Allison Loring

by: Allison Loring
June 10th, 2010

Rating: 2/5

Wanting to give the feeling of an epic, the filmmakers made a smart move in choosing Harry Gregson-Williams (GONE, BABY GONE, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA) to create the music for the story of a prince (Jake Gyllenhaal) realizing the power of a time-jumping dagger and his destiny. Gregson-Williams was the perfect choice to compose a video game-turned-film, as he has previously produced and composed music for video games such as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

As with many current composers working on recently released films, Gregson-Williams had also been a part of Hans Zimmer’s company, Remote Control Productions, that has included John Powell (HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON) and Steve Jablonsky (HALLOWEEN II). Looking towards future projects, Gregson-Williams will also compose the music for the fourth TWILIGHT film, BREAKING DAWN, joining Carter Burwell, Alexandre Desplat and Howard Share who are among the other accomplished composers to have worked on the franchise.

The first track on the PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME soundtrack is aptly titled, “The Prince of Persia," and introduces us to the film, but also to Prince Dastan himself (Jake Gyllenhaal). This track combines driving percussion along with a Middle Eastern style to set the tone for a strong lead and give note to his background. Clocking in as one of the longest songs on the soundtrack, the piece is given space to slow and take its time to create some depth within the song itself. However, because the track directly following this one, “Raid On Alamut," is even longer and more drawn out, it causes both tracks to seem even almost too prolonged and self-indulgent.

I did appreciate the track introducing us to Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton), “Tamina Unveiled," which was strong and powerful rather than soft and unassuming. Like Prince Dastan’s introductory piece, Princess Tamina also gets strong percussion plus a beautiful string arrangement, setting the two pieces (and characters) apart. The songs that I expected to carry some weight such as “No Ordinary Dagger” and “The Sands Of Time” fell short and did not seem to really add to these climatic moments in the film.

The only song on the entire album that is not strictly instrumental is the final piece performed by Alanis Morissette. I found this to be my favorite track on the collection, not just because it was the only one with vocals (I still love me some score), but because I loved the idea that rather than just throwing a random pop song to wrap things up, Gregson-Williams chose instead to work with an artist whose voice worked well with the sound he had already created for the album.

Although it is an accomplished score which helps drive the action of the film, I found it to become repetitive, no song really standing out, just blending from one into the next. It led me to wonder if the repetitive action sequences that made up the film caused the composition to become repetitive as well. The hints of Middle Eastern style instrumentation help it set it apart from other scores, but not enough to make it truly remarkable. Although this collection may not have particularly stood out to me, it has a simplicity that should not require a magic dagger to withstand the test of time.

This soundtrack is available through Walt Disney Records. All songs on this soundtrack composed by Harry Gregson-Williams.

1. “The Prince Of Persia”
2. “Raid On Alamut”
3. “Tamina Unveiled”
4. “The King And His Sons”
5. “Dastan And Tamina Escape”
6. “Journey Through The Desert”
7. “Ostrich Race”
8. “Running From Sheikh Amar”
9. “Trusting Nizam”
10. “Visions Of Death”
11. “So, You’re Going to Help Me?”
12. “The Oasis Ambush”
13. “Hassansin Attack”
14. “Return To Alamut”
15. “No Ordinary Dagger”
16. “The Passages”
17. “The Sands Of Time”
18. “Destiny”
19. “I Remain” (Performed By Alanis Morissette)

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