Composer David Arnold is a music-smith that we probably associate with the James Bond franchise, and big blockbuster scores such as Narnia, INDEPENDENCE DAY and GODZILLA, he also has written some beautifully lyrical scores such as THE LAST OF THE DOGMEN and from time to time has ventured into the world of TV music most notably SHERLOCK. His most recent TV scoring assignment is for an Amazon prime production, GOOD OMENS which is a rather irreverent black comedy, that pairs actors Michael Sheen and David Tennant as an angel and a demon respectively. Based upon the 1990 comic story by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, this is a comic tale that possess a hell (excuse the pun) of a powerful punch and is a series that I know will attract much attention during its six-episode run. Composer Arnold has fashioned a wonderfully impish and darkly discordant but at the same time alluringly attractive soundtrack. Right from track one I was hooked on the irreverent but witty style and sound, which is overflowing with vibrancy and has an off kilter and slightly oddball waltzlike theme, in which the composer entices the listener in and invites them to get comfortable for a jaunty and entertainingly bumpy musical ride. This central theme can also be heard at various stages within the score in a number of arrangements, at one point performed by rock style guitar. I have to say that this is one of the best TV scores I have heard in a while, it is relentless in its offering up of strong thematic material and has to it an addictive and unstoppable musical persona, that is impish and imposing at the same time. Filled with mischief and inventive compositions it is certainly entertaining. Arnold combines symphonic with synthetic and also utilises choral work throughout, there is a majestic and dare I say celestial sound present at times which is always accompanied by a darker and more threatening aura, this richly dark and wonderfully theme laden work is for me a tour de force of musical colours and textures and a welcome return to David Arnold at his most inventive and entertaining. The style employed does at times have a Elman-ish sound, but this is not a bad thing whatsoever. The release which is a double CD is on the Silva Screen label in the UK and is certainly worth adding to your collection, you will be wowed by its varying musical styles and sounds and left wanting more and more as the score progresses and grows. Ominous growling organ and percussive sounding passages combine with at times sinewy sounding strings to create an atmosphere of unease and foreboding, it is a work that I know you will love, it has this compelling and haunting presence that I found impossible not like and found myself returning to the score many times after my initial listen. I love the way in which Arnold employs the choir and supports and embellishes it with little snippets of themes performed by the string section, harpsichord and also cymbalom or at least something sounds similar, the track LULLABY is enchanting, but although being light and charming there is still some doubt if it will not suddenly transform into something more sinister.
Thankfully it does not, but the following cue HELL HOUND has something of a similar intro but soon alters and becomes threatening and fearsome. Arnold combining the quietness of a variation of the Lullaby theme with ominous sounding electronics that rumble in the background, causing a disturbing and unsettling moment. I love this score and I recommend that you go out as soon as you can and get it. Great stuff.