The first reviews and reactions are in, and they do mention the score:
"not to mention there's a great score by Thomas Newman and a catchy theme."
"and to be sure Thomas Newman's sentimental score evokes some of his best work in previous Pixar outings — namely, the romantic themes from Wall-E."
"it yields occasionally stunning images and thoughtful aesthetics — like Thomas Newman's incredibly effective Indian-inspired score".
"Thomas Newman's score rushes in to uplift the entire film, with its use of classical Indian instruments like sitars, tabla drums, and bansuri flutes, and vocalizations in Indian raags that range from thrilling to soul-touching, especially when they’re peppered with the occasional subdued acoustic guitar or hint of electronica".
"and Thomas Newman’s surprising, Indian Classical-inspired score."
"Newman's gorgeous score is spiritual."
"and the score is magical."
"Thomas Newman’s soothing score is magnificent and easily the best he’s composed yet for a Pixar film".
"Thomas Newman's best work since 1917, maybe even in his top 3 best scores of all time. Musical magic, effortless perfection."
The score will be released tomorrow I think. I can't wait, although I do not expect this to be one of Newman's best scores. Hopefully it will be at least as good as Wall-E and Finding Nemo though. I hope it is notable enough to be an awards contender. I expect it at least to be a pleasant new entry in his catalog of works, as he usually delivers, but I certainly do not expect a masterpiece or anything like that.
1. Across the Ocean (3:35) 2. Elemental (3:42) 3. Sháshà r íshà (2:29) 4. Stop Wade! (2:43) 5. Hot Air Balloon (2:58) 6. Bubble Date (2:51) 7. Headphones (0:45) 8. Fern Grouchwood (1:40) 9. Beach Glass (3:23) 10. Cloud Puff Fireball (0:48) 11. Clod (0:46) 12. Blue Flame (2:17) 13. Meet the Ripples (1:56) 14. Love Scooter (1:21) 15. Crying Games (1:22) 16. Grand Re-Opening (0:38) 17. Tìshôk’ (Embrace The Light) (1:37) 18. Pipe Blows (2:36) 19. Run for Your Life (2:42) 20. Kol-Nuts (2:13) 21. Red Dot Sale (0:46) 22. 1000mph (2:28) 23. Smoke Reading (0:44) 24. Rusty Hint of Motor Oil (0:57) 25. Mineral Lake (1:17) 26. Lucky (1:08) 27. Garden Central Station (1:03) 28. Full Purple (2:03) 29. Vivisteria (2:34) 30. Firish (1:27) 31. A Lonely Man Awash in Sadness (0:53) 32. Firetown Flood (2:35) 33. You Were the Dream (3:52) 34. Make Connection (2:19) 35. Bà Ksô (The Big Bow) (1:08) 36. Steal the Show – Lauv (3:11) 37. Grand Redux (2:14)
As expected, it was a nice new entry to the Thomas Newman catalog, nothing less, nothing more. For some, this will be his worst Pixar score. I certainly don't think it is anywhere near as good as Finding Nemo or Wall-E.
I doubt that I will be revisiting this score much going forward: there are so many other Newman scores that I like much better. Still, it is definitely far from his worst recent work.
A thing that struck me about the score is that this is probably the most experimental Newman has ever been with vocals in his entire career I think.
It is by far the best score of the year so far (even if that doesn't say that much given how much most current film scores suck). I hope that his two upcoming scores will be even better than this. I yearn for a Newman score that will knock me out like he often did in the past. This score is far from bad, as I wrote; it is the best score of the year so far, but far from his best work. I didn't expect him to deliver his best work for this, so I wasn't disappointed. I'm looking forward to Last Voyage of the Demeter and White Bird even if I don't expect them to yield Newman's best work either. I think he needs a more special project for him to be inspired to do his best work. So i'm eager to find out what his future projects are.
"Thomas Newman sits down with Awards Daily to virtually discuss his work on Elemental. He talks about how his free-flowing composing process helped him compose a score that not only references the international and immigrant elements (ha) of the story, but it also gave birth to a sweet, lushly romantic score that reflects the growing relationship between Ember and Wade. He also talks about working with singer-songwriter Lauv to inspire the memorable original song “Steal the Show.”"
When asked about his upcoming projects, he said that he couldn't reveal what he is doing next right now, but maybe in a couple of weeks. He is "maybe reuniting with someone he has worked with before". Interesting...
It’s a fun and energetic score. It certainly delivers and is in my opinion by far the best aspect of the film. That said, I’ll add it to my “excellent Disney scores that will probably never be released on cd” party list. Whoop! whoop!
- Raya and the Last Dragon - Cruella - Luca - Jungle Cruise - Lightyear - Elemental
I'd read (here and elsewhere) that Newman was playing with his Asian Flavours with this one, but I wasn't expecting it to be The 3rd Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. It's like he's become possessed by the spirit of George Harrison I'm not complaining, cos I love his Indian flavoured scores to Malala, Victoria and the Marigolds and this can sit proudly amongst them. There are some absolutely gorgeous cues in this one. It's all unmistakable Newman of course, so your mileage may vary based on your tolerance to his like for like sound, but I had a blast listening to this for the first time today (I haven't seen the film yet, so I heard it out of context).