The highly anticipated follow up to Raymond Briggs iconic penned classic 'The Snowman' was released to critical and public success, bringing 11 million people together to share the enchanting experience of 200,000 hand drawn images which brought the world's favourite flying snowman back to life. This season the Snowman is back with the release of 'The Snowman and the Snowdog Original Soundtrack' by film composer Ilan Eshkeri and Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows, allowing listeners to re-immerse themselves in the film's classic themes throughout their Christmas.
What is immediately clear is that 'The Snowman and the Snowdog' soundtrack is not trying to re-create the 1982 minimalistic and intimate score featured in the original 'Snowman'. Instead, 'The Snowman and the Snowdog' features an ensemble of 60 instruments performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra complimenting the impressive artistry of the film to make a mesmeric symphonic experience.
Opening track, 'A New Beginning' encapsulates the emotional film's beginning; featuring violin from former Bond member Haylie Ecker, the track uses a collaboration of string instruments to create a repressed yet subversive feeling, immediately engaging the listener. Following track 'Christmas' manages to avoid the cheesy conventions usually associated with Christmas music and alternatively creates a mature and developed sound that utilises the mellow piano and string instruments.
Andy Burrows faces the challenge of living up to the iconic vocals of 13-year-old choirboy Peter Auty singing 'Walking in the Air' in the original movie. Rather than trying to re-create or compete with the tone of the original track, Burrows and Eshkeri create a cinematic pop track to provide a contented sound that compliments the impressive artistry of the trio (Billy, the Snowman, the Snowdog) flying through the sky whilst acknowledging multiple famous British landmarks.
The 'Snowman Carnival' has a country vibe and a great sense of unity with a defined beat despite there being no lyrics. Throughout 'Snowman Carnival' and 'Downhill Race', Eshkeri utilises the 60-piece Orchestra, producing uplifting tones that even snowmen can't resist dancing too.
'Flying Home' is performed by solo artist Tom Odell who epitomizes the entire film with mellow piano pieces contrasted by epic choruses and impressive vocals by Andy Burrows. The uplifting vibe conflicts with the bittersweet sound of closing track 'Goodbye' as the inspiring film comes to an emotional end.
'The Snowman and The Snowdog Original Soundtrack' successfully encapsulates the themes portrayed in the silent film whilst managing to stand alone as its own soundtrack, making it a perfect atmospheric Christmas album. Ilan Eshkeri manages to separate himself from previous action scores such as 'Centurion', 'Layer Cake' and 'Kick Ass' and focus on a more peaceful yet equally as enticing tone that occasionally bears resemblance to previously scored film, 'Stardust'. Andy Burrows' unique sound further helps to define and separate this soundtrack from the original to create an epic album perfect for Winter listening.