As a fan of soundtracks, this is one of the best musical scores ever composed for a movie. It is shocking after hearing it to realize this did not even get nominated for an oscar, when this album is at least as good as the previous FOTR score, which indeed won the oscar.
One of the requirements of a movie score is to create an audio personality for the movie. When one hears the Star Wars tracks, the entire Godfather album, the Gladiator opening theme, even the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon "Yo Yo Ma lingering cello", you immediately are transported to the movie's setting. That is precisely what The Two Towers soundtrack does.
From the Nordic strings and horns to represent Rohan and Helm's Deep to the industrial aggressive beat of Isengard, every track in this album is as unique and stirring as the setting it represents. Forth Earlingas is particularly beautiful and epic, and I guarantee will stick in your mind for a long time after listening to it.
But a special place in my heart is reserved for the song entitled "Evenstar", as voiced by Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian. This is truly esoteric, fey music to represent the scenes of Arwen visualizing life after Aragorn. Close your eyes, put on your headphones, and dream of happier times in the presence of someone you love (or loved)while listening to this song, and I guarantee you will have tears come to your eyes as I did.
The only song I didn't like that much was the final track, Gollum's Song. The music is fine, but the vocal stylings of Emiliana Torrini, who is trying to communicate feelings of despair and hopelessness, are truly awful and fall flat. While hearing this, you will wonder "what the heck is this doing here?" However, I am not going to hold a few minutes against what is one of the best movie scores I have ever heard. Wonderful music. I can't wait for Howard Shore's finale in Return of the King.