A Wrinkle In Time

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

(Walt Disney Soundtracks)

A brand new Disney fantasy film arrives and with it a soundtrack album embracing the original scores for scenes by Ramin Djawadi and various key and supplementary tracks by a clutch of popular artists. The film release will take the story and all the music around the globe. Clearly a contemporary mixture of songs and tunes is the aim of producer Ava DuVernay, to maximise interest. The film itself stars box office achievers – Storm Reid as Meg Murry, a gifted young girl. Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which. Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit. Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who. Levi Miller as Calvin O’Keefe, Meg’s classmate and friend. Deric McCabe as Charles Wallace Murry, Meg’s prodigious adoptive 6-year-old brother. Chris Pine as Dr. Gugu Mbatha-Raw …big leads and appealing supports.

Cards on table – the main reason this release intrigued me was the return to recording of the lovely Sade. The lead track here is the Flower of the Universe (No I.D. Remix) and it’s a drums-led airy spell of a song, that plaintive husky voice calming and beautiful over percussion motifs. So fine to have this magical voice back in our ears. Sounds like a strung harp in the mix, which eschews density for a floating ambience. It puts the listener in slow motion. I would have added muted trumpet on delay. On to I Believe (feat. Demi Lovato and DJ Khaled) being a generic soft-thump beat balancing female vocal with ‘fashionable’ rapping bits, all over a rippling piano figures and some zippy percussion touches. Lovato gives it some feeling. It sounds like a contemporary pop chart hit, lyric based on self-belief. Well there’s a change, eh?

Magic has that lass Sia aboard, she’s the one that won’t show her face anywhere, right? A sort of reverse-Philip Schofield then. Her voice is atypical current pop-soul and her phrasing tainted with the ghost of over-emoter Mariah Carey. Maybe Pink could gave put this over better. Next up we have Let Me Live by Kehlani which sounds a bit other-worldly as it starts. Her voice isn’t bad if mainstream. The tempo is a tad lead-footed and doesn’t settle. The lack of a warm bass tone is to blame of course, the whole sound is chilly, flattening its power to truly connect. Warrior is by Chloe x Halle – a name new to this reviewer – who has a gentle and appealing voice on this hesitantly-starting track with a fairly good melody, albeit produced again with that icy vibe. Maybe some people like that, for me it is a turn-off – makes everything sound like a Voice audition. Park Bench People performed by Freestyle Fellowship next and at last real instruments including horns and vibes, on a voodoo backdrop. Better still a male singer who has clearly heard Gil Scott Heron and likely Sly Stone. The arrangement is kept shadowy and the drums to a patter. A superb inclusion in my humble opinion. Towards the end, the bass guitar starts to walk us into a twilight zone, free form drums et al. Finally for this half the original version of Flower of the Universe from Sade, haunting and graceful.

Then we get the series of score instrumental pieces, comprising A Wrinkle in Time, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, Darkness Across the Universe, Touch the Stars, Happy Medium, Camazotz, Home, Uriel, Is This a Dream?, Forgive Me, Be A Warrior, Tap Into Your Mind, Tesseract, Sorry I’m Late, The Universe Is Within All Of Us. All scene-enhancing soft-focus pieces, skilfully orchestrated and thankfully not TOO John Williams! Those enraptured by the film will find this a nice complementary purchase.

Pete Sargeant


(Thanks to Glenn Sargeant)

The film 'A Wrinkle In Time' is out now and the soundtrack is also out now on Walt Disney Soundtracks.

A Wrinkle In Time