Ahh, "The Shawshank Redemption"--the title alone sends a subtle wave of chills up your spine. This is by far one of my favorite films of hundreds I have seen throughout my lifetime. What a touching, heartwrenching, and truly remarkable story of a seemingly simple man taking back what had been stolen from him: his life. And what better way to tell such a powerful tale with an equally powerful and moving score by the amazingly talented Thomas Newman.
Like a few other reviewers here, I myself cannot describe using words alone the range of emotions I go through while listening to this soundtrack. The melodies are so haunting and can put such an incredible strain on your emotions. You can feel yourself grow weary while listening to such tracks as "Brooks Was Here" and "Zihuatanejo", yet you can feel a sense of hope start to emerge with tracks like "Suds on the Roof" and the "End Title" especially. You can completely empathize with Andy Dufrane and what he went through during his unjust imprisonment at Shawshank prison just through the music alone, and that is definitely saying something.
Thomas Newman most definitely has an award worthy masterpiece on his hands. I am extremely disappointed that he did not win the Oscar back in 1995 for Best Score, but I'm glad that he was at least recognized and nominated for "Shawshank's" unyielding glory and magnificence.
By far one of the best soundtracks of all time--NO question.