John Williams

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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To coincide with the re-release of a new version of E.T. with previously unseen footage and a digitally remixed soundtrack, this CD -- digitally remastered and remixed, natch -- was issued. The big (well, rather small actually) bonuses this time around are three previously unreleased selections from the score, boosting the track total to 21. Judged purely by the standards of soundtrack music, John Williams' score is nothing special. Its languorous orchestration is delivered with a good deal of restraint, to convey the mystery, uncertainty, and sometimes unease of a melodramatic film about the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Indeed at times you'll be wondering if the volume on your stereo has been accidentally lowered, as some sections fall toward the threshold of audibility. Only occasionally does the mood become jubilant or overtly sentimental. It's for the most part unobtrusive background moods for the film's story, more comforting than eerie, whether or not that was the intention. At 75 minutes of running time it's good value, though.

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