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Comments about the soundtrack for Inception (Hans Zimmer)

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Re: I get what Zimmer is trying to do.
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• Posted by: Mikal
• Date: Saturday, July 17, 2010, at 10:14 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: I get what Zimmer is trying to do. (JW)

> Okay, Mikal... Here's a fact that can be broken down by looking at
> Zimmer's sheet music... Simple, consistent, and nearly constant repetition
> = boring. The score can be engaging in short bursts, but at its full
> length the phrase "objectively boring" applies.

I don't think it can and I'll tell you why. Maybe Zimmer's score doesn't contain as many key shifts or brass tuplets or leitmotivs as a typical John Williams' score would (I'm using him as an example because, judging by your username, you're a fan), but those elements are quantifiable, i.e., measurable. You can't quantify, or even objectively qualify, boredom because it's inherently rooted in subjectivity. It's something that humans feel. What one person finds boring, another person may not. Does that mean one person is right and the other isn't? No. It can't given the nature of the word.

> Furthermore, don't lecture me, jackass... You don't know me, and the only
> thing I've seen out of you is a complete miss when you nearly guaranteed
> that Clemmensen wouldn't throw down 5 stars on HTTYD.

Er, I wasn't aware I was lecturing you...but okay, my apologies. I'd appreciate it if you didn't insult me, either. I didn't insult you, dude. Let's try to keep it civil.

If that's the only thing you've seen out of me, you must not frequent the Scoreboard. And wait, what does a wrong prediction have to do with anything? Nearly guaranteed? All I said was I didn't think he'd give it more than four stars. I even admitted I was incorrect and explained why I thought he'd give it four stars or less, in a humble way, I thought:

"I just don't understand how he could rate it two stars higher than Kung Fu Panda when, in my opinion, they're pretty similar in terms of development and cohesion (although, admittedly, the latter is a bit more frenetic, and it was co-composed by Zimmer). Tastes just differ I suppose and I respect that. I certainly don't assert that he is "wrong" or anything, and it's a definitely a solid just doesn't pack that extra punch for me. However, I think I'll give the score one more sustained listen in which I really pay attention to what's going on in it before I come up with my final verdict."

But honestly, I wasn't even that far off the mark, given Christian's response:

"My first inclination was to give How to Train Your Dragon four stars. The Scottish stuff didn't bother me (after all, I'm rating the album experience, so the irrelevance is not as much an issue there), but I did feel as though the album presentation ran a little too long when the cluster of five action cues at the end started to slide back towards Powell's more anonymous tendencies. As I appreciated the first two thirds of the album several times more, though, I decided that his spread of the instrumentation and thematic expressions across the entire soundscape, especially after I had just heard Clash of the Titans, merited a higher rating. Everything that bothered me about Djawadi's stale music was washed away by Powell. If I gave half-star ratings, this one would have gotten a 4.5, and perhaps a really awesome song at the end (instead of what we got) would have elevated it to the full five in that scheme."

His first inclination was to give it four stars and he thought the album sounded especially fresh after hearing Clash of the Titans. So, I'd wager he would've actually given it four stars had it not been for Djawadi's score making an impression primarily. This is just speculation and can't be proven, but given what CC himself said, it's probable.

Please, respond. I love these kinds of debates. Just remain courteous and don't resort to ad hominid attacks if you don't agree with something I say.

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