This song – an adapted cover of “I Can See Clearly Now” – was the ending credits song for the animated film Next Gen. I liked this version of the song when I heard it, and was impressed by the vocal ability of the singer, especially during the chorus which has a powerful delivery. I had no idea who Grace VanderWaal was, let alone that she was only fourteen years old when the song was recorded in 2018! I’ve since heard most of her work to date and have become a fan.

Clearly a good movie about a girl and her robot

[ Song of the Week ] John Williams – “Rey’s Theme”

from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

For the last weekend of 2019, I went and saw Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, so I thought it might be nice to end the year with the theme for the main character of the final trilogy, and one of my favorite Star Wars characters overall.

Here is Rey’s theme from The Force Awakens, performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2017, conducted by none other than John Williams himself.

[ Song of the Week ] Peter Gabriel – “With This Love (Choir)”

from the album Passion (1989)

Peter Gabriel has made an impressive amount of quality music since leaving Genesis in the mid 1970s. My favorite album of his is one which may be his least accessible: 1989’s Passion. It is an album which also serves as the soundtrack to a film which I still have never seen. It is a fusion of Western music and traditional Middle Eastern music, with the sound weighted heavily towards the latter. Passion is a very exotic and exciting album, and one which has aged incredibly well due to the traditional nature of the music.

One of the many highlights for me is this choral piece. Mysterious and beautiful, it transports you to another time and place. Hard to imagine that it came from the same mind which wrote “Sledgehammer” only a few years earlier.

This means something…

My all-time favorite film is Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and that includes its score by John Williams. Most folks are familiar with the five note motif associated with the film, but there are several other themes in the score which are just as memorable to me, if not moreso.

This piece of music introduces one of those other themes, as it accompanies the scene in which Roy Neary finally discovers what his visions mean.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind soundtrack (1977)