Mo Shafeek's Top 10 Soundtracks of 2018

Mo Shafeek, Record Label Manager

#10: THOROUGHBREDS - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

One of the most unique scores of 2018 and one of my favorite films of the year. I cannot recommend either highly enough. 

#9: JURASSIC PARK: FALLEN KINGDOM - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Controversial opinion - I think FALLEN KINGDOM is the second best JURASSIC film. Less controversial, as it seems very agreed upon, Michael Giacchino's score for FALLEN KINGDOM is a standout in the series. It sounds like the score to an old Haunted House film - relying less on John Williams' classic themes and crafting his own spin on the universe to a level of success rarely found in on-going franchises.

#8: MARY AND THE WITCH'S FLOWER - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

It was such an honor that Studio Ponoc asked us to be involved in this project for many reasons - working with any animation studio for their debut film is such a tremendous honor. But it's even better that this one is as beautifully scored and as intricately produced as it is. We hope to do more with them in the future and we encourage everyone to check out this film and their short film collection MODEST HEROES, coming soon to a theater near you.

#7: MARVEL'S LUKE CAGE Season Two - Original Soundtrack

RIP to one of the best scored television programs ever made. Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad crafted a soundscape for the 'Hero of Harlem' that was a blend of Italian film music and reggae/dub processed through the minds of people who come from the world of hip-hop.

#6: CASTLEVANIA: SYMPHONY OF THE NIGHT - Original Video Game Soundtrack

SYMPHONY OF THE NIGHT brings our CASTLEVANIA campaign to a close (for now), which is bittersweet, but also quite a celebration. It was such a privilege to work on the soundtracks to these seminal games, but it feels like closing a loop on an obsession with the music of this franchise so long ago. But as one castle crumbles, another rises...the soundtrack also introduced us to Jasmin Darnell, one of my new favorite artists, one who I can't wait to work with again. 

#5: SPEED RACER - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Another Michael Giacchino joint - celebrating its 10th anniversary, this under-seen cult-classic deserves a spotlight whenever it can be given. Even removed from the psychedelic visual and manic energy of the editing, Giacchino's score is absolutely transcendent. 

#4: MISSON: IMPOSSIBLE - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

An early obsession of mine from an age of collecting film music - I remember purchasing the "soundtrack" to this film and being disappointed to find out it was a mix-tape of songs not in the film (the only ones being U2's cover of the theme and 'Dreams' by The Cranberries...RIP Dolores O'Riordan). It took me forever to actually find a copy of Elfman's score album (this was before the ease of the internet, as the film itself shows you with Tom Cruise searching for Max.com on usernets) but once I did it rarely left my discman. I'm really dating myself now.

#3: BATMAN - Expanded Motion Picture Soundtrack

Back-to-back Elfmans. I've already spoken a lot about this project but this one is so surreal for numerous reasons. It was a holy grail and then suddenly it was a reality and now it's a milestone and it feels weird to cross BATMAN (1989) off the list. Maybe i'll leave it up there anyway and will the Prince soundtrack into existence.

#2: KATAMARI DAMACY - Original Video Game Soundtrack

This project took nearly three years to come together - there's a few of those always swirling around. This one required a level of persistence and nearly a dozen different people along the way who knew someone who knew someone who eventually knew the right someone at Bandai/Namco who were gracious enough to trust us to make this a reality. Super special thanks to Yuka and Zach for helping along the way. May the lonely rolling star collect you and make you a brand new Moon.

#1: MAGNOLIA - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

One is the loneliest number...it's not going to stop unless you wise up. 

One of the greatest soundtracks and scores to one of my absolute favorite films, with stunning artwork by one of the greatest working illustrators. It's the release I'm most proud of this year, and the one that I feel deserves a spotlight more than any other. If you haven't seen the film, or you haven't in a while, I encourage you to revisit. It's still an astounding film. Also if you haven't followed the work of Aimee Mann or Jon Brion in the wake of this film, rectify that immediately. Both are still producing tremendous work (Aimee just released a new album called "Mental Illness" that is beautiful and Jon recently did the score to LADY BIRD).

So now then...one last little detail worth noting: we used to try to have our spine numbers be somewhat relevant to the film / show / game but that went out the window when Jay Shaw tried to make ALIENS into MOND-426 when we were only at MOND-35 back in the day. Since then we decided that it would be too hard to keep track of numbers if we were holding spots that far in advance. But by complete chance...Greenberry Hill-esque circumstance, MOND-028 was available when working on MAGNOLIA. It is in the humble opinion of this writer that this is not just something that happens...this cannot be just "one of those things."