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21 Reviews
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely haunting, breathtaking all the way through
When I first saw The Sixth Sense, on opening night, I was blown away. The film kept me riveted to the screen for every second of it's 110 or so minutes, and leaving the theater, the only thing I could do was repeat the theme over again in my mind, it was the only thing I wanted to do. Along with some images from the movies, the music kept me up all night, just playing...
Published on May 20 2001 by Austin Andrews

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2.0 out of 5 stars Missing the most important part
Normally, when I spend money on a soundtrack, I expect the main theme to be a part of it. Anyone who's seen the movie knows that there is a very moving musical theme which runs from the main credits all the way through to the ending credits. Mixed in with that, as is done in all movies, are various pieces which set particular moods and change the tempo or feeling of...
Published on April 13 2000


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4.0 out of 5 stars Do You Hear What I Hear?, May 15 2003
By 
T. Lobascio (New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
The enormous success of The Sixth Sense helped put composer James Newton Howard on the map. Of course he had been scoring films for quite a long time before the movie's release. But because everthing associated with it seemed to click with audiences, the score got Howard noticed.
The haunting theme, with its emphasis on piano and flute, is almost hypnotic. Like the film itself, the score is filled with mystery and tension that matches the film's supernatural qualities. Howard also knows how to break the "sameness" of the score by adding a few surprise jolts along the way as "Suicide Ghosts" demonstrates He also does a good job with "Malcolm's Story/Cole's Secret"- that one cue alone has everthing the score has to offer. The music fits the film perfectly and represents Howard's talent very well...
My only real complaint with the soundtrack, is its running time. With 11 tracks and 30:19 playing time, the CD is far too short. I wish there were more. Still, what is there is very well chosen, and a must if you liked the film
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely haunting, breathtaking all the way through, May 20 2001
By 
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
When I first saw The Sixth Sense, on opening night, I was blown away. The film kept me riveted to the screen for every second of it's 110 or so minutes, and leaving the theater, the only thing I could do was repeat the theme over again in my mind, it was the only thing I wanted to do. Along with some images from the movies, the music kept me up all night, just playing over and over again in my mind.
This was the first CD I ever bought (and is now one of only two, accompanied by Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory), and it is probably the best purchase I've ever made, music or otherwise.
Though it is disappointingly short (and lacks much of the music from the film itself), the soundtrack is still amazing and is every bit as frightening and low key as the movie. James Newton Howard wisely avoids the kind of loud, cheaply overdone jump moments and suspense themes that plague far too many horror soundtracks, using instead a heartbreakingly beautiful piano theme to carry the soundtrack.
Standout tracks include:
1. Run to the Church: The theme's first appearance, like much of the soundtrack, this is short but sweet.
4. Photographs: Only one word can describe this; haunting. It's very soft and subtle, but the echoing piano on this track will stay in your mind long after it's finished playing.
8. Tape of Vincent: The Soundtrack's *loudest* track (that said, it's still very quiet), this also has the main theme in a slightly faster variation.
11. Malcolm is Dead: Well, this is sure a giveaway to people that haven't yet seen the movie. It's a wonderful track, however, filled with all of the heartache of that scene.
And one last note, to that one reviewer who asked what song that was at the beginning of the birthday party: it's called Head by Tin Star. It's a great song, I first heard it at that scene and downloaded all of the songs listed in the end credits trying to track it down, it's now one of my favorites.
Bottom Line: Get this soundtrack, you won't once regret it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for the music, but the album is WAY TOO SHORT!, March 2 2000
By 
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
With his music for THE SIXTH SENSE, James Newton Howard creates an atmospheric and powerful score while defying all common sense regarding what music for a ghost story should sound like. Instead of the larger-than-life sound masses found in film scores for other ghost stories like Jerry Goldsmith's masterpiece POLTERGEIST, Howard opts for a quiet and understated style which builds in tension and effect and perfectly suits the style of the film. Also, like POLTERGEIST, it stands alone as an excellent musical experience. However, unlike the POLTERGEIST soundtrack, this album is inexcusably short-especially for the high list price! I do not know who is to blame for this gross shortcoming, but it is very frustrating because I always want more.
The haunting and melancholic theme stated by the piano and woodwinds which opens the album in "Run to the Church" sets the tone for what is to follow. Howard deftly keeps control of the atmosphere throughout. However, he also maintains a high interest and intensity at all times as well.
One of the most surprisingly chilling moments in the film is the scene of a sunrise overtaking Philadelphia. This is augmented immeasurably by the sound mass which Howard builds bit by bit, allowing it to swell but never scream. Similarly, one of the biggest scares in the film (and the soundtrack) comes with silence followed by a sudden, shock of sound via a slap pizzicato/drum hit in "Suicide Ghost." This track ends with another sound cluster and is one of the loudest snarls in the score. But it doesn't last long and quickly fades. The music for "Kyra's Ghost" is by far the highest intensity moment in the score as far as sheer volume is concerned, and it casts an appropriately frantic atmosphere on the scene.
The final track on the album is an amazing mix of emotions which complements the action on the screen as well as sending the music listener on a journey as well. It reels in disconcerted confusion and moves effectively and naturally to resolution and peace.
James Newton Howard definitely should have been nominated for an Oscar at the very least for this brilliant work. He weaves his eerie spell all through the film with music which is independently satisfying but which never overpowers the images on screen. Instead, it enrichs those images. It is definitely worth the purchase price. However, since it is so short, do what I do: play it two or three times in a row before moving on.
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5.0 out of 5 stars When they get mad it gets cold, Feb. 28 2000
By 
Roman Dlouhy (Decin, Czech Republic) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
I can't say, whether the soundtrack to "The 6th Sense" works the same wonderfully as a stand-alone score as it functions in the thriller, because I saw the movie first. I viewed it three times and definitely decided to purchase the score after that. I rarely buy a soundtrack after I have only heard and liked the music in the movie. But with this score, while having been so amazed by the film, I made an exception, which now I know I will never regret. James Newton Howard composed a piece that fits the movie mood as good as possible. Howard is, undoubtedly, capable of making a thematically richer theme ("The Prince Of Tides") or even more airy orchestration ("Junior"), but this time he cleverly held himself back. The result is more than satisfying. The music doesn't ever try to be a step or two faster than the story itself and lets viewers come comfortably through the fear or whatsoever without any revealing or disturbing effect. Yes, the score is somewhat short (John Williams' "Stanley & Iris" comes to my mind), some 30 minutes plus of the running time, but I came up with a small trick to make it about 20 minutes longer. As the music of the score doesn't dramatically change with every new bar - it's not its fault, it was meant to be done - you can programme your CD player and repeat several middle tracks (the choice is yours). It would only be so said "proper", if you kept the first and the last track at their positions if you wished to keep the movie's opening and ending unchanged. Well, when I first heard the music in the film, I was briefly reminded of the "Alien" score (or may be "Aliens" - I don't remember both exactly). Not the melody, but the distant feeling was the reminder. Nevertheless, that feeling quickly disappeared and I found, that further on the music was flowing its own way... What a great and playful score it is! Supportive, but great. If it weren't in the movie, you could be missing something mysterious, something hard to imagine. You would never feel the prickly things on the back of your neck. You wouldn't see dead people walking around like regular people. You wouldn't know, that someone next to you has already been dead... (Not to be continued.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Terrificly creepy music, why so short?, Sept. 3 1999
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
James Newton Howard does a superb job in writing the music for this film. Listening to the CD was almost as creepy as watching the movie (which is terrific too!). Be careful when you get to track five ("Suicide Ghost"-it gave me a start!) Other great music highlights include "Tape of Vincent" (where Malcolm discovers Cole was telling the truth) and "Help the Ghosts/Kyra's Ghost" (freaky!!) I only have two things to complain about. One: the final track on the tracklist printed on the back tells the twist ending, a spoiler for those who haven't seen the movie (I had the same complaint about The Phantom Menace soundtrack, which listed two tracks that gave away Qui-Gon's death listed on the back of the CD. At least this soundtrack came out AFTER the movie was released). Two: the surprisingly short running time of the album, totalling only approximately 30 minutes. (Was this all there was in the movie? How about the hair-raising opening credits music?) But if you loved the movie like I did and you want a good CD to play at Halloween, this is still worth the buy (if you leave your player on "repeat" of course)!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic "despair and sadness" work by Howard, July 10 2003
By 
Mr. Stanley M. Schmidt "boymitch" (Rockford, IL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
I have to agree with 95% of the reviews already written on this recording. The despair, sadness and torment are front and center in this collection. You have to be in the right frame of mind to really enjoy the message of darkness and gloom. The track that made me buy the CD was "De Profundis". This delicate flow of misery with the sinking cellos and basses during the minor key change took my musical spirit to another place. It was divine.
I really appreciate his Howard's use of low volumes to convey his thoughts. He fully understands that pianissimo (pp) can hit just as hard as a full throttled forte (fff).
Although the music and concept deserve a five star rating, the record company really [disappointed] the buyers by only including 29 minutes on the disc. This, sadly, makes this THE SHORTEST soundtrack I own and one of the THE SHORTEST soundtracks on the market. :(
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Soundtrack- Length, While Short, is Okay, May 22 2000
By 
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
This is one of the most beautiful soundtracks I have ever heard! James Newton Howard has artistically orchestrated both beautiful and creepy music. I would definitely recommend this soundtrack to anyone who was impressed by the music of the movie when they saw it. The music stuck with me for days, and I can say that I love the soundtrack and have not regretted purchasing it. Also, I think that the length of the soundtrack, while short, is good for me. If I listen to a soundtrack, I want to listen to the whole thing, as if I were watching the movie again. Thirty minutes is a good time frame to sit down, close your eyes and just listen. If you are someone who likes to listen to a soundtrack all at once, the length won't bother you. Even if you think that thirty minutes is too short, the music is of high quality and worth the price. It's beauty will amaze you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Please make them go away.", March 2 2000
By 
Sean Lane (California, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
This soundtrack is one of the best I own out of the 19 I have. I'm a huge movie soundtrack freak and I loved the Sixth Sense when I saw it in theaters. The music is so compelling and peaceful, and then will terrify you in the next moment. This is the first time I have heard one of James Newton Howard's composed soundtracks, and he does it so beautifully. The music is just plain creepy at some points that it runs chills down my spine. The last track, Malcom is Dead, is the best one because it presents the element of shock when he realizes that he has been dead the entire time, and leaves off with a very sad and touching theme. If you liked the movie then this soundtrack is totally for you, I would definetely reccomend it to anyone who likes soundtracks and motion picture scores.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Missing the most important part, April 13 2000
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
Normally, when I spend money on a soundtrack, I expect the main theme to be a part of it. Anyone who's seen the movie knows that there is a very moving musical theme which runs from the main credits all the way through to the ending credits. Mixed in with that, as is done in all movies, are various pieces which set particular moods and change the tempo or feeling of the story. This album seems to be composed of only those little pieces. The main theme, nor any of its variations, is anywhere on this soundtrack album. Perhaps this is an "art" thing with the person who put the compilation together, but as a paying customer who saw the movie and loved the theme music, I was extremely disappointed with this album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Feel the Fear, Jan. 31 2000
By 
Ryder (Denver, Colorado. USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sixth Sense (Audio CD)
Friends of classical music, and more specifically, baroque classical music, will relish this examination of the geometry of fear. James Newton Howard has worked the finest language of communication into a vividly visceral masterwork worthy of each, and every spine-tingling moment. To see the movie is a worthwhile, but unnecessary step. If you wish to feel what Cole felt, by all means, place your emotions in the gifted hands of Mr. Howard.
A fan of finer music can but wish for further works by this poet of the universal language.
Respectfully Yours, Ryder S. Eckhardt
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Sixth Sense
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