Percy Jackson & THE OLYMPIANS: The Lightning Thief
Music composed by Christophe Beck
Label: ABKCO
Catalog: 03242

Year: 2010

1. Prelude
2. The Minotaur
3. Chiron
4. Victory
5. The Fury
6. Dyslexia
7. The Hydra
8. Medusa
9. Son of Poseidon
10. The Parthenon
11. Hollywood
12. Lost Souls
13. Fighting Luke, Part 1
14. Fighting Luke, Part 2
15. Hades
16. Mount Olympus
17. Poseidon
18. Homecoming
19. End Credits

Total Time: 59:08

Reviewed by
Tom Hoover

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is next in the long line of book titles reaching the big screen.  Much like the manner in which Harry Potter got rolling, Christopher Columbus is the director behind this first installment and as a welcome surprise, Christophe Beck earned the scoring assignment. Christophe staked his claim in scoring shows on the small screen, along with a few projects here or there in theaters, and had not quite gained the plum opportunity that could help him leap to the next plateau of mainstream composers.  With The Lightning Thief, he has a full-blown blockbuster opportunity and it's a chance that is well deserved. Did he take advantage of it?
Yes he did. The Lightning Thief is a grand, old-fashioned orchestral score that invokes fresh ideas, classic themes, and a superior depth than what we have been used to from the industry in recent years.  I can tell you that the score is reminiscent of Jerry Goldsmith's adventure music, a style that we had yet to revisit since his passing as the traditional tunes of yesterday have given way to a familiar, modern studio sound.  I am so pleased to hear the magic of the orchestra return through Christophe's work here!
Given that this is the first movie in a planned series, Christophe's approach is interesting to take note of here, specifically with how he grounds the main theme.  When I first heard it, I thought it to be substantial and worthy of carrying a film, but I also notice that it is a theme that is set for expansion.  Christophe gives us a sense that a journey is taking root and there is more to come but he also satisfies the needs of the picture at hand.  Such technique required complicated precision to pull off, but he was successful in doing so.  This again points to how talented composers can be relied upon to write music in a storytelling format, relying both on skill and feeling alike.
I also mention this score's depth - it doesn't simply go from point A to point B, there are secondary motifs and counterpoints busy at work here as well.  Much for the same reasons that I enjoy the work of John Williams, Christophe keeps the background fare interesting even when a primary motif is at the forefront.  I find this also helps the repeat listening engagements since a basic track with only a foreground melody to guide it can tire quickly.
The only reason I fail to give The Lightning Thief a perfect rating is due to a fluke occurrence; elements of the main theme reminded me of excerpts from David Arnold's, The Musketeer.  Try as I could to separate the two, it proved to be a bit too difficult to do so. I am hoping future listens will help me provide a barrier between the two. With that, there is literally nothing else I can critique about this score. I highly recommend you purchase it and get a head start on what will eventually check in as one of 2010's top scores. Christophe Beck's exciting score for the Percy Jackson saga is available as a digital download release only from Universal Music Group.