Jurassic World Soundtrack by Michael Giacchino (2015)
Get it: If you like the previous Jurassic Park soundtracks, especially the one to the first film, as well as Giacchino’s style
Don’t get it: If you’re hoping for a typical action score that uses constant beats to keep you on the edge of your seat
22 years ago, the world’s imagination was completely captured by Steven Spielberg’s latest marvel, Jurassic World. Per expectations, John Williams brought the story to life in ways thought impossible as he had with previous films Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jaws, and so much more. Part of the magnificence of that score was the combination of intensity on one track with awe inspiring beauty on the other. Over two decades later, another man is tasked with a challenge. Michael Giacchino had to not only create a new sound and feel for the new ‘Jurassic World’ park, but he also had to pay respect to the already established themes that we love. How did he do? Splendidly.
The soundtrack to Jurassic World by Michael Giacchino, released by Backlot Music, excels at not only creating something freshly awe inspiring, but paying homage to the original as well. Those instantly recognizable themes do not overtake the new, however, since they are used very sparingly. This is a great tool since not only does it make the audience/listener crave the themes even more, but it also creates space for the new music. Hopes were high for the use of Williams themes given the relationship between Williams and Giacchino. He does something that Don Davis fell a little short of; grasping the full majesty of the music. Giacchino understands that you cannot simply throw brass at the notes and it will work. Instead, he carefully dictates the background instruments to provide a strong base for the brass to enter full power. Early on, one track is reserved solely for the original Jurassic Park theme, reverently titled, “Welcome to Jurassic World.” It captures the grandeur of the original track while remaining ever-so-slightly different. Unsurprisingly, Giacchino also uses the piano for the theme in a moment which is a perfect fit for the film and the context of the franchise.
The new music is nothing to skim over. A major difference between the films is in Jurassic Park, the awe of the dinosaurs themselves is enough. In Jurassic World, however, that isn’t quite the case anymore. Instead, the park has been up-and-running for about ten years. This time, it’s more about a fun vacation. The music, namely in “As the Jurassic World Turns,” expresses the comfort and excitement that accompany a vacation. The intensity is there as well, but in more of a classic manner. The score doesn’t rely on beats to stop your heart via vibration. Instead, it’s the lack of that which makes it intense. The lower-profile music pulls you in as you try to hear it. Not that it is too quiet, though. Having said that, there are some moments that reflect the style of the opening of the first film. Finally, there is sweepingly beautiful music also. It’s not just about brass or just about strings at any moment. There’s a choir, a tambourine, a piano, and more. This soundtrack is not only a triumph for Michael Giacchino and the Jurassic Park franchise, but moviegoers and music lovers everywhere. Being the number one opening weekend ever, this score has a wide audience – and it did not back down.
Here is a piece of the soundtrack called “As the Jurassic World Turns”: