Craig Armstrong – In Time *Review In English*

“IN TIME has really brought a timeless listening experience for me. It is not Craig Armstrong’s best but it simply stays solid on the higher rank of electro-orchestral genre.”

Soundtrack Label: Lakeshore Records

In an unspecified future, the number of world population are controlled. People stop aging at 25 years old; however, they are still able to live longer by time which has replaced money as the standard currency and the real cost of living. The higher class will live much longer than the lower class as the unfortunate way of life. The film is directed by Andrew Niccol and starred two sexy actors of our time; Justin Timberlake as a slum guy & Amanda Seyfried a social class’ daughter, an unlikely coincidental couple who are about the break those rule.

This sci-fi thriller comes with a potential idea which you can expect from Andrew Niccol as a writer and director himself. Though I haven’t seen it yet (and I don’t know if I will have time to do so), the name Craig Armstrong as the composer is just enough to attach me with the score.

From having been off of the radar for two years, after the rejection of his work for the latest CLASH OF THE TITANS and his very minor role with the music of WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS, Craig Armstrong is finally back and I am really glad so. Since I have written 4 reviews (in Thai) about his soundtrack albums in my blog, it seems that this Scottish composer who is the former member of Massive Attack still shines. He is like the outside guy who seeks his expertise in the world of film music. Many of his previous scores work well for the film and also leave the marks between unique electronic sound and traditional orchestra (and I hope some new composers will learn something from his success too).

For IN TIME, the score takes his usual electro-orchestral approach but I can tell you that it doesn’t sink to be a platitude. The main theme is very dramatic and sounds timeless. In Time Main Theme is emotionally strong, even for one-and-a-half-minute cue, with the chilly keyboard’s performance. In Time Choral Theme take the theme to the next level with the extended 3-minute cue and female vocal. In Time Main Theme (Orchestral) softens the tone down with classical performance from strings and piano (the latter one is clearly Armstrong’s signature). I have to admit that the theme may be not so catchy at the first time but by the end of the album, with three obviously various presentations of the theme, it will be catchy to you and you may find yourself listening to it over and over again. And, while the theme is surely varied throughout the entire score, Giving It Away is my pick-out one for how outstanding this one-minute cue can be a very good reprise of the first main theme track.

Lost Century is a bit of techno-classical track. In addition to that, the fast-paced strings have their showdown here and there is also a motif with some ethnic atmosphere. Zones of Time, Whatever We Have To and Sylvia Shoots also include the motif I have just mentioned but with the beats which come just for the right time.

Abduction and Rooftop Chase are the two standout action tracks with luxurious strings and percussive electronics. These pump-up tracks surely add some energy to the score.

For one more dramatic cue, you may want to check The Cost of Living which delivers a decent compassionate tone as another motif   throughout the score and Mother’s Run is undeniable the most powerful track dealing with that motif.

IN TIME has really brought a timeless listening experience for me. It is not Craig Armstrong’s best but it simply stays solid on the higher rank of electro-orchestral genre. Some short tracks are pretty good and they don’t distract the album as much as some in other electronic soundtracks I have listened to. The 45-minutes album presentation is sufficient enough and still worth buying for Armstrong’s fans.


01. In Time Main Theme (*****)

02. Lost Century (*****)

03. Dawn in Dayton (****)

04. The Cost of Living (****)

05. Mother’s Run (****)

06. Zones of Time (****)

07. Welcome to New Greenwich (****)

08. Waking Up in Time (***)

09. An Hour Ahead (***)

10. Ocean (****)

11. Abduction (*****)

12. Whatever We Have To (*****)

13. Mother’s Dress (***)

14. Clock Watching (****)

15. Sylvia Shoots (*****)

16. Backseat Love (****)

17. Giving It Away (*****)

18. Rooftop Chase (*****)

19. You Saved My Life (***)

20. Surrender (****)

21. To Be Immortal (***)

22. Leaving the Zone (*****)

23. In Time Choral Theme (*****)

24. There’s Still Time (****)

25. In Time Main Theme (Orchestral) (*****)

Final Score: 8.5

Buy It @Boomerang


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