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Cowboys & Aliens by Harry Gregson-Williams (Review)

posted Aug 10, 2011, 7:45 PM by Kaya Savas

In the world of genre bending it seems Cowboys & Aliens takes the cake. While the film may have failed on many levels, we are lucky at least to have Harry Gregson-Williams providing a great original score. The key word there being 'original'. One would think that any composer would have just taken all the genre elements of western scores and sci-fi scores and mesh them together. This is not the case with Cowboys & Aliens. Harry Gregson-Williams delivers a good ol' Harry Gregson-Williams score. The last and only other time he scored a western was Seraphim Falls and that was a fantastic effort. In many respects he utilizes sounds and elements from that score to give the film its atmosphere.

The music itself is serviceable if looked upon by a casual listener. As a Harry Gregson-Williams fan I may have enjoyed the experience a little more than most. His signature motifs and stylings are all over the score and it kicks off with a decent bang. As the music progresses we lose the 'western' element he has created and trade it in for a pretty intense atmospheric thriller score. Harry breaks out some electronic ambience but still has echoes of the brass in little bursts. The result is a fun one. You can pretty much slice the album in half with part 1 being some really fun action scoring with a western flair. The second part is your thrilling ambience that embodies the 'aliens' aspect of the title. In the grand scheme of it all the music blends perfectly due to Harry's flawless execution.

This isn't the score of the year, but it's a damn fun one at that. While the film itself may have fallen flat the score does not. It's great to hear another awesome score from Harry Gregson-Williams that's not for a Tony Scott film (which I love by the way). Cowboys & Aliens pack just enough to make it a worthwhile addition to Harry's filmography. While he isn't officially attached to Puss In Boots I can't imagine it won't be him since his schedule is clear for the rest of the year. So, we most likely won't get anymore Harry Gregson-Williams till November. Enjoy this little treat for now.