Howard Shore

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] Review

by Kathleen C. Fennessy

Like the second installment of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, Howard Shore's score is big, bold, dark, and majestic. This is fitting as the movie is more action-oriented than the first, The Fellowship of the Rings, which -- necessarily -- spent more time on exposition and character development. It's also a good value for the money, as it features over 70 minutes of music, both instrumentals and vocal tracks (concentrated on the second half of the disc). These include "Evenstar" with the Canadian Opera Company's Isabel Bayrakdarian (who also contributed to Mychael Danna's Ararat soundtrack), "Breath of Life" with Sheila Chandra (formerly of Monsoon), "Forth Eorlingas" with Ben Del Maestro, "Isengard Unleashed" with Del Maestro and Elizabeth Fraser (the Cocteau Twins), and "Gollum's Song" with Emiliana Torrini. The latter is a British vocalist of Icelandic and Italian extraction, who has worked with Tears for Fears' Roland Orzabal and Iceland's Gus Gus. "Gollum's Song" is a tribute, of sorts, to the half-CGI, half-actor-created character (Andy Serkis provided his distinctive voice and physical movements) who handily walks away with the film. The affecting song ("We are lost/We can never go home"), which plays during the end credits, was written by Jackson's wife, Fran Walsh, and sets things up nicely for The Return of the King, the final book in J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy. Despite the critical and commercial success of The Two Towers, the strong orchestral work, and the more inspired selection of vocalists, the soundtrack was not nominated for an Oscar, whereas Shore took home the gold statuette (his first) for his work on The Fellowship of the Rings.

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