Nicholas Hooper
Harry Potter
& The Half-Blood Prince

Release Date: July 14, 2009
Produced by: N/A
Format: CD



Douglas Bice


Coinciding with the release of the latest JK Rowling geek-stravaganza, "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince", is the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack of the same name composed by Nichloas Hooper.  In my opinion the best part of listening to a soundtrack is the imagery it evokes of your favorite pieces of a movie being replayed in your imagination. For example when listening to Vangelis’s breathtaking soundtrack for Blade Runner, I envision futuristic cityscapes complete with fiery explosions and soaring ‘Spinner-cars’ as the opening theme music commences.  When listening to “Ain't To Proud To Beg" by The Temptations, I can't help but remember the scene from The Big Chill and the fun the stellar cast members were having as they danced in the kitchen.

So, as I listened to the soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, I couldn't help but remember that part where they KILL DUMBLEDORE! Oh yes, I did! Too soon? (C’mon the book came out four years ago; there is a statute of limitations on this stuff people).  It is all in good fun dear readers; Matt doesn't need the hate mail to start rolling in. Listening to a soundtrack without seeing the film first can be a bit unfair as I see it. I actually haven't even seen the movie to be honest, but looking at the back of the case at the song list, coming in at number 25 is "The Killing of Dumbledore". Don't shoot the messenger; I’m just saying that there are some spoilers in the song titles that give away some scenes for the two people left that don't know the outcome.

There are 28 songs on this CD, so you will not get a track by track analysis which would probably be as effective as Ambien™.
Listening to the CD I was impressed by the sound quality and the variety of the music contained within. Two minutes into the first track the orchestra arrives featuring sweeping strings and powerful drums. Several songs feature ringing bells and a choir singing that creepy chanting music, a la every horror movie from the 80's. Track 6, "Wizard Wheezes", is set apart as not being included in the film, and is actually one of the better melodies providing the orchestra some playing room with a Big Band number. The rest of the songs have the orchestra weaving through a range of softer passages to livelier numbers. Since this is a soundtrack songs tend to only be as long as the scene they were written for requires. This is my biggest complaint about this soundtrack, just as a song starts to kick into a fun groove it abruptly stops.  This can be a jarring experience, and happened on too many of the songs on this CD. "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" OST is an enhanced CD and comes with a free digital download of the soundtrack in 5.1 Surround Sound, along with other content exclusive to this media, something I
think more CDs should have.

I popped the CD into my PC and double clicked "start", a screen then prompts you to "click here for exclusive content". It was frustrating to have to turn off the pop-up blocker in order to get to the bonus materials. The extra content is as follows:

Click here for ring tone information.  Click I shall...13 of the songs from the soundtrack are available as downloads (standard text messaging rates apply). Exciting? Not for me. Click here to download exclusive MP3 "Big Beat Repeat".  I downloaded
this purely out of journalistic duty, and was rewarded with a song...kinda. No lyrics, just a fast three minute dance number, I have no idea who it's by or why it is included here, but maybe someone else out there does.” Click here to watch behind the scenes from Abbey Road studio scoring session. Can't wait...actually I can. Why? Because I tried three times to view it and still nothing comes up. This happened earlier as I tried to get the initial program loaded as well. Lastly is Click here to download the 5.1 surround mix. Click I shall, and here are the here to download 5.1 surround files. Unzip the file HP6SURROUND.ZIP. Import WAV files and burn audio CD using any burning software (iTtunes, Nero, Toast, etc.). Play disc
in any home theater system that supports 5.1 Bolby Pro Logic II audio™. That's right, Bolby. That’s their typo, not mine. This is
where my extra mile work ethic falls short. Would the 5.1 sound better and more involving? I have no doubt, but if I want to hear it in 5.1 I can put in the DVD when it comes out and play it without having to jump through excessive hoops. Or they could have released the soundtrack with the 5.1 as a second disc.

The CD booklet features a fold-out of three scenes from the movie, one showing KILL DUMBLEDORE!  Okay, I made that part up, but the booklet is pretty lackluster for fans of the film. As I stated earlier, those who have seen the movie will probably enjoy
the Soundtrack even more, but as my friend Archie and I listened to it, it just wasn't very involving, but it was decent enough for a onceover. There are other CD's that we listened to that were far more musically engaging, with reviews of such coming soon to a MusicTAP near you.

P.S. By the way, the Titanic sinks at the end, Dil is a dude, Bruce Willis is dead, Kevin Spacey is Keyser Söze and Darth Vader is Luke’s Father… too soon?









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212 Frech

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