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Finding Nemo (An Original Soundtrack)

1 rating: 3.0
An album by Original Soundtrack/Thomas Newman

Original music composed by Thoms Newman. Personnel: Thomas Newman (piano); Chas Smith (steel guitar); George Doering (baritone guitar, bajo sexto, banjo, lyre, ukulele); Steve Kujala (flute); Steve Tavaglione (clarinet, brass, sound effects); George … see full wiki

1 review about Finding Nemo (An Original Soundtrack)

Sounds of the Ocean

  • Jul 8, 2007
Pros: Some good tracks, Newman is just right for this movie

Cons: The majority of the tracks are easily forgettable

The Bottom Line: Hm, I wish I could speak whale...

Hi. My name is Nicole and I’m a soundtrack junkie. I don’t know many like me. I’m the kind of person who watches movies and keeps at least one ear attentively glued to the music for the single purpose of seeing whether or not it’s awesome. In many cases, I’ll be able to call out the composer’s name after a certain number of notes. I don’t know if that makes me a total geek or not, but I do have to say it was an awesome skill during this year’s Fourth of July celebration since they put the fireworks to music – most of which was soundtrack music, thus making me the track announcer when the next piece came.

Anyway, this particular soundtrack is done by Thomas Newman, one of the many composers I’m familiar with. You might have also heard his music in movies such as Pay It Forward, The Shawshank Redemption, and Meet Joe Black. Just like any other composer, Newman has a certain style, and it was exactly this style that director of Finding Nemo, Andrew Stanton, wanted for his movie. In fact, the insert with the CD has a small paragraph of him explaining how he practically wrote the entire screenplay with Newman’s music playing in the background. It’s very cool. He describes Newman’s music as bittersweet. In some ways, I agree, but a lot of the time I think it’s missing the bitter part. I’d rather go with semi-sad wonder. But to each his own.

I’ve encountered CDs with as many as 27 tracks before, but this one beats them all with a whopping 40 tracks. Usually when a soundtrack has this many bits of music, that means they’re all usually smaller than what you might normally find. In which case, I’m not going to go through every single track like I would otherwise. They’re all just way too short for me to comment on. Here is the list and below I will explain more about what you will find on this CD.

1.) Wow – 2:31
2.) Barracuda – 1:29
3.) Nemo Egg (Main Title) – 1:16
4.) First Day – 1:15
5.) Field Trip – 0:57
6.) Mr. Ray, Scientist – 1:28
7.) The Divers – 1:56
8.) Lost – 1:03
9.) Short-Term Dory – 0:43
10.) Why Trust a Shark? – 1:17
11.) Friends Not Food – 1:51
12.) Fish-O-Rama – 0:29
13.) Gill – 1:40
14.) Mt. Wannahockaloogie – 1:20 (“Shark Bait, oh-ha-ha!”)
15.) Foolproof – 0:32
16.) Squishy – 1:32
17.) Jellyfish Forest – 1:32
18.) Stay Awake – 1:47
19.) School of Fish – 1:03
20.) Filter Attempt – 2:05
21.) The Turtle Lope – 2:04
22.) Curl Away My Son – 1:28
23.) News Travels – 1:13
24.) The Little Clownfish from the Reef – 1:15
25.) Darla Filth Offramp – 2:22
26.) Lost in Fog – 1:05
27.) Scum Angel – 1:22
28.) Haiku – 1:41
29.) Time to Let Go – 2:22 (Dory singing about swimming)
30.) Sydney Harbor – 0:28
31.) Pelicans – 1:12
32.) Drill – 0:50
33.) Fish in My Hair! – 1:29
34.) All Drains Lead to the Ocean – 1:36
35.) …P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney – 0:39
36.) Fishing Grounds – 1:41
37.) Swim Down – 1:46
38.) Finding Nemo – 1:19
39.) Fronds Like These – 1:57
40.) Beyond the Sea (Performed by Robbie Williams) – 4:26

Most composers will perform their music with a big orchestra at their disposal and basically run the gamut of instruments in their own way. Newman has a totally different approach. While you will have a few pieces that utilize the whole orchestra, for the most part, this CD is quiet, most of the focus on Newman’s piano softly playing. His notes always seem slightly muted, which gives them a subtler sound. Other notable instruments that come into play here and there are harps, violins, clarinets, some varied percussion, and even a few electronic sounds here and there. Newman’s style is unique, no doubt, and this whole soundtrack does have a bit of an underwater feel to it. Some of it might even be called New Age when placed by itself. Other tracks are darker with that low bass/cello Jaws feeling to it. Depends on where we are in the ocean during the CD. And some of these tracks are a little loopy in their own way, such as track 12, sort of in a drunken manner...

So is it good? Oh, absolutely. You’re not going to be rocking out to it; the quality of this soundtrack demands more of a relaxed listening session, or as often in my case, listening to it when going to sleep. There are upbeat parts, but those are few and not loud and rollicking to the point that you would get all giddy or wake up. It’s difficult to rate, as it is very good, but at the same time, the quietness and shortness of the tracks means I hear the music, but am very easily able to just tune out. I don’t get all that into it and the CD becomes easily disposable/forgettable. Others may have an entirely different view – it simply depends upon what you are looking for in a soundtrack. In many cases, I know this would be perfect for a lot of people. Oh, and by the way, lookout with how loud your sound is because there are some sound bytes on here (as quoted above) and if your sound is up too much it could startle you.

Having said all that, I do have some favorite tracks. Track 3 because I liked the main title, track 5 is cute and has that New Age sound I was talking about, track 24 has the main title in a bit of refrain, love the horn section in track 29, tracks 36 and 37 go well together, though I truly love track 37 – prime reason I wanted to get my hands on this soundtrack. Very strong and hopeful. A perfect example of Newman at his best. And of course, track 39 with a bit of main title and fun goodies involved.

So if you want soft music, like Thomas Newman, or just want the soundtrack, go for it. It won’t let you down.



Great Music to Play While: Going to Sleep

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Finding Nemo (An Original Soundtrack)
Label: Walt Disney
Release Date: May 20, 2003

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