Best Film Scores to Listen to Independent of Their Films

In no particular order...
  1. I ❤️ Huckabees - Jon Brion
    Brion and director David O. Russell struggled to find the right type of score for this existential comedy. Eventually Brion began to play some songs he had written - sans words - for Russell and each time he presented a yet-to-be-completed track, the fit was perfect. The result is a soundtrack that stands on its own as an album.
  2. Out of Africa - John Barry
    When asked what composer he most admired, Jerry Goldsmith (Star Trek, Basic Instinct, Planet of the Apes, The Omen) didn't skip a beat: John Barry. Goldsmith sighted Barry's incredible ability to capture the entire film in a simple, elegant melody. Out of Africa is one of Barry's most romantic scores. Put it on with your lady friend over a candle-lit dinner.
  3. Chicken Run - John Powell
    The cue "Building the Crate" is one of my all time favorite cues. Fun fact: Powell wrote it as a demo to try to get the job scoring Armageddon. He didn't get the job, luckily, because this cue - this whole score - is chalked full of goodies (spoiler alert: great use of kazoos)
  4. Suspiria - Goblin
    Horror master Dario Argento often used the Italian Prog-rock band Goblin to score his films. If you find yourself in the middle of an acid trip, this is your album.
  5. Big Fish - Danny Elfman
    It's hard to pick a single Elfman/Burton score to highlight because they're all incredible, so I've decided to go with the most unusual of the 16 films/scores the duo have collaborated on. I love the small ensemble Elfman uses for certain cues which gives this album a backwoods, bluegrass feel.
  6. Fantastic Mr. Fox - Alexander Desplat
    Any Anderson/Desplat film (Moonrise Kingdom & Grand Budapest Hotel) for that matter! Desplat is the reigning heavyweight of modern film music and his scores to Anderson's films stand on their own as quirky, heartfelt, and memorable.