I’ve been listening to the Coraline soundtrack. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s well worth it. Skip the 3D one, it ends up getting in the way of the plot.
The soundtrack, however, compliments the plot beautifully. Like “the other puppet movie” (The Nightmare Before Christmas), the music is well integrated. How does it stand on it’s own? Actually quite well. For one, most of the lyrics are anamanapia (which is Latin for “sounds nice, man”). The second thing which grabs you is the range and depth of the tone. The keys are well chosen, as are the instruments for texture and color. Clean instruments make up the “happy” or “whimsical” parts, while the instruments tend towards rough percussion for the less happy songs. They’re all well played, and played by hand. Expect to hear the fingers on the harp. There’s watercups thrown in there too.
The third bit of niceness is that while parts are often quoted between songs, the songs change key and use a broad, broad range. Expect to hear an obo playing at the top end of it’s range, and flutes playing at the bottom. Since woodwinds have a tendency for intubulation distortion, literally the shape of each instrument works against the instrument at the edges of it’s range, these are extremely well chosen.
Oh, the songs are nice too.