Thomas Newman worked on The Empire Strikes Back, The Help, and Wall-E, and he worked with Sam Mendes on Revolutionary Road. He has a huge range, and the score is really good, but, um, we just want to talk about the Adele song, because it is amazing.
A Bond song defines the film. Some, like "Goldfinger," live forever. Others, like "Another Way to Die" from Quantum of Solace, are as forgettable as the films they introduce. "Skyfall" is in the first category, one of the best Bond songs, setting the tone for one of the best Bond films.
Set against surreal images of bullet holes, skulls, and Bond with a target on him, the haunting music lets you know this isn't going to be the fun run-and-gun romp Bond was known for fifty years ago. This is an introspective Bond. A brooding Bond. A Bond who probably listens to Adele, just like everyone else on the planet.
The lyrics are filled with meaning from the very first line. "This is the end," Adele croons, foreshadowing the death of Bond, the death of M, and the end of a fifty-year-old franchise. But she also lets us know that ends are also beginnings.
ADELE: We will stand tall / and face it all / together / at Skyfall
Spoiler alert: Adele is telling us that Bond will be working together with a team and facing evil together with it, instead of being the one-man army he has been in the past. Adele also mentions crumbling, hearts bursting, and other typically tragic Adelean images that let us know that this is probably not going to end well.
It ended well for Adele, though: she continued paving her gold road to an EGOT with the Oscar for Best Original Song. And we didn't forget Mr. Newman, who also won the Oscar for Best Original Score.