Casino Royale Soundtrack by David Arnold (2006)
Get it: If you like fairly consistent action music as well as other music from the James Bond franchise
Don’t get it: If you are looking for something that is completely free from any other James Bond type music
This soundtrack has an excellent beginning. From track one, Arnold takes the listener straight to the action. Immediately, there is a 100% authentic James Bond feel. It is very clear that a “Bond chase” is happening, a very good job of expression by David Arnold. The brass and occasional accentual strings are used in a very classic 007 manner. Even in the moments without the Bond feel, however, this soundtrack stands as its own. Unlike other scores, which have some generic action music, this soundtrack has a unique fingerprint. It is hard to explain how this is, but it just is.
The majority of the soundtrack is based off of this unique action music, but when the Bond theme enters, it is fantastic. The listener cannot help but appreciate the music for its great “Bondness”. If this soundtrack had been played for another movie, the viewer would, without a doubt, think, “Wow, this sounds like it is straight from a James Bond film!” That is a compliment to Arnold who was able to achieve this. This OST has a good combination of quiet and loud moments throughout. The momentum swings up and down very well.
Now, something has to be cleared up for anyone thinking about getting this soundtrack. You have to like action music. Even though this is a great score and does not rely completely on pulse-like rhythms, anyone who doesn’t particularly like intense music will probably not fully appreciate this score.
At certain times, the tracks are very full of feeling – and these feelings come through very well, again to the credit of Arnold. Now it is time to talk about the main theme – that classic piece of film culture. It was done wonderfully. Although it does not really differ from the original version of the Bond theme, it shouldn’t. The theme hasn’t changed, but its presentation has. This version is much more suited for both the modern world and the modern James Bond. It was re-done excellently. Overall, a very well done soundtrack that is very enjoyable.