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Meet Joe Black: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

1 rating: 5.0
Soundtracks album by Thomas Newman

Meet Joe Black, director Martin Brest's remake of the '30s semiclassicDeath Takes a Holiday, took widespread critical potshots for its three-hour length and laconic pace. Ironically, composer Thomas Newman's score is a compelling exercise in musical … see full wiki

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1 review about Meet Joe Black: Original Motion Picture...

A little-known gem in the Thomas Newman catalog

  • Jan 15, 2004
The score for "Meet Joe Black" is a perfect example of why Thomas Newman is one of my favorite composers. It lacks the high profile of some of the other movies he has composed for, such as "Finding Nemo" or "American Beauty," but it is one of Newman's shining moments, and one of the favorite soundtracks in my collection, by any composer.

Filled with music expressing gentle beauty, classic drama, and even a sense of wonder, this is a great CD to play when you want to relax. More than that, however, it is deeply moving and highly evocative of the emotions of the heady film.

"Meet Joe Black" is a movie of subtlety, but when it comes down to it, it never flinches from expressing deep and honest feeling. The music goes a long way towards helping it toward that goal, as it also never fails to convey feeling to the audience in Newman's signature style.

Newman is a highly adaptable and original composer, and while his style is often recognizable, it is always tailored well to the specific themes of the film. In this case, Newman eschews his use of modern ambient sounds and backgrounds and instead opts for powerful brass arrangements and a rich background of strings prevalent throughout. It's a classic musical treatment for a film which hearkens back to the era when films were more honest and less flashy than they are today.

Other than Newman's music, which is enough in itself to recommend the score highly, the special treat on the soundtrack of "Meet Joe Black" comes at the end: a medley of "What a Wonderful World" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sung by the late Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Regular watchers of the television show "E.R." will recognize this song from Mark Green's final episode on the show. It's an absolutely beautiful song, and the perfect coda for this album of lovely music.

The music for "Meet Joe Black" is perfectly-suited to the film, but it is also a joy to listen to on its own. It is as near to a perfect movie score as I've ever had the pleasure to listen to, and it has my highest possible recommendation.

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Meet Joe Black: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Label: Umvd Labels
Artist: Thomas Newman
Release Date: November 3, 1998

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