Williams, who issa much part of dis universe as any stormtrooper or ewok. No surprising, his musics stays close toda sound he creat all da way back in 1978, yet puts in few new melodies for new people.

What sounds it like?

I’ll take it from here Jar Jar.

The album opens with the same fanfare that Williams has used in several other films, including “A New Hope”, “The Return of the Jedi” and “The Phantom Menace”. How no one has noticed this blatant self-referencing is beyond me. Once this fanfare finishes, it makes way for dramatic strings and bleating trumpets. Sometimes it sounds a little like “Jurassic Park”, but no one had better tell Steven Spielberg that.

“The Scavenger” offers a quirky little melody that sounds a little like Tom Hanks’ score for “The Terminal” and maybe “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” by Jude Law. In contrast, “I Can Fly Anything” combines Hans Zimmer-esque string ostinatos with Alan Silvestri-inspired snare drums and more hyperactive trumpets. Luckily things calm down a little when “Rey Meets BB-8” which sounds like a cross between “Always”, “E.T.” and “Indiana Jones”, so should probably be called “Indiana Jones Always Raids ET’s Ark”.

That music from “The Terminal” returns in “Rey’s Theme”, which makes me wonder who Rey is. The fact that he – or she – gets his – or her – own theme probably means that he – or she – must be an important character – or characteress – in the film. John Williams, who wrote this, takes Tom Hanks’ melody and then places a really simple melody on top of it. Some listeners may think this is clever, but I won’t be fooled!

What do you get when you feed brass players nowt but double espressos laced with laxatives – “The Falcon”. This is an incredibly high-strung track that makes me feel physically nervous and like I want to punch the wall repeatedly until it’s over. “That Girl with the Staff” may not be a girl, mate, if she’s got a staff, wink wink. “The Rathars” is loud again and “Finn’s Confession” is  soft again. The album is clever like that, it mixes things up.

So it goes on like that for a while, though “Snoke” is a bit different. It sounds like they recorded my dog snoring! And eventually we get to “The Jedi Steps and Finale”, which is such an incredibly lazy cue! The composer simply repeats various bits from the score. That’s over ten percent of the album that is simply a reprise, as they say, of earlier passages. I intend to write to the record label and demand a ten percent refund!

Isa any bombad?

Meh… it’s alright if you like hyperactively ‘forget-my-ritalin-this-morning’ blaring trumpets and itchy-twitchy-trigger-finger strings. If you don’t, then you’re screwed. The last track is a lazy mash-up of several earlier tracks; and there are several melodies that the composer nicked from other films like “Empire Strikes Back” and “The Patriot” (Mel Gibson won’t be pleased). The orchestra’s performance is phenomenal, I have to admit, especially considering they have been poisoned with caffeine and laxatives and were clearly dying to run off to the gents (let’s face it, this is no music for girls). I would gladly ‘frisbee’ this album, but I can’t because I got it as a digital download. I can’t even use it as a coaster, unless I burn it onto CD first, but that seems like a lot of hassle. I have to say, that glockenspiel at the very, very end is lovely and for that alone I rate this compilation three-and-a-half stars.

Rating [3.5/5]


01. main title and da attackin onda jakku village (mm:ss)
02. da scavenger (mm:ss)
03. missa ganna f anyth (mm:ss)
04. rey meets BB-8 (mm:ss)
05. follow missa (mm:ss)
06. reys little ditty (mm:ss)
07. da falcon (mm:ss)
08. da girl with da staff (mm:ss)
09. da rathtars! (mm:ss)
10. finns confession (mm:ss)
11. mazs counsel (mm:ss)
12. da starkiller (mm:ss)
13. kylo ren arrives at da battle (mm:ss)
14. da takingaway (mm:ss)
15. han and leia – woop woop (mm:ss)
16. march of da resistance (mm:ss)
17. snoke (mm:ss)
18. Onda inside (mm:ss)
19. torn apart (mm:ss)
20. da ways of da force (mm:ss)
21. ketchup for chicken wings (mm:ss)
22. Tara and da trip (mm:ss)
23. da jedi steps and da end (mm:ss)

Review (C) 2015 Synchrotones

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