Top 40

It’s very difficult for young adults to escape from the incessant call of mainstream music.  Things like festivals, clubs and the radio are full of young singers desperate for a number one that they’ll do anything different to stand out. I for one, hate it. Please don’t think me a hipster (ugh) I’ll still dance along to the same beat like everyone else on a typical student night out, but the truth is that I just don’t like what the industry has become. Yes I enjoy some songs, and I won’t go out of my way to NOT listen to them, but it’s so much more interesting to listen to other things. I’m not talking about heavy metal or heavy duty Bach or Mozart… but something more off the beaten track, which for me is far more rewarding to listen to.

Movie soundtracks for me, are the bees knees. You can escape to a whole new world in them so quickly, and even though a lot of them don’t have an awesome drop halfway through, it’s a much more effective and quicker way of chilling out after a long day.

Now, when it comes to music composition, I have no idea what I’m talking about, but music appreciation is something we are all familiar with, in that we all have many favourite bands/guitarists/singers etc. The music we all listen to regularly, such as that in adverts, in tv shows and in movies is, without risk of ruining the illusion, classical. It’s obvious that some soundtracks are famous, for example Hanz Zimmer’s Pirates Of The Caribbean, but no one seems to appreciate that they listen to music that is more often than not performed by one orchestra or another, (think Doctor Who’s theme tune or that of Game of Thrones). I find it strange that many say how much they hate classical music without even realising that the shows and films that they love depend so heavily on it. Obviously this isn’t the same for films with killer songs in them, like musicals, as they often seem to be at the top of the charts days before the film has even finished it’s opening weekend, but my point is that people work so hard on soundtracks that so often go unnoticed, especially if the film is not a box office hit. It’s not difficult to find the soundtrack online and listen to it. Very often, classical music promotes relaxation and improves mental agility when coupled with studying. 

At the risk of all this sounding very twee and sightly dorky, the point is that it’s just genuinely so much better than anything in the charts. Yes, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Jay Z and all the rest are very talented and brilliant business people to have achieved so much and have beautiful music playing on every person’s iPod in the world, but it really isn’t the same. 

Who needs the charts anyway?! My top 5 list of popular epic soundtracks:

(Look away now if you don’t like Hanz Zimmer*)
  1. One Day – POTC, Hanz Zimmer
  2. First Class – X-Men First Class, Henry Jakcman
  3. Chevaliers de Sangreal – The Da Vinci Code, HZ & Richard Harvey
  4. Main Titles – Game of Thrones, Ramin Djawadi
  5. Time – Inception, HZ

and a top 5 chill out list:

  1. Bedroom Dreams – The Tourist, James Newton Howard
  2. One Morning At Pella – Alexander, Vangelis
  3. The End, The Joneses, Nick Urata
  4. Now We Are Free – Gladiator, HZ & Lisa Gerrard
  5. Main Title – Out of Africa, John Barry

*Hanz Zimmer is awesome, however his work is now incredibly popular. However some of his stuff is a bit same-y. POTC and Gladiator are compared as the motifs used are similar, but that doesn’t necessarily detract from how epic his pieces are. If you have a controversial opinion about Hanz Zimmer, drop a comment! (minimal music jargon terminology please)



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