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Comments about the soundtrack for The Perfect Storm (James Horner)

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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review
• Posted by: Travis Elrod   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Sunday, June 22, 2008, at 3:01 p.m.
• IP Address:

(The following donated review by Travis Elrod was moved by Filmtracks to this comment section in June, 2008)

The Perfect Storm: (James Horner) James Horner does a fantasic job in this score which is worthy of the name "Perfect". Many of the ideas that Horner uses in this score are some of the same ideas that he has always used. There are even some seconds of the score which stick out and you say to yourself, "That sounds like Apollo 13 or Willow." However fans of Horner (I really like Horner, but I am not an ecstatic fan) know that he will use the same sounds over and over. But this is OK because these sounds are pleasant to listen to. He does this in every score he creates. There are times when I have trouble remembering whether I am listening to Titanic or Braveheart.

The thing that seperates The Perfect Storm from his other soundtracks are the themes and repetitive ideas he uses. If you listen carefully, you can hear many similarities throughout all 9 instrumental songs. Not only in themes, which there are many he has in this soundtrack, but in the instrumentation. There are many soft parts in which he uses a single english horn, oboe or clarinet as the main idea. And to hear these instruments come up again and again is surprisingly pleasent.

The most surprising and captivating thing in this soundtrack are Horner's utilization of themes. When I carefully listen, I can hear 6 different themes that Horner uses in The Perfect Storm, each one of them pleasent to listen to. However, mainly there are two that really stick out to anyone who listens. One is the theme right at the beginning of the CD by a french horn, which is very nice and great opener for the CD. Later on though, there is a six note theme that made my jaw drop. This theme is what makes The Perfect Storm soundtrack. The first presentation you could sit back and fall asleep listening to it on full volume. It is so peaceful and so breathtakingly inspiring that I kept rewinding the CD to listen to it again. Everytime I think about this theme I am amazed by the fact that it is so charmingly simplistic, but yet Horner still is able to vary this theme to make it fit the mood of the the movie. For instance he was able to make it subtly dark, but the theme didn't is pleasant nature.

Another idea that really got me liking this soundtrack is the new sounds. Particulary the guitars that Horner uses. One is a light guitar used at the very beginning to accompany the first theme. Second is an electric guitar which is used to head start the driving french horn and trumpet theme and to accompany the awe-inspiring six-note theme. Also there are some underlying percussion sounds which add to the driving themes. This soundtrack is "Perfect" because it does what every other composer does, but does it better. He takes the ideas which made him famous and added to them with new sounds, themes and familiar instrumentation. The part that sets it ahead from everyone else is the fact that these themes and sounds are so breathtakingly peaceful and gorgeous that it takes Horner's original ideas to a new level. Horner has outdone himself this time. This is one of the best he has ever done, second only to Braveheart. *****

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