Spider-Man: Far From Home – Soundtrack Review

Michael Giacchino’s Spider-Man: Far From Home is a major step up from Homecoming both stylistically and orchestrally, and that combined with a fantastic suite and several kick-ass new themes makes the album overall one of the best Marvel scores around.

The standout cue award goes to opening track Far From Home Suite Home, and if one thing’s for sure with this album, Giacchino has certainly brought his punny a-game (I admit it, I laughed at this track title). Much like with the suite from Spider-Man: Homecoming, the composer uses this fantastically nine-minute-long piece to introduce and flourish all of the major themes present on the score (both old and new) and I’ll be honest; it’s one hell of a cue. The first two minutes bring back Giacchino’s excellent Spider-Man theme from Homecoming, but in a slightly altered and fresh new rendition. The theme feels more streamlined this time around, with just a dash more heroism mixed in with grandiose brass and dramatic strings, and the youth-like instrumental elements of the first score have almost completely disappeared. I’m glad to hear that Giacchino is sticking to his previous promise of evolving the theme with the character, as Spider-Man certainly isn’t the naive young boy he was in Homecoming anymore, and his theme here is definitely reflecting that.

Up next in the suite is the new love theme (presumably for Peter and MJ) and while I do like it, I also feel that the one from Homecoming was stronger thematically. Much like said motif the new theme is slow and pensive, relying primarily on strings. It does have a nice flourish towards its end which the previous did not though, which is good. The music then fades into a much more dramatic motif, pushing loud brass and rapid percussion to the forefront for what sounds like a theme for Nick Fury (having not seen the film I can only guess). It’s a bold and heroic piece, and more than once I felt an ever-so-slight nod to Silvestri’s Avengers. After a minute or so the music is then consumed almost entirely by electronics, and another theme appears; Mysterio’s theme. As villain themes go this one’s a winner, being a pretty fantastic blend of orchestra and electronics as well as a pretty memorable motif. Enjoyability-wise I’d say it beats Vulture’s from Homecoming, but that’s just my preference, they are both pretty great themes. To finish things up Giacchino then moves back into heroic territory with a loud and grandiose final rendition of Spider-Man’s theme, and it has honestly never sounded better. A mind-blowingly epic way to close an incredible nine minute work of art.

It’s Perfect starts the actual score (as the suite is an end credits track somewhat oddly placed at the beginning of the album), briefly introducing us once again to the new love theme before ending just as quickly as it arrived (as it’s only thirty seconds long). World’s Worst Water Feature is up next, debuting the score’s first major action cue. Ominous brass and worrying strings take up the first minute before the music then explodes into danger with loud drums and particularly tense brass notes. The Spider-Man makes a brief and distressed appearance about two minutes in before Mysterio’s theme then introduces itself in full heroic form, and the two themes then intertwine several times throughout the rest of the seven-minute-long action extravaganza. As action cues go this one’s pretty great, and is a major step up both in drama and heroism from the somewhat toned down tracks of Homecoming.

The Nick Fury theme then gets its formal debut in Multiple Realities, a slow and brass-heavy piece that features many an appearance from both the aforementioned and Mysterio themes. The slower pace doesn’t last for long however before Giacchino drops us right back into the action with Mr. One Hundred And One, a boisterous and rather heroic track that doesn’t hesitate in its eagerness to show off the new Mysterio theme in all its dramatic glory. Tensions then rise considerably in the back half of the piece, with anxious strings taking the limelight briefly before the Spider-Man theme arrives to save the day. The action then continues through into Prague Rocked, a fast-paced brass and strings-reliant piece that contains several musical appearances from Spider-Man, Mysterio and a surprisingly effective electric guitar. Things then slow down considerably for Who’s Behind Those Foster Grants, where a solemn and strings-based Stark theme from Homecoming makes a short introduction before then fading into a welcome cameo from Silvestri’s Avengers theme. Neither thematic callbacks are particularly lengthy (sadly) but even in their shortness they more than made their emotional mark.

Fear is the primary focus of The Magical Mysterio Tour (come on, Michael), with daunting and almost horror-like strings taking the forefront for the cue’s opening minute. Dramatic brass and percussion then join the fray for the back half, playing out a very loud, intimidating and villainous-sounding rendition of the Mysterio theme before then bumping the pace up considerably with frantic strings and fearful brass that then close up the track shortly afterwards. Overall this piece represents a significant tonal shake-up on the album, with the fun and heroism of the first half of the album pretty much completely disappearing in favour of darkness and fear.

The dramatic weight of said cue then has a considerable ripple effect on the remainder of the score, with subsequent track Taking The Gullible Express/Spidey Sensitive opening with a particularly dark rendition of the now villainous Mysterio theme. Things then soften slightly for a minute or so with sombre piano notes and light strings, and the orchestra starts to quietly build in the background. An electric guitar then sounds out a few almost hopeful notes from the Spider-Man theme before the Avengers theme makes another surprise appearance, this time in a full and powerful brass-based rendition. Spider-Man then swings back around to close the track with a loud and victorious thematic rendition to let you know that hope is most certainly not lost.

Gloom and Doom is the first of a number of major action cues that make up the score’s finale. After The Magical Mysterio Tour the fun has now almost completely vanished from the score, and in it’s place is a much more desperate and dramatically heavier tone as presumably the stakes have been upped considerably. The aforementioned track is heavy on the powerful brass and tense percussion, featuring several appearances from the now much darker Mysterio and less child-like Spider-Man theme. Tensions are high in subsequent track High And Flighty, a piece that continues the action-centric nature of its predecessor by having the hero and villain themes literally battle it out musically, intertwining at several highly enjoyable points.

A rapid and percussion-focused pace is introduced in Happy Landings, with brass and an electric guitar making their mark a minute or so into the track with a few ominous notes from Mysterio’s theme. The finale then culminates in Tower Of Cower, a five-minute-long action setpiece that doesn’t hold back on tension with rapid percussion, loud and dramatic brass and many a rendition of Spider-Man and Mysterio’s themes which then musically battle it out throughout the track. Things then end on a semi-hopeful note as the brass starts to build up towards the end, culminating in a rather victorious rendition of Spider-Man’s theme and an “it’s not over yet” appearance from Mysterio. The tone then softens considerably for Bridge And Love’s Burning, a strings and piano-heavy track that is pretty much entirely dedicated to the new love theme for Peter and MJ. To wrap up the album Giacchino then treats us to an enjoyably lengthy, incredibly heroic and final rendition of Spider-Man’s theme in Swinging Set, before then teasing us with more Mysterio with the forty second And Now This, ending the album on a curiously ominous note.

Overall, Michael Giacchino’s score for Spider-Man: Far From Home is breathtakingly epic and very nearly perfect. The album represents a major thematic and instrumental step up from Homecoming, with the new and more streamlined version of the Spider-Man theme being a key illustration of this. The character has grown considerably since his debut in 2016, and Giacchino’s score very much reflects this evolution. The villain theme for Mysterio is also great, being thematically stronger and much less in-your-face than Vulture’s from Homecoming. One criticism I do have is that the new love theme sadly isn’t quite as strong as the previous film’s, but Far From Home’s considerable number of great action cues and fantastic thematic performances more than make up for it in my mind.

I’m blown away, Mr. Giacchino. What a score!

 

Score: 9/10

Standout Cue: 1. Far From Home Suite Home

One thought on “Spider-Man: Far From Home – Soundtrack Review

  1. Might be one to pick up once I’ve seen the movie. Great review! I got the soundtrack for X-Men: Days of Future Past on CD two days ago, another great listen.

    Liked by 1 person

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