I was at first hesistant to purchase this soundtrack because I expected it to be much like the soundtrack to the "Sorceror's Stone." However, I happened to hear the song "Fawkes the Phoenix" and decided to splurge.
Much to my delight, I found that, while some themes and melodies are re-visited in this second Harry Potter soundtrack, this album is very capable of standing on its own. There are plenty of original songs from the strong and soaring aforementioned "Fawkes the Phoenix" to the lighthearted and fun "Gilderoy Lockhart." There is also just the right sprinkling of melodies from the first soundtrack to create a pleasing unity between the two soundtracks.
My only complaint, I must admit, is a petty one. The songs on this album are out of chronological order and I find it distracting. At one point, the song order goes from "Meeting Tom Riddle" to "Cornish Pixies" to "Polyjuice Potion." One minute you're in the chamber saving Ginny and the next, you're back in Lockhart's classroom saving Neville. It simply doesn't flow. Despite this minor flaw, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" is well worth your time and money whether you're a Harry Potter fan, a John Williams fan, or just a fan of good instrumental music.