The Jungle Book - John Debney
What You Will Hear: Full orchestra, tribal drums, shakuhachi flute, and even some horn of doom. Additionally, some updates to the classic songs from the original animated version. Outside of the songs, there isn't much jazz influence, but that's to be expected in a PG live action adaptation, right?
Standout Tracks: Main Titles – Jungle Run, Wolves – Law Of The Jungle, Water Truce, The Rains Return, Mowgli’s Leaving – Elephant Theme, Shere Khan Attacks – Stampede, The Man Village, Mowgli And The Pit, The Red Flower, Shere Khan’s War Theme, Elephant Waterfall, Mowgli Wins The Race, The Jungle Book Closes
Will You Be Humming Along? I’m not familiar with the original movie, so I believe this enjoyable theme is new material.
The album this makes me want to dust off: King Kong - James Newton Howard
Will I come back to it? Yes. While there is nothing groundbreaking here, this is a solidly enjoyable adventure score. It is proof that a traditional orchestra is still the best option for big films. This is big sound without any synth and it is wonderful to hear. There is a lot to like.
The main theme variations and other inventive melodic materials really carry the excitement and feeling of (jungle) familial joy. In addition to Debney’s new matieral, the score offers a few moments of well-done nostalgia. (See: “Mowgli Wins The Race”) Throughout, the percussion is like a heartbeat for the action cues, but it never takes over. Any time Shere Khan is mentioned, get ready for an intense ride. I always appreciate the tasteful use of percussion, instead of being assaulted by it. On the flipside, the quiet and awe inspiring moments are filled with heart. (See: “Elephant Waterfall”) Just the right amount of choir mixes in and the result is quite uplifting.
I could go on, but would rather get back to listening. Definitely make some time to explore this one. It might not be revolutionary, but it hits all the right moments wonderfully. The Jungle Book is a full orchestra adventure score not to be missed.
P.S. Thank you for including Disney’s “When You Wish Upon A Star.”