Personnel: Simon Franglen (programming).
Audio Mixer: Simon Rhodes .
Recording information: Abbey Road Studios and Sphere Studios, London.
Arranger: Simon Franglen.
The 2012 film Skyfall represented the 23rd time that James Bond had graced the silver screen, the third time that 007 had been brought to life by Daniel Craig, and the second time that the film's title cut didn't make the official soundtrack. Like Chris Cornell's contribution to 2006's Casino Royale, Adele's "Skyfall" was relegated to downloadable single status, allowing more room for the full score, which in this case was supplied by the talented Thomas Newman, while leaving unassuming listeners bereft of what was traditionally the initial selling point for most of the long-running franchise's soundtracks. Newman, the ninth Bond composer, stays true to the Daniel Craig-era penchant for swapping John Barry's iconic orchestral cues for loop-heavy yet appropriately moody and propulsive electronic elements that would have benefited from a lighter touch, which is surprising considering some of Newman's career highlights (American Beauty, Shawshank Redemption, Road to Perdition). That said, the occasional tips of the hat to the past ("Grand Bazaar, Istanbul," "Breadcrumbs") and some truly explosive ("Tennyson") and somber ("Voluntary Retirement") moments help to balance out the score's more rote passages. ~ James Christopher Monger
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