Christopher Young is one of the few composers working today that is liable to be recognized by the average moviegoer. Long appreciated for the magic he can work with a horror movie score, Young has expanded his repertoire to include films of all genres, from the comedic The Man Who Knew Too Little to the subtle drama of The Shipping News. And in 2009 he showcased his broad talent by scoring five films. With Drag Me To Hell and The Uninvited Young dug back into his horror roots and churned out two hauntingly memorable scores for the horror-hungry box offices. He also scored three smaller movies: the romantic dramedy Love Happens, the dark The Informers, and the historical drama Creation. While I haven’t listened to the Love Happens score, the score for Creation once again showcases a master at work.

Creation, starring Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin and Jennifer Connelly as his deeply religious wife, recounts the infamous naturalist’s work to develop his legendary master-work On The Origin Of Species. Working with director Jon Amiel for the fifth time (previous films include Copycat, Entrapment, The Core, and The Man Who Knew Too Little), Young has an 80-piece orchestra at his disposal and doesn’t hesitate to use his musicians to their fullest effect. Gone is the immense melodrama of Drag Me To Hell (aside from a few ominous piano notes in “A Struggle For Life”) as Young takes a subtler turn launching strikingly well-developed thematic intricacies reflecting Darwin’s internal intellectual struggle. Moving back and forth between light, almost investigative strings mixed in with gentle piano chords (such as the interestingly titled “The Giant Sloth of Punta Alta”) are counterbalanced by dramatically heavy and sustained strings, most clearly heard in the opening notes of “Picture Perfect.” This juxtaposition between floating melodies and heavier dramatic flares, paints a full picture of Darwin’s difficult emotional journey. Even within “Picture Perfect,” a track that starts off in a dreary tone, Young slowly brings the melody around, eventually finding a light-hearted high ground with woodwinds and strings alike.

Aside from a brief surprise foray into a Celtic lilt in “Fuegian Children,” Young maintains a tight grip on his composition, giving the entire album a wonderfully flowing rhythm that ties the music together. The music reaches its crescendo in the final track (“Humility and Love”), which helps the album end on an impressively strong note. Though Creation (released in the U.S. only two weeks ago) has not been driving crowds to the theatres, Young’s dynamic score should not be missed.Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: Those looking for a fully-developed thematic score
Stay Away if: You’re looking for a Christopher Young horror score

To purchase the soundtrack for Creation, visit Amazon

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