Soundtrack Review: FILM MUSIC OF HANS ZIMMER VOL. 2

by: GATW Staff
August 6th, 2011

Hans Zimmer is one of the definitive composers of the past four decades having composed the scores for such films as CRIMSON TIDE, THE LION KING, GLADIATOR and more recently THE DARK KNIGHT, INCEPTION and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES. Zimmer’s name is practically synonymous with film scoring having also created his own company, Remote Control Productions, in which he works with a variety of composers from Steve Jablonsky (TRANSFORMERS: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON) to Harry Gregson-Williams (COWBOYS & ALIENS) and John Powell (KUNG FU PANDA 2). Zimmer’s ability to infuse electronic elements into the more traditional orchestrations expected of film scores has given him a distinct sound and made his music an integral part of the films he has been a part of. Even out of context, one only needs to hear the “bong” sound Zimmer created for INCEPTION to know what film it belongs or the string elements of SHERLOCK HOLMES let audiences know that those two madcap detectives are at it again.

Silva Screen Records recently released their follow up to “The Essential Hans Zimmer Film Music Collection” (2007) with “Film Music of Hans Zimmer Vol. 2” featuring music from films like THE PRINCE OF EGYPT and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II to Zimmer’s more recent work for THE PACIFIC, INCEPTION and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD’S END and ON STRANGER TIDES. The selection of films and particular tracks featured on the collection paint an engaging picture of Zimmer’s work and how it has grown over the years and adapted to the various projects he has worked on. Obviously a score that works for THE RING would not apply to a film like MADAGASCAR, but there is a familiar thread that runs through each and makes them markedly Zimmer while still being tailored to each project.

High profile songs such as “Time” from INCEPTION and “Why So Serious?” from THE DARK KNIGHT can be found here, along with lesser known pieces such as “End Titles” from THE PEACEMAKER or “Leave No Man Behind” from BLACK HAWK DOWN. Listening to the collection, Zimmer’s style and approach to score is clear and although the songs range from animated to action films, the collection flows and does not sound disjointed with a choral tinged piece from ANGLES & DEMONS (“160 BPM”) easily fading into a more sinister one from THE DARK KNIGHT (“Aggressive Expansion”).

“Film Music of Hans Zimmer Vol. 2” shows Zimmer’s range as he is able to create a magical sound for the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films to the sweeping epic of KING ARTHUR to the patriotic THE PACIFIC as well as the slightly madcap MADAGASCAR to the uneasy nature of BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT. If you are a fan of Zimmer (or of the music from these films), this 2-disc compilation will be a must-add to your collection. It is a captivating musical journey as you hear how Zimmer’s music has evolved from “This Land” for THE LION KING to his most recent pieces for PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (“Mermaids” and “Mutiny”). The intent of film score is never to overpower a scene and Zimmer has successfully created scores that not only weave seamlessly into the films themselves, but are just as recognizable outside of them. You may remember the lyrics to Elton John’s “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” but you will just as quickly remember the feeling you had when watching THE LION KING when listening to “This Land.”

Grade: B+

This compilation is available through Silva Screen Records.

DISC 1
1. "Mermaids" - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
2. "Mutiny" - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
3. "Dream is Collapsing" - INCEPTION
4. "Time" - INCEPTION
5. "Honor" - THE PACIFIC
6. "Discombobulate" - SHERLOCK HOLMES
7. "160 BPM" - ANGLES & DEMONS
8. "Aggressive Expansion" - THE DARK KNIGHT
9. "Why So Serious?" - THE DARK KNIGHT
10. "Up Is Down" - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END
11. "Drink Up, Me Hearties" - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END

DISC 2
1. "Davy Jones" - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST
2. "Jack Sparrow" - PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST
3. "Molossus" - BATMAN BEGINS
4. "Zoosters Breakout" - MADAGASCAR
5. "Woad to Ruin" - KING ARTHUR
6. "This Is Going To Hurt" - THE RING
7. "Homeland" - SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMMARON
8. "Leave No Man Behind" - BLACK HAWK DOWN
9. "Injection" - MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE II
10. "Red Sea" - THE PRINCE OF EGYPT
11. "End Titles" - THE PEACEMAKER
12. "This Land" - THE LION KING

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