Wonder Woman Theme (Cello/Heavy Metal Cover by Tina Guo)

This the most badass music cover I’ve heard in a really long time. No words.
The original track from which the theme originates is below for comparison.

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Sugarcoat the Galaxy from Passengers

I absolutely loved the film Passengers; I remember it transported me away on every level in that theater, one of the reasons being it’s gorgeously written soundtrack. Watching the credits, I literally cried out loud, “Ahhhh that’s why I love it so much! That’s why it sounds like the Finding Nemo soundtrack!” which I also love to pieces. It was written by Thomas Newman. I absolutely love Newman’s musical work, so this soundtrack was an immediate favorite. I love the mixture of electronic elements with traditional instruments. It’s just SO atmospheric!

~Jamie

Good, Bad, and the Ugly Theme

What an amazing score, such a unique film theme! I’ve only seen the movie once and I honestly thought its run time was longer than it needed to be, but the music was the most memorable element for me. The horns. The vocal work. The suspense. The guitar. The whistle call.

My Favorite Film Overtures

You never see overtures at the beginnings of movies anymore, and I think that’s a real shame. A film’s musical themes are often pulled together for an overture making for a beautiful mashup, a quick taste of the movie you’re about to watch. I wish they were still used in modern films, and they add real class to the older gems. Here are a few of my personal favorites!

Ben-Hur (1959) It’s personally one of my favorite movies of all time (in my top ten favorite films to be precise.) I do believe that one of the reasons I value it so highly is because it has one of the strongest film scores I’ve ever heard. The film opens with powerful brass, followed by delicate harps, and a glorious orchestra of instruments after. It is quick to carry you into an ancient time and land with its rhythms, before settling into its sweeping themes filled with romance. And it manages to always be epic.

The Sound of Music. This is one of the best examples of an overture giving a sample of several notable themes in about four minutes tops. Lovable songs that so many of us know are given their moment to shine. I love this movie to death, but the opening credits here is actually one of my favorite parts of the movie to watch…just to hear this. ❤

The Ten Commandments. This is much like Ben-Hur’s overture, in which power and epicness and romantic themes all blend together. This overture, however, for most of its runtime, does focus on the strong brass. Which I think is magnificent. It truly captures the raw power of one of history’s greatest exoduses and most humble princes.

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. This overture is a little different because it multitasks.  It plays recurring themes while ALSO scoring the film’s beginning, like the train’s arrival and Gladys glimpsing the military in the distance. I really do love the man theme, and it sounds so beautiful here.

El Cid. This is an example of a film I have not yet seen (shame, I want to!) but who’s overture I very much love! SO. MUCH. BRASS. AND. POWER. I love the more military vibe to this overture with the use of the drums. This overture is quite aggressive and fun; really draws my interest to what this story could be about.

101 Dalmatians. You will probably never hear a more energetic and unique overture like the one that begins Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (a huge personal favorite film of mine.) It makes for one of the most interesting beginning credits as well, which you can witness here if you wish. The use of the different instruments, like the xylophone, drums, cymbals, wind instruments and brass are so playful and delightful!

The Jungle Book (1969). This seems like a different one to include, but I’m doing so because this portion of the film captured my attention even as a very young child. I remember starting this VHS film and as simple scenery and text rolled by, I was COMPLETELY drawn in. That mystery, that ethnicity: it was so alluring and captivating! It says a lot when simple music can completely settle a very energetic child, like myself once was, to hold still during simple credits. That’s power.

But that’s music.

~Jamie

The ABC Challenge || “R”

pop/contemporary

Roar by Katy Perry. This song has SO MUCH meaning to me. Definitely, hands down an all time favorite. It’s my anthem; it’s what I strive to do more and more every day: roar. The first chorus especially summarizes my past, which makes it feel even more personal. But it’s such an empowering, triumphant song! I love it!

Rise by Selena Gomez. DANG Selena has been putting out quality songs lately. This is one of my favorite uplifting songs from her. The music style is awesome, and the lyrics are just amazing. I loved biking around the park to this song in the dark late at night; I felt like I was floating and it kept my muscles going. I just love this song so much.

Remember the Time by Michael Jackson. I didn’t grow up listening to his music, but I remember seeing the original music video playing in a Carls Jr and it caught my attention. I thoroughly educated myself on Michael Jackson afterward and after listening to his music I definitely think he deserves the fame he has. This is one of my very favorite songs by him; i love dance power it exudes.

Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Ahhhhhhh, I really like this song. I heard in the Scream film franchise (a movie series I FLIPPING LOVE) and it made me fiercely love this song. I love tempo and darkness and playful edge. ❤

soundtrack

The RV Park from Bolt. I remember friends lending me their copy of the Bolt OST a long long time ago; and while there were many great themes, I flipping loved this one the most. It’s even inspired very specific book scenes from my novels. I LOVE the playfulness, slight mysteriousness, and then that romp of adventure at the very end.

independent/instrumental

Rise of a Kingdom by Brunuhville. I sure do love my fantasy music. Here’s an excellent track with excellent throwbacks to medieval ancient times through harpsichord, percussion, and recorder. I love the tinkling, dangerous bit of the piano at 2:10. It takes my breath away.

alternative

Renegade from Gangsta. RENEGAAAAAAADE, ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS OF ALL TIME, JUST HECK YESSSSSSS. This energized dubstep/electro song is one of my favorite pump songs, especially when I remember what a great story and characters “Gangsta” had when I watch the synched animation. ❤

The River Sings by Enya. This is a looooooong time favorite of my from Enya’s selection and it’s paired perfectly with some Lord of the Rings footage. I’ve listened to this song a repeat since I was maybe fifteen, and I’m twenty-two now. It’s so atmospheric, hopeful and even dark at the exact same time.

Royal Road, Paradise by Susumu Hirasawa. ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS FROM ONE OF MY FAVORITE COMPOSERS. It’s so creepy and unsettling; Hirasawa’s vocal work is wonderful here; he can use such emotion and reach such wonderful notes when he sings. I feel so much even though I can’t understand Japanese. I love how it starts off more brooding and settled; then at 2:19 IT ESCALATES DRAMATICALLY. It’s pounding and soulful and urgent. IT’S FREAKING AMAZING.

musicals

Rock Island from The Music Man. It’s the first song from this wonderful classic; my sister had it memorized at one point. It’s one of the most unique songs I’ve ever heard in a musical, and just PLAIN FUN. I’ve never seen a movie, musical or not, give such a great set up to its film in such a creative way. ❤ The Music Man is just the best. ❤

~Jamie

ABC Challenge || “N”

pop/contemporary

Never Never by Korn. I don’t know if this is pop but its my number one pick for this letter. This song has a strong influence one several important book scenes of mine, so it’s actually quite personal for me.

Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. No you weren’t just rickrolled. I actually really do STILL love this song! It’s just so catchy and memorable and classic!

soundtrack

Newcomer from Lost and Delirious. This is a rare soundtrack but I absolutely love it. Very very airy and haunting; gorgeous piano, rhythmic percussion, and use of synthesizer. It’s quite memorable and even moving!

independent/instrumental

Nara by E.S. Posthumus. I’ve had this on my writing playlist forever, so I figured I’d include it. XD But dang it, those strings at 1:20. ❤

alternative

Nil Se’n La by Celtic Woman. So so beautiful!!! That violin!!! Just everything. I love the Celtic Woman. ❤

musicals

No Place Like London from Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The opening to the Tim Burton’s Demon Barber. We get Sweeney’s tragic backstory and complete loathing for his origin hometown in one song called No Place Like London, it’s perfect.

~Jamie