A Lush Adventure Score Layered With Harry's Signature Electr
Kaya Savas | North Hollywood, CA | 05/29/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Harry Gregson-Williams doing the score for this movie was the only glimmer of light it ever had. From the looks of it it's also a safe bet to say that it's the film's only saving grace, and indeed it is. Harry Gregson-Williams delivers a lush sweeping adventure score filled to the brim with ethnic flavors and romanticism.
On its surface this is a summer blockbuster adventure score. So we get a nice big adventurous theme to start us off. While it may sound very familiar to Alan Silvestri's The Mummy Returns theme it definitely holds its own weight. Then we have a second romantic theme, which is I believe the only uncharacteristic part of this score. By that I mean it's the one thing that doesn't sound like Harry. It has a Zimmer quality to it and reminds me of Pirates Of The Caribbean. With Jerry Bruckhiemer producing I wouldn't be surprised if Pirates was used as a temp track at all. Is that theme great? Absolutely! I love it.
The rest of the score is lots of fun and a great ride. I didn't expect Harry to toss in his signature electronics into the mix, but it works so well. It's almost as if his score to Kingdom Of Heaven got combined with one of his Tony Scott scores. I'm pretty sure I heard that fantastic Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare menu music percussion in there. There's also his signature motif. I guess I'll call it his "Middle Eastern Motif" since he uses it in any score that deals somewhat with a Middle Eastern setting or character. I remember it in Domino most notably and a few others.
In the end this was a fantastic score. It brings us these lush themes and places us right in the atmosphere and setting of the story. His electronic percussion and pulsing strings give it a shot of adrenaline and keeps the energy level high. It's what summer blockbuster scores are all about. Great fun done in such an amazing and memorable way that can still give you an emotional ride in full Gregson-Williams style."
Sweeping and Dramatic, yet Lacking
John Green | Brooklyn, NY USA | 06/12/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'll admit I have no intention of seeing this movie; I never played the games and the amount of CGI in the trailers probably cost more than the combined GNP of several nations, and usually serves to hide a missing plot. But as a lover of soundtracks I was eager to check this one out.
Gregson-Williams displays the usual Remote Control Studios chops- synthesized drum trax and other blended electronics joining the male chorus, electric cellos and frantic string cues. Throw in some stock Arabic chants and its not a bad mix at all, just also not very memorable.
There seems to be a pattern on most of the tracks- a sweeping opening, a dip or two into minimalism to highlight the undercurrents before switching into a brief flurry before the end. I also didn't notice any discernible heroic motifs, other than the drum and cello combo that's very similar to Djawadi's work on Clash of the Titans- that one shows up repeatedly.
A few highlights:
The Prince of Persia: Title track is very reminiscent of Goldsmith's Mummy- strings, programmed bongos, choral chants, horns and Spanish guitar blending into typical sweeping Middle Eastern motifs. Not bad at all, actually.
Raid on Alamut: Some very rhythmic drum combos invoke the sense of furtive excitement. A few changes in tempo along the way sweep you along with the tide.
Running from Sheikh Amar: Chiefly comprised of the aforementioned Clash of the Titans electric cello and drum impact combo.
Visions of Death: The looped drum tracks and stereo effects work very nicely through your headphones.
No Ordinary Dagger: Follows the formula to a tee. Starts with the most powerfully evocative strings on the cd, then dips in the middle and slides into a brief crescendo towards the end.
The Passages: Gets kinda fun in the middle, with all manner of instruments coming together in a rush of excitement before settling into what seems like a discovery of some kind at the ending.
The Sands of Time: One of the better tracks. Action, excitement and mystery all come together in this one; the middle's especially good but again, it goes out with a slide instead of a bang.
Destiny: The standard reflective denouement with a hint of promise for a sequel.
I Remain: The now-obligatory token radio track, sung by Alanis Morrisette. Whatever.
Overall it's a really good thing he has going here, but it's never sustained for some reason. Right when things get interesting they slow down and barely resume before ending; by the fifth track it's gets kind of frustrating. Overall, I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could.
Wonderful music that transforms you to another world
Rene' | 06/15/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I saw the movie (which by the way isn't as bad as they say) the music got stuck in my head and I had to have the soundtrack. The opening music "The Prince of Persia" is beautiful and haunting, but the Raid on Alamut is brilliant. I have played those tracks over and over. I also love Alanis Morisette's I Remain, it has a unforgettable sound. this music is among the best I heard in movies for a long time."