The Snowman and The Snowdog - Ilan Eshkeri and Andy Burrows (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
FOLLOWING Howard Blake’s memorable score for Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman was always going to take something magical but, fortunately, Ilan Eshkeri and Andy Burrows have created something that more than fits that bill for The Snowman & The Snowdog.
The follow-up to Briggs’ annual classic first premiered on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 2012 and was seen by over 10 million people over the festive period.
And while it may have taken almost a year for its BAFTA-nominated soundtrack to become available to buy, the wait is most definitely worth it.
Burrows and Eshkeri’s score is a delight. Warm throughout, it’s also playful and inspirational at certain points, and heartfelt and even poignant at others.
It also contains two terrific songs from Burrows, in Light The Night and Hometown.
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the London Metropolitan Orchestra, the 60-piece ensemble was joined by a choir of Andy and Ilan’s friends and musical collaborators, and the score features piano from Tom Odell (whose debut album topped the charts earlier this year), violin from Haylie Ecker (former Bond member), guitar from Tim Wheeler (Ash), bass from Aristazabal Hawkes (Guilllemots) and drums from Dom Howard (Muse).
Standout instrumental moments include Building The Snowman (which appropriately slow-builds in majestic fashion), The Snowman & The Snowdog, which is shot through with the curiosity inherent in the visuals and, eventually, the sense of wonder and fun, and Snowman Carnival, which is as lively as its name suggests.
Light The Night, meanwhile, was written by Andy and Ilan and features in the iconic flying sequence. It’s every bit as warm and anthemic as Walking In The Air, which so memorably featured in the flying sequence of The Snowman in 1982, albeit in a more pop sense than choral or orchestral. But it’s a magical song that deserves to become a classic in its own right.
Hence, as you prepare for another festive season and the return of The Snowman & The Snowdog to your screens once again, getting hold of this mercurial soundtrack is a near-essential Christmas thing to do.
It’s a wonderful listen.
Download picks: Building The Snowman, The Snowman & The Snowdog, Light The Night, Snowman Carnival, Downhill Race