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2010's Best Original Film Scores

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In 2010, many fantastic movies were released. From big budget Hollywood blockbuster productions to smaller, more intimate films, original film score composers lent their talents to create the films' musical counterparts. Below you'll find what I believe to be some of 2010's best original film scores. From Danny Elfman's Alice in Wonderland to Christopher Young's Creation, I have no doubt you will love these original film scores.  Also read what I consider to be the top 10 best original film soundtracks since 1998.

1. Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Original Film Score
Walt Disney Records

Can Danny Elfman do no wrong?  I listen to the Alice in Wonderland originaloringal film score in absolute wonderment.  The juxtaposition of its childlike soundscapes and mature orchestrations begs the question of which came first, the movie or the music?  Elfman so expertly paints a picture, one needn't see the film to know what's taking place.  Fans of Elfman's music would agree with me that this may be one of his greatest albums yet.

2. Creation

Creation Original Film Score
Lakeshore Records

Of all the original film scores on the list, Christopher Young's Creation is the most orchestral.  It's beautifully melodic, inquisitive, and yet suggestive - a lofty departure from Young's previous works including Drag Me to Hell, Sleepwalking, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose.  Young's piano passages are both warm and touching, while the orchestral accompaniment adds depth and character.

3. Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 Original Film Score
Walt Disney Records

Randy Newman, an acclaimed composer from a Hollywood film-scoring dynasty, composed the Toy Story 3 original film score.  Newman employs an eclectic mix of musical styles in a way that mimics the variety of toys shown in the film.  The music is lighthearted and comical while remaining grounded within the reality of the film.  To help propel the album's underlying theme, dramatic and suspenseful tracks are peppered throughout.

4. Remember Me

Remember Me Original Film Score
E1 Music

Marcelo Zarvos composed the original film score to Remember Me.  It's a deeply introspective and melancholic score unlike any other soundtrack on the list.  Zarvos' use of the piano and clever implementation of strings and synthesized instruments helps lend to the score's almost colorless nature.

5. Leap Year

Leap Year Original Film Score
Varese Sarabande

Randy Edelman's Leap Year original film score has an effervescent happy-go-lucky quality that's both uplifting and refreshing.  Though what the score lacks in depth, it makes up for in warmth and light.  With the inclusion of Irish melodies and charm, you'll find your self tapping your foot along with the beat with a smile on  your face.

6. The Book of Eli

The Book of Eli Original Film Score
Reprise

Composed by Atticus Ross, The Book of Eli original film score is a minimalist soundscape, often devoid of complex themes and orchestrations, with trance-like qualities.  Relying on the use of synthesized instruments,  Ross paints a bleak picture with the film's score, however he manages to maintain and underlying theme of hope through clever harmonies and rhythmsrhythems.

7. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson & the Olympians Original Film Score
ABKCO (US)

Cristophe Beck composed a fitting score for the movie about the Greek gods.  Beck uses large orchestral sounds, bombastic percussion, and heart-pounding rhythms  to convey the movie's epic proportions.  However, along the way, Beck incorporates soft themes and melodies to balance the heavy-handed nature of the score.

8. Legion

Legion Original Film Score
La-La Land Records

The Legion original film score by John Frizzell is a brooding tapestry woven with threads of discourse, profound depth, enigma, and urgency.  It is a perfect background to the film's inherently dark qualities.  Frizzell layers his score with traditional instruments, synthesized sounds, as well as sampled sounds that are digitally manipulated into unrecognizable tones.  Yet as complex as it may be, it surprisingly holds together quite well.

9. Inception

Inception Original Film Score
Reprise

Without the use of main themes, Hans Zimmer's Inception film score is largely atmospheric.  Though orchestrated and executed masterfully, it lacks in surprise and originallity.  It's your typical Hans Zimmer score that I'm sure you will love, as I do myself.

10. Salt

Salt Original Motion Picture Score
Madison Gate Records

Composed by James Newton Howard (Batman Begins, Duplicity, The Last Airbender, The Dark Knight), the Salt original score features a well-balanced blend of synth and orchestral sounds with rhythm and percussion.  A typical Hollywood run-of-the-mill score, Howard's Salt, though at times captivating, amounts to little more than a fast paced, dark and ominous mix of songs that leaves little to the imagination.  I have no doubt, however, that fans of the movie will be fans of the original score.

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