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Cast                        : Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Music                     : John Williams

Cinematography : Janusz Kaminski

Editing                   : Michael Kahn

Screenplay            : Tony Kushner

Direction                : Steven Spielberg

 

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Steven Spielberg’s much-awaited historical biopic, Lincoln, finally hits the screens! And as always, John Williams (of Schindler’s List, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter fame) doesn’t fail to deliver. The soundtrack is beautiful, memorable, aesthetically pleasing, and extremely emotional. That’s typical John Williams for you. Anyways, here we go!

Track

Rating

1.   The People’s House

★★★★½

2.   The Purpose of the Amendment

★★★★☆

3.   Getting Out the Vote

★★★½☆

4.   The American Process

★★★½☆

5.   The Blue and Grey

★★★½☆

6.   With Malice Toward None

★★★★½

7.   Call To Muster and Battle Cry Of Freedom

★★★½☆

8.   The Southern Delegation and The Dream

★★★½☆

9.    Father And Son

★★★☆☆

10. The Race To The House

★★★★☆

11. Equality Under The Law

★★★½☆

12. Freedom’s Call

★★★★½

13. Elegy

★★★½☆

14. Remembering Willie

★★★½☆

15. Appomattox, April 9, 1865

★★★☆☆

16. The Peterson House and Finale

★★★★½

17. With Malice Toward None

★★★½☆

Soundtrack Analysis :

1. The People’s House

The opening track is a noble instrumental that sets the mood for the movie. It is starts off gently with the flute, which is then joined by the piano and the orchestra, to bring the track to its full grandeur. The section from 1:00 to 2:00 instills a glorious sense of patriotism in the listener. This is followed by a mellow interlude that builds up to another rousing section, which now has a tense undertone. The song then mellows down again, and ends with a repetition of the starting theme that fades away into silence.

2. The Purpose of the Amendment

This song begins gloomily, but soon blossoms into a beautiful string section that turns out to be magically calming – If you listen intently, you would be filled with immense hope and joy. The song also contains a horn passage in its latter half.

3. Getting Out The Vote

This is a folksy, upbeat number comprised mostly of violins. This is the one of the few tracks that stray away from the general tone of the album – it’s lively, entertaining, and you could dance to it!

4. The American Process

This track is quite similar to the first one (The People’s House). The song starts off with a mellow tone that borrows elements from the first track, and extends the mood that is set with the help of violins and strings. The song also has a gentle piano solo in its latter half. This is a low key song for the most part.

5. The Blue and The Grey

This is predominantly a piano song, with some orchestra elements to help create a somber atmosphere (as suggested by the track’s name). The mood of the song is tense and agitated towards the end. Like the previous track, this too is a low key song with no rousing moments.

6. With Malice Toward None

A short, yet extremely emotional piece, this track has a very noble feel to it. The beauty of this song is best captured in its second half, when it makes the transition from a rousing patriotic section that can lift your spirits to a new high, to a mellowed down & soothing strings outro.

7. Call To Muster and Battle Cry Of Freedom

This is a remake of the well known American Civil War Song ‘Battle Cry of Freedom’, with a marching band instrumental background and choir-vocals. This is the only track on the album to feature any singing.

8. The Southern Delegation and The Dream

This song sets a dark and ominous mood – gloomy at first, extremely tense in the middle, and full of despair in the end.  The middle section of the song could be used in a horror movie. This song mostly features brass instruments, and a violin solo at the end.

9. Father And Son 

This is a fairly ordinary track, low on energy. It carries forward the somber mood from the previous tracks, and ends with a gentle piano solo.

10. The Race To The House

Another folksy and lively song – this one is similar to ‘Getting Out the Vote’, but more energetic. For the first time on the album, we hear the use of banjos (starting around 00:30) – they make an excellent combination with the violin!

11. Equality Under The Law

Another gloomy track; Williams quickly brings us back to the solemn mood we were in before the short break provided by ‘Race to the House’. The last minute of the song features a very beautiful and emotional strings passage.

12. Freedom’s Call

This is one of the longest, and also finest tracks on this album.  It comprises of a memorable violin version of ‘With Malice Toward None’, followed by a rendition of the previous track (Equality Under the Law), this time with lesser strings. A quiet brass solo that fades away into silence marks the end of the song.

13. Elegy

This is yet another sorrowful track, perhaps more so than most of the others in this category. The violins that make up most of the song fill the listener with a sense of great despair.

14. Remembering Willie

This song feels like a continuation of the previous one. It starts off with violins similar to that on ‘Elegy’, and then gives way to a melancholic piano solo.

15. Appomattox, April 9, 1865

On this track, Williams adds to the gloomy atmosphere created in the last few songs with some gothic vocals.

16. The Peterson House and Finale

This is the longest song on the album (11 minutes). Its beauty lies in the fact that it runs through all the different emotions that were portrayed throughout the album, and makes you relive all of its finest moments. The piano solo towards the end is probably the best on the album. This song requires some patience, but once you hear it completely, you will find that it was completely worth the wait.

17. With Malice Toward None (Piano Version) 

For the final song, Williams gives us a moving piano rendition of ‘With Malice Toward None’.

This album ranks among John William’s best and most powerful efforts. And that’s saying something, when we’re talking about a 5 time Oscar winner.  He has worked hard to keep the soundtrack very emotional and expressive, and not bring in the thrilling-adrenaline pumping action themes of the other works he is famous for (Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park etc). The Lincoln OST has already received a Golden Globe Award Nomination, and may well be on the road to an Oscar (for Best Original Soundtrack).

Picks of the OST : With Malice Toward None, Freedom’s Call, The Peterson House and Finale, The People’s House

Album Verdict : Williams takes the legacy forward !

Album ★★★★★★★★☆☆