Unlike the composite art form of movies, accompanying soundtracks and scores are primarily dedicated to supporting and enhancing the movie experience. Perhaps this is why it sometimes feels like they are the poor cousin at the Oscar party. However, some soundtracks and even scores can and do become a thing in their own right and this top 10+ list provides some examples.
Furthermore, feature films, TV series and streaming services content are almost indistinguishable with respect to musical accompaniment therefore it seemed only fair to include worthy entries, regardless of format, to the selection below.
TOP TEN SOUNDTRACKS FROM THE PAST 10 YEARS
Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (Original Motions Picture Soundtrack) – Complete collection of ear-worms that refuse to leave your consciousness once you hear them.
10 – Pavarotti (Music From the Motion Picture) – music from and about the maestro himself. The soundtrack is a blisteringly exquisite journey into classical music and the man that literally made it pop.
9 – Strike Back (Original Television Soundtrack) – The theme song, “Short Change Hero” by The Heavy is amazingly delicious. Scott Shields soundtrack does justice to this action packed series with some equally action packed music.
8 – Keep On Keeping’ On (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – As I mentioned in my review of this work – “For people who like Jazz and for those new to it, this soundtrack is a master class delivered in parallel with a documentary film about one of its most accomplished and beloved masters, Clark Terry.”
7 – The Social Network (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross created a soundtrack that is almost a movie in itself, telling the story of Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to fame or infamy with Facebook
6 – Avengers: Infinity War (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Alan Silverstri did an excellent job of putting to music what can only be described as the MCU’s equivalent of biblical rapture. See my review of same here.
5 – Frozen (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – No top ten list will be complete without Disney’s Frozen, even if only for Idina Menzel’s rendition of ’that song’ Let It Go.
4 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – John Williams at his best. As described in my review “…this is the work of a well-honed orchestral machine helmed by a master craftsman who is comfortable in his own skin.” The outcome is clear from its seemingly effortless awesomeness.
3 – Mississippi Grind Complete Collection (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Amazing 2for1 CD set, and I refuse to chose between either as they are both complementary parts to a single whole. As described in my review of the work, “…It is somewhat like having to chose between raw cane sugar and candy rock – they’re both sweet and delicious in maddeningly different ways.”
2 – The Mandalorian: Chapter 8 (Original Score) – Ludwig Goransson delivers an instant classic with the theme music for Disney’s Mandalorian. The sublime futuristic soundscape is a perfect fit. Perhaps not surprising given his equally amazing work on the MCU’s Black Panther soundtrack.
1 – Game of Thrones Season 8 – Ramin Djawadi’s GoT theme music is off the chart. His Incredible score and mastery of the sonic paintbrush is second to none – hence number one on this list!
In conclusion, the past decade has produced some iconic soundtracks, themes and motifs across the board. Some honourable mentions include the soundtracks from such films as: Joker, Shape of Water, Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman and Wolverine.
Suffice it to say that soundtracks as independent works in their own right are not going away anytime soon, if anything it’s only growing from strength to strength. In any case, I hope this top 10+ selection resonates with you but feel free to share your top 10 or 5 or whatever in the comments below.