Musical Score By: Christopher Young
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In Love Happens, Aaron Eckhart is Dr. Burke Ryan a Ph.D. whose self-help book about dealing with the loss of a loved one has seen some moderate success. Arriving in Seattle to conduct a seminar in conjunction with his book, Ryan meets Eloise Chandler (Jennifer Aniston), a woman who, finding herself unlucky in love, has sworn off men altogether. Neither person is looking for love, but of course, love happens. Can Dr. Burke Ryan take his own self-help advice and allow himself to love once again?
The soundtrack of Love Happens is composed by Christopher Young, a man who has proven his musical diversity as a composer, creating musical scores for numerous genre, including action films, horror, romance and more. Some of his most memorable film scores include The Shipping News, Spiderman 3, Ghostrider, Drag Me to Hell, The Grudge, Sleepwalking and Creation.
The Love Happens Soundtrack starts off light-hearted and airy, almost as if this were a romantic comedy rather than a romantic drama. The soundtrack is predominantly reliant on piano and guitars although some strings like violins and celli do appear. There is a definite island theme to much of the music on this soundtrack, punctuated by the use of guitars, percussion and a marimba, a xylophone-like African instrument that produces sounds not unlike those made by steel drums. This island flare struck me as interesting since the setting for this film is Seattle and not some exotic locale.
Another surprise is the rather ominous track called Mind Noise. Although I now know what scene this track may have been written for, it was rather unexpected when compared to the style of the rest of the soundtrack. This is the one track that reminds us that this is a romantic drama, not a lighthearted romantic comedy.
All-in-all, I would have to say that Love Happens was a rather enjoyable soundtrack with some beautifully written and fun tracks. But I have to question its length. The album contains sixteen regular tracks and seven additional bonus tracks. In my opinion, too much of something is not always good. I would consider one or two tracks bonuses, but six or seven? I actually would have been just fine with the original sixteen as they fit rather nicely together. The bonus tracks just didn’t blend as well with the rest of the album.
If you are in the market for a soundtrack with an interesting and unique sound, anything by Christopher Young would fit the bill and Love Happens is yet another notch in Young’s belt as an accomplished composer. However, if you are looking for those dramatic orchestral scores that so often accompany romantic dramas, stay away from this album as it will only serve to disappoint you.