Home > Reviews > FLY ME TO THE MOON – Ramin Djawadi

FLY ME TO THE MOON – Ramin Djawadi

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

An animated adventure about three flies who become astronauts on the Apollo 11 moon mission – yes, you did read that correctly – Fly Me to the Moon has an impressive voice cast (Tim Curry, Robert Patrick, Christopher Lloyd, even Buzz Aldrin himself) and even more impressive 3D visual effects, but apparently suffers from a lack of sophistication in its childish writing, and even more worrying lack of a world view in its depiction of the space race – but what do you expect when your lead hero is a musca domestica!

The score for Fly Me to the Moon is by Ramin Djawadi, flying high following his commercial success on Iron Man, and tackling the animated adventure genre for the second time after Open Season in 2006. It’s by far the best score in Djawadi’s career so far (which, for me, has been entirely unimpressive), and the opening quartet of cues – “Cape Canaveral” through to “Nat Convinces Friends” – are actually quite lovely, with a wistful, longing quality that one might get while staring up into a starry night, even if you were a fly.

Three mid album cues – “Lift Off”, “Blue Danube” and “Waltz in Space” – are excellent, parodying James Horner and Johann Strauss II in quick succession, and with a lush, classical touch. The action music has the patented Zimmer sound that one always comes to expect with anyone associated with the Remote Control organization, albeit with slightly more emphasis on the orchestra and less emphasis on electronics, which is a welcome development indeed.

The three “Phase” cues, and later tracks like “Saving the Mission”, “Contaminants on Board”, “Manual Landing” and “Cold War”, are exciting but enjoyably light hearted and undemanding, and will undoubtedly appeal to devotees of the RM action music style, while simultaneously impressing those who didn’t know the German could write music like this. There are even moments where solo vocals (“I Did It Grandpa”, “In Space”, the gorgeous “Moon Walk”) and faux-Soviet marches (“From Russia with Love”) enter proceedings, showing Djawadi’s range and diversity.

The whole score has a warm, charming appeal that has been largely absent from everything else Djawadi has ever written, and as such at least shows that he can write this kind of music if given the opportunity. As such, it comes with a positive recommendation, especially to those who (like me) had previously dismissed Djawadi as one of the least relevant blockbuster composers working today.

Rating: ****

Track Listing:

  • Cape Canaveral (1:33)
  • Junkyard Dreams (1:41)
  • Amelia Earhart (2:07)
  • Nat Convinces Friends (2:14)
  • Phase I/Sneaking into NASA (3:20)
  • Phase II/Mission Control (0:58)
  • Phase III/Launch Prep (1:56)
  • Lift Off (1:15)
  • Blue Danube (2:18)
  • Waltz in Space (1:09)
  • I Did It Grandpa (2:33)
  • From Russia with Love (2:33)
  • Saving the Mission (3:53)
  • In Space (2:25)
  • Contaminants on Board (3:51)
  • Manual Landing (3:33)
  • Moon Walk (4:53)
  • Nadia (0:54)
  • Russian Operatives (4:20)
  • Saving Scooter (2:19)
  • Grandpa to the Rescue (1:57)
  • Cold War (3:41)
  • Back to Earth (1:51)
  • Homecoming (1:47)

Running Time: 59 minutes 01 seconds

Varèse Sarabande VSD-6922 (2008)

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