Alright, I've held off long enough....Skyfall.
As you may remember, I was extraordinarily disappointed that director Sam Mendes chose composer Thomas Newman over series regular David Arnold. Arnold had scored the last five films going back to his brilliant score to Tomorrow Never Dies, perhaps the best Bond score ever.
His work on Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace was also exceptional.
But taken for what it is, Skyfall is a very decent score. Action cues are surprisingly good (Newman has never been known for these) and the classic Bond theme is well utilized.
And based on this alone, the score should play well against the film.
What Newman's score is severely lacking is original thematic development. One of the highlights of the soundtrack is his integration of Adele's extraordinary title song theme during the Komodo Dragon track. If only Newman utilized this or a decent original theme of his own creation more frequently, Skyfall would be a far more enjoyable score.
In the great tradition of John Barry, all of Arnold's scores have had their own identity thematically. Newman doesn't even attempt this approach. The result is that outside of the classically 007-flavored action cues and the occasional statement of the Bond theme, there isn't much of interest.
Still, Newman's score is an adequate one and considering his body of work, it stays truer to the wonderful Bond sound than I would have expected.
I still hope Arnold returns to the franchise. His themes and extraordinary action cues are missed. That being said, Newman has delivered a pretty serviceable score.