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Movie » The Chamber of Secrets » Soundtrack Reviews
Distributor: Atlantic Records
Running Time: 70 min. 19 sec.

Posted: 11/19/02
Review Rating: * * * * and 1/2 (4.5 out of 5)
What can I say about the CoS soundtrack? Lots. It’s darker, more magical, and even more superb—despite the fact that lots of the same HP themes are interwoven within the new ones.

The soundtrack is essentially a movie all on its own; I could just almost “see” the movie in my mind because the musical atmosphere that composer John Williams was that vivid. I couldn’t say what better job Williams could have done. From the very first track (“Prologue: Book II and The Escape From The Dursleys”), the music plunges straight into a new adventure, as the—now famous—Harry Potter theme music begins. Like a preview of what’s to come, it teases you. Here and there, you might even notice melodies, which are reminiscent of “Home Alone” and the “Star Wars” prequels’ scores.

While all the tracks were undeniably my favorite, I have to admit that the ones I most enjoyed were “The Chamber of Secrets”, “The Flying Car”, “The Dueling Club”, “Meeting Tom Riddle”, and “Dueling The Basilisk”. All five of these tracks shared a very distinct, dark yet surprisingly exciting tone to it, which really helped convey the mood of the overall film. “The Chamber of Secrets” had a nice underground, majestic flair to it, which I couldn’t help but smile at, while “The Flying Car” made you want to shout out—like Ron did—“Hold on, Harry!” as the music’s climatic tone picked up. Then there’s, “Meeting Tom Riddle”, which I also couldn’t help but grin at. A short while into the track, Williams hints at the identity of Tom Riddle, by playing some of Voldemort’s theme from the first movie, which was a nice touch. And “Dueling The Basilisk” was a great addition to the film’s ending battle between Harry and the monster, confined in The Chamber.

The entire thing is really grand, I honestly can’t tell you how impressed I am with it and how many times I’ve listened to it since I got it on Tuesday. If John Williams has improved on the Harry Potter score so much in a year, imagine what we’ll get in 2004 for PoA—oh, I can only imagine.

- Jasen    


Posted: 11/19/02
Review Rating: * * * * and 1/2 (4.5 out of 5)

John Williams has done it again! He’s created a great soundtrack with its share of memorable and unique themes, he’s also surprised me with his forethought and planning. Let me explain.

With the first soundtrack, I complained frequently that there was no variation in the different tracks—it was pretty much “Hedwig’s Theme” with one or two other ones tossed in, like the Quidditch scene, and Christmas. From what I’ve heard on the website, various forums, and a few chats, I am not the only one who was disappointed with it.

The soundtrack for Chamber of Secrets is has improved soooo much. While we still hear “Hedwig’s Theme” from time to time, it is used effectively, to provide continuation from the previous year. My favorite theme on the new soundtrack has to be “Fawkes the Phoenix”. It is magical, comforting, unique, colorful, and yet seems to be strangely familiar, too.

“Dobby the House Elf” is another good track. It’s got a kind of mischievous, childish feel to it, like he’s a troublemaker, but the kind that never does anything too bad. There are times when it’s warm and friendly, to show that he means no real ill will towards Harry.

Tom Riddle’s theme I thought was downright spooky. He was a creepy enough character without the music, but with his own score, he’s just plain disturbing.

“Meeting Aragog” is a great theme for spiders. You can’t help but shudder as it feels like spiders are crawling all over you. I’m not arachnophobic, but it still creeped the heck out of me.

“Reunion of Friends” is one of the tracks that features “Hedwig’s Theme” and some of the others from the first movie. However, the variations of the theme make it pleasant and non-repetitive, so that it fits the moment of time in the movie. Hearing this during the end scene really helped out the whole “aftermath” of The Chamber of Secrets dilemma.

Over all, this was not just John William’s greatest soundtrack ever, but don’t get me wrong, it’s actually in my “Top 5 Overall”. Other soundtracks have more “timeless themes”, but don’t seem to flow like this one, nor do they do such a good job matching what happens in the movie. If you haven’t bought this soundtrack and are into classical music, film soundtracks, or a fan of John Williams, I HIGHLY recommend this soundtrack to you. You’ll note that I didn’t review every track here for you. Some I didn’t feel needed to be picked apart and analyzed, while others I wanted to keep as a surprise for those that haven’t heard it yet.

- Scott    

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