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Top Movie Soundtracks of 2013

Music In the Movies
Music In the Movies

Top movie Soundtracks of 2013

When it comes to film and soundtracks, one would tend to agree that the Oscars are one of the main ways that the industry tests a composer’s ability to make a track that is to be remembered. Where there are hundreds of movies made every year, only 5 make it to the nominations and there is only one winner. Thinking upon the soundtrack, one will note that it is not just the single music score which makes for an amazing score, but a combination of the background music, stock music, dynamic shots combined with the soundtrack, etc. This year’s top movie soundtracks clearly established the emotional drive which is required in a great film. Last year “The life of Pi” won.

The nominees for the best film of 2013

Keep in mind that these are films of 2013 even though they are announced in February of 2014 (one cannot get the best movie of the year if the whole year has not passed).


Don’t let the first few seconds of the soundtrack confuse you. Steven Price has done an extraordinary job in capturing the out of this world need for the music. The music comes out in an emotional ensemble. Smooth tones combine with an electro-techno beat to give a since of drama, unknowing, and then relief and calmness. Such areas where stock music and background music cannot be used, snippets from the soundtrack have been added. Space is massive and so is the selection of music presented by this score.


Alexandre Desplat has delivered an outstanding musical piece of light-heartedness and emotion that captures the characteristics of the main character Philomena. One should not be surprised that Alexandre Deesphalt has made another spectacular musical score. In the past he has been known for creating such soundtracks as those found in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Harry Potter”. In Philomena the composer has both embraced the calm and the darker parts of the characters life with an ever-present underlining theme of positivity.


Music seeped in the classics and in American culture are not necessarily the deciding factors when it comes to a great score. Such a former film as “Slumdog Millionare” has shown that there can be a foreign feel to a film. It is all about how the composer combines the stock music, background music, and his score together. Although a late comer, Her by William Butler and Owen Pallett definitively makes a presence among the best soundtracks of 2013. Clearly rooted in indie film and culture, the soundtrack stands as a blunt contrast to those nominees of a more traditional nature.

Saving Mr. Banks

Though it may have a Disney theme, this film can and does capture both the child as well as the adult emotions. Thomas Newman is no newcomer to the arena of Oscar nominations. As far back as “American Beauty” his Orchestrations have added to the emotional experience which an audience encounters in films with his scores. Combining a classical feel with modern dynamics, Thomas Newman shows why he has had a top movie soundtrack of 2013.

The book Thief

Perhaps the forerunner for this year’s top movie soundtrack, John Williams presents yet another great score. Nominated the equivalent of every other year that the Oscars have been around the composer steps up as an icon among composers in the film industry. It would not surprise me at all to see his score get this award. His films tend to be those that grow to epidemic status among viewers and one could not expect less with this film.
These are but five soundtracks that have been deemed the top soundtracks of 2013. This is not to say that there are no other soundtracks which have gained the public’s eye. Films such as “The Hunger Games” and “ The Hobbit” have received recognition for their musical scores.
How does an aspiring composer take note from these nominations? Look upon how the music is combined with the film. Where a good soundtrack stands alone, a great soundtrack plays upon all the sounds in a film. The subtle stock music and background music as well as those noises that are taken for granted are all considered by the composer. Also, the composer writes the music around the film and does not try to fit an already written composure into the film. Where this may prove to be a hit, such as in the song “Requiem for a Dream” (which has been used on an array of films), the majority of these scores do not reach the iconic status and recognition of those musical scores that adhere to the film from the start. Think of such movies as 007 and Star Wars. These movies soundtracks define the film. An aspiring composer should seek to do the same with his or her music.

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