Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Elizabeth: The Golden Age / 2007 Decca / 20 Tracks / http://www.elizabeththegoldenage.net / Elizabeth: The Golden Age uses an interesting back and forth style between two very established composers (Craig Armstrong and A.R. Rahman) that works despite the two different styles and experiences invoked by each composer. For those individuals that do not know, Armstrong was behind the scores for Romeo + Juliet, The Bone Collector, Cruel Intentions, Moulin! Rouge, Love Actually and most recently World Trade Center. Rahman’s career is no less illustrious, as ey was behind hundreds of different scores for Indian movies (although, individuals may only know eir for the Guru score). The opening score provides a great opening into the time period that Elizabeth takes place in, with wide and open compositions starting out in a common but confident way. The more brooding sound of the soundtrack’s second track “Philip” has a little more of a current sound, with the intensity of the arrangements a good fit for an action movie. “Now You Grow Dull” has a vocal quality to it that is mirrored well by the strings. The slower tempo of this track puts it at odds with “Philip”, and it is only during “Horseriding” that the two distinct styles present during the earlier songs are linked together in this intense but intricate track. “Mary’s Beheading” has an ominous, dark quality to it that is fitting given the subject matter broached by the track. The insertion of the strings during the track will undoubtedly cause chills to go up one’s back. While the darkness is not present during “End Puddle / Possible Suitors”, there is the same curious quality to the track that acts well to link these two tracks together. “Destiny Theme” marks a different approach for the Elizabeth soundtrack, as it brings back the hope that originally opened up the track. This makes it seem as if the disc has a new lease on life, and the tracks that follow (“Smile Lines” and “Bess to See Throckmorton”) have an energy that simply was not present during the tracks immediately preceding “Destiny Theme”. The composers here had a tremendous chore in front of them; how would they go and add current sounds and styles to a movie that is set 400 years in the past? Their skill in the creation of this soundtrack allows individuals that were not fans of the styles of music during Elizabeth’s time to like this soundtrack. Pick it up if you want to hear a great mix of new and old.Top Tracks: Smile Lines, HorseridingRating: 7.1/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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