SUPPORT FILMTRACKS! CLICK HERE FIRST:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
iTunes (U.S.)
Amazon.ca
Amazon.fr
eBay (U.S.)
Amazon.de
Amazon.es
Half.com
Glisten Effect
Editorial Reviews
Scoreboard Forum
Viewer Ratings
Composers
Awards
   NEWEST MAJOR REVIEWS:
     1. Incredibles 2
    2. Solo: A Star Wars Story
   3. Deadpool 2
  4. Avengers: Infinity War
 5. A Quiet Place
6. Ready Player One
   CURRENT MOST POPULAR REVIEWS:
         1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
        2. Gladiator
       3. Blade Runner 2049
      4. Batman
     5. Thor: Ragnarok
    6. The Avengers
   7. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  8. Avatar
 9. Dunkirk
10. Phantom Thread
Home Page
Menu Options ▼
Comments about the soundtrack for Tears of the Sun (Hans Zimmer)
It's sad...

Mike
(dhcp-134-250.bowdoin.edu)


  Responses to this Comment:
byro
It's sad...   Thursday, May 1, 2003 (1:19 p.m.) 

It really is sad that some people are so closed minded about music. Zimmer has been criticized for using synths too much and they wuld rather hear John Williams' full orchestrations. That's fine, you're entitled to your tastes. However, it's really sad when those opinions lead to comments such as "Zimmer is mediocre" or "second-rate". It really means that you have not actually listened to Zimmer's works carefully. Take the Peacemaker for example, one of his most criticized scores as it followed the Rock. In the liner notes, a 100+ orchestra is listed individually. Very little of the scare is electronic. Same with Tears of the Sun, Thin Red Line, and Gladiator. The TRL track "Journey to the Line" has to be one of the most powerful pieces of music written for a movie and I wouold really like to see someone disagree with that. As for mediocre, take Gladiator for example, tracks "Might of Rome" and "Am I Not Merciful". For a composer who began working only with synths, his string arrangements are pretty good if not amazing. I would bet that anyone with an opinion of Zimmer as second rate has not actually listened closely to the depth of his music. For example, how many of you have heard the male choir chanting in Latin in Gladiator? Anyone? Last 30 seconds of "Might of Rome." Check it out. And yeah, it's a track he wrote SOLO, as the majority of his music is. Zimmer's problem isn't collaboration, it's his strength. He just likes to give credit where it's deserved and trusts people with musical talent, such as Lisa Gerrard or Lebo M to make good contributions, but the score is still Zimmer's. I could go on, but I won't, I think I've made my point.

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


byro
(inktomi3-cdf.server.ntl.com)

  In Response to:
Mike

  Responses to this Comment:
jonathan
ugly joe
Re: It's sad...   Friday, May 2, 2003 (11:02 a.m.) 

> It really is sad that some people are so closed minded about music. Zimmer
> has been criticized for using synths too much and they wuld rather hear
> John Williams' full orchestrations. That's fine, you're entitled to your
> tastes. However, it's really sad when those opinions lead to comments such
> as "Zimmer is mediocre" or "second-rate". It really
> means that you have not actually listened to Zimmer's works carefully.
> Take the Peacemaker for example, one of his most criticized scores as it
> followed the Rock. In the liner notes, a 100+ orchestra is listed
> individually. Very little of the scare is electronic. Same with Tears of
> the Sun, Thin Red Line, and Gladiator. The TRL track "Journey to the
> Line" has to be one of the most powerful pieces of music written for
> a movie and I wouold really like to see someone disagree with that. As for
> mediocre, take Gladiator for example, tracks "Might of Rome" and
> "Am I Not Merciful". For a composer who began working only with
> synths, his string arrangements are pretty good if not amazing. I would
> bet that anyone with an opinion of Zimmer as second rate has not actually
> listened closely to the depth of his music. For example, how many of you
> have heard the male choir chanting in Latin in Gladiator? Anyone? Last 30
> seconds of "Might of Rome." Check it out. And yeah, it's a track
> he wrote SOLO, as the majority of his music is. Zimmer's problem isn't
> collaboration, it's his strength. He just likes to give credit where it's
> deserved and trusts people with musical talent, such as Lisa Gerrard or
> Lebo M to make good contributions, but the score is still Zimmer's. I
> could go on, but I won't, I think I've made my point.

I agree with you about 95%. You are indeed very right, too many people are closed-minded about Zimmer's synths. However, as a straigh-forward melodic, harmonic, generally musical composer, I find he struggles a little with trying to always make strong themes. Yes, he has made brilliant themes like Crimson Tide, Driving Miss Daisy and Backdraft to name just three, but far much more of his music doesn't have the same creative level of score writing. He recycles loads of motifs. Many of his tracks are based on fillers like repeated two-tones and a specific 3 note descending motif (I belive it is semi-tone, semi-tone, tone - generally three piano notes next to each other played down pitch). This latter motif is severely overused by Zimmer. Yes, it is common with most composers, but Zimmer resorts to it in a way that it doesn't flow with a good tune, but rather stands on its own as a dull set of 3 notes. While he has used it effectively before (such as in Crimson Tide and Leave No Man Behind) he too often recycles it. He needs more practice with simply writing effective score music. Only when he has practiced this, and brought his melodic skills up to his level of expertise for synths and fusions will he really, really be at top-level composer status.

Don't get me wrong, he's still my favourite, and does produce great soundscapes and themes, but I still can't help but notice these little faults, and I think it is these faults in particular that anti-Zimmer people focus on.


Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


jonathan
<Send E-Mail>
(195-241-131-139-bbxl.xdsl.tiscali
.nl)

  In Response to:
byro
Re: It's sad...   Sunday, May 4, 2003 (10:01 a.m.) 

small note (no affect on your good writings, just a fact): Zimmer has confirmed that the language as sung in Gladiator is NOT latin... it's a home made language and he wrote those pieces for the songs. That's the reason why the publishers didn't include lyrics in the cd booklet: they don't mean anything and are just random phrases. Nevertheless: it's awesome!

I agree with you on the rest. Zimmer is a superb artist and I think it's time that people quit with putting him under John Williams. I agree: John is a legend, but Zimmer is a legend in his own way. Treaten them equally, in my opinion they are both the best artists of today...

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


ugly joe
<Send E-Mail>
(cliente-217216067081.cm128.senpd.
supercable.es)

  In Response to:
byro

  Responses to this Comment:
byro
A few words   Sunday, May 4, 2003 (4:20 p.m.) 

HI, MIKE!
I have nothing else to add. I agree 100% with what you've said!

HI, BYRO
You say that

Well, even though that could be true (I'm not stating it isn't, but I'm not stating it is, either), do you know any great composer who does not recycle loads of motifs? What about John Williams? His main theme for Harry Potter is very similar to Hook. His main theme for Superman is very similar to Star Wars. And his main theme for Dracula is very similar to some tracks from Star Wars as well. What about James Horner? What about Elliot Goldenthal? I mean, hey, I would never say that Zimmer does resort to this much more frequently than any other greater composer.
I don't agree with you, my friend, that "he needs more practice with simply writing effective score music". In fact, he's been writing effective score music from Rain Man onwards. C'mon! Is he the only important composer who needs that? What pisses me off most is that many people criticize things about Zimmer's music which could also be criticized about the music of most leading film music composers nowadays. Every new score by Zimmer is a new experience, something very original. Sometimes the music is a masterpiece, and other times it's not that good. However, everytime Williams, Horner, Goldenthal... release a new score, you can predict what kind of music you're gonna find in there.

Once again, my friend, I don't see your point. I don't say Zimmer is god, or Zimmer is the greatest genius of all time. But I don't see the point of many of the criticisms that are being posted here. As far as I'm concerned, Zimmer does not need to prove ANYTHING. He's already proved that he's at top-level composer status. Thin Red Line proved that. And Prince of Egypt. And Crimson Tide. And Peacemaker. etc, etc, etc.

As I told you in other mail, byro, I did not find Black Hawk Down a convincing score. And I wish Spirit would have been longer. All right. I don't have any problem at admiting it when a score by Zimmer does disappoint me. But I love his kind of music.

Those people like Narendur and Chandler... what the hell are you doing here, guys? You should be workin in the circus as clowns. Your comments are really funny.
Chandler, you say: "Bye bye to Zimmer and to his toylet-down career", and this is very funny, because Zimmer, at least, has his OWN career. Do you know what's this?
The other joke I found in your post: "the few scores he is doing are only for awful pro-war ropaganda movies ". You are right. Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron is really a pro-war movie. And so is The Ring. And Matchstick Men. How can you expect us to take your words seriously????????????????????????????????

Narendur, you say: "Sorry, but my Polish is about as good as your knowledge about good film-music... " It's true, but... how can you expect us poor vulgar, illiterate people, have your excellent knowledge about good film-music???? Please, give us time, we need it, otherwise we'll never be as wise as you are. Right now I'm learning from The Korg, who is my greatest master of all time, but I promise you that when I finish with him, I will learn from you so that I can learn to appreciate good film music. I'm looking forward to listening to REAL GOOD FILM-MUSIC!!!!!! So far, I've been only listening to crap music, please, forgive me.
By the way, dude... I've been listening to film music since I was a 10 years old boy, so I suppose that Crimson Tide was not even a project of a movie. I started listening to F. Waxman, D. Tiomkin, B. Herrmann, J. Williams, G. Fried, J. Goldsmith, etc. I do also listen to them nowadays, just for you to know. You see, I'm not that illiterate after all. I know I'm an ignorant, but this idea does not trouble me, because I know that you will teach me quite a lot of things.
Just for you to know (again), not only I do know that there's been film music for more than 60 years before CT but also I DO care. If you can accept that, in spite of that, I do still prefer Zimmer's kind of music, that's your problem. I don't give a damn about what you think, dude. Do you really think I do only listen to Zimmer just because I defend him? Can you really be that stupid?
By the way, I don't like talking about Golden Age or Silver Age. It sounds radical, extremist, closed-minded. If you really think that film music can never be as good as the one made in the 60's, please, you live in the wrong age. Visit Doc from the Back to the Future movies and ask him if he can lend you his time machine car. Thus you will have the opportunity of living in that eden of age, when film music was really good!!!!
"I simply call them stupid" Do you wanna know how I call people like you??

Finally, a few words to Mr. Clemmensen: hey, I appreciate your task here. I think filmtracks is a good page, and I respect quite a lot what you do here and what you think as well. This is your page, after all. It's logical that some people will disagree with some of your comments. All of us are different. That's great. I don't think that insulting someone is the best way to show disagreement, so I just wanna tell you that I respect your opinions quite a lot, and that I am also looking forward to reading your comments and opinions (on whatever score by whoever composer) in the future!


Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


byro
(m128-mp1.cvx1-c.bir.dial.ntli.net)

  In Response to:
ugly joe

  Responses to this Comment:
ugly joe
Re: A few words   Monday, May 5, 2003 (1:24 p.m.) 

Ugly Joe, you've made a wonderfully heartfelt response, and I agree with you. I'm not saying my criticisms are exclusive to Zimmer, I just notice them and like voicing them because I care for his music so much.

However, when I say "recycling" I mean it a little differently when applied to Zimmer. Yes, Horner, Williams etc have their recycling habits too, but Zimmer's equivalent isn't just re-using old themes (which he seldom does actually) but cutting corners with notes that aren't actually melodically developped. Yes, he makes great central themes with good instrument textures and punch, but sometimes even these good qualities don't manage to compensate for the simplistic motifs he uses in his more "filler" style music. While Williams does recycle, he doesn't fall into these 2-tone and 3-down note cliches as much as Zimmer. His recycled material still consists of slightly more memorable and developed themes.

All I'm saying is that Zimmer should practice a little more with all the wonderful tunes you can make and the chord changes etc etc, as he doesn't do as much of that as I believe he should. He prefers the ambience of his instruments, and while that may be good, he could still do just a little better. think of Rain Man, a great simple theme with very consistent music throughout, and the same with Crimson Tide, Backdraft and Driving Miss Daisy. However, some of his more recent work like Pearl Harbour, The Peacemaker, Hannibal and Black Hawk Down do contain some great themes, but far much more of the score is this recycled filler which eventually doesn't consist of any tune at all. He is slipping away in the consistency department, and needs to get back on track and not get too distracted with the ensamble experiements he's been doing. Otherwise, he may well end up one day doing all noise with no memorable theme, receiving far more ** reviews than the exceptional and well-deserved *****s he's been getting for Crimson Tide etc, which was awesomely orchestrated with individuality and care given to each note.

"Journey to the Line" however, sounds awesome on the CD and has become well recognised, but performed live in concert in Ghent, it lost its power - because the digital enhancement wasn't available in live performance, and all we got was Zimmer's trademark "3-note-down" motif mixed in with performances from "Am I Not Merciful?" and "Nine Months" - which all sounded too similar because of their pedantic reliance on this recurring riff.

Had it been a John Williams concert however, the music would have had far more power, because his music has a lot more variation than the type Zimmer demonstrated in Ghent. True, what we wouldn't get is Zimmer's amazing soundscapes, but somehow I think the appeal of a melody matters a little more, as it is this arrangement of notes that primarily drives the emotional reaction - and all the really well remembered classics have it, even though fusions of sounds, like's Zimmer's can enhance it.

This area of melodic and memorable theme is the only part of his music that is ever so slightly lagging behind the Legends such as Williams and Goldsmith, and I hope he will address it soon, as every new Zimmer score I have been buying has been disappointing me gradually bit by bit - because although the imaginative sound and central themes are often a treat, more and more of the notes he churns out sound not just recycled, but not even strung together.

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


ugly joe
<Send E-Mail>
(cliente-217216067081.cm128.senpd.
supercable.es)

  In Response to:
byro

  Responses to this Comment:
Mike
Re: A few words   Monday, May 5, 2003 (2:54 p.m.) 

Hi, byro

Altough I do not entirely agree with you that Pearl Harbor, The Peacemaker or Hannibal contain such an amount of recycled filler without any tune at all (in fact both Pearl Harbor and The Peacemaker are two of my most loved Zimmer masterpieces. I think they both are perfect. In my opinion, The Peacemaker is much, much, much better than Crimson Tide. The Peacemaker, put it simply, is, in my opinion, the most glorious and greatest action score ever composed), as opposed to Backdraft or Driving Miss Daisy (which are two of the Zimmer's scores I like least), however, once again, I appreciate your wise and illustrative responses. Even though we disagree in some aspects, we respect each other's opinions and don't try to impose our own insulting the other's.
Because of that it's a pleasure to discuss ideas and opinions with someone like you.
Thanks!
ugly joe

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


Mike
(dhcp-134-250.bowdoin.edu)

  In Response to:
ugly joe

  Responses to this Comment:
ugly joe
Re: A few words   Monday, May 5, 2003 (10:11 p.m.) 

First off, I agree 100% that Peacemaker is the greatest action score ever and that is BECAUSE every minute has some version of a theme, even the fast-paced parts. Plus, Zimmer throws in an ethnic feel (Sarajevo), which other composers may not have thought to throw into the mix of a movie like Peacemaker, but it gives the film more depth. However, I can see, Byro, how Zimmer's music would not perform as well live. Look at the two men: John Williams is the former conductor of the Boston Pops, Zimmer began as a synth specialist. Williams' music is going to perform better live. I can see the repitition motiff you're talking about such as the Journey to the Line theme and the Brothers theme from Backdraft. However, I do not agree that Zimmer's filler music is as themeless as you suggest, especally in Peacemaker. Black Hawk Down, yes, but that score is unique and shouldn't be compared so much. I actually found that in Pearl Harbor, the main theme was used too much. Take Goldsmith's Congo or Deep Rising for example. That's an example of filler music. The main themes appear maybe 3 times on the album. Not so with Zimmer. What I like about his music is that he recycles his themes, but doesn't repeat them.

Mike

P.S. In response to an earlier note about Zimmer scoring pro-war movies... I would not call Tears of the Sun or Black Hawk Down "pro war." In fact, they are quite the opposite. The films were not made to inspire people to go to war. Thin Red Line especially is not pro war. That was the whole ide behind the movie in the first place.

> Hi, byro

> Altough I do not entirely agree with you that Pearl Harbor, The Peacemaker
> or Hannibal contain such an amount of recycled filler without any tune at
> all (in fact both Pearl Harbor and The Peacemaker are two of my most loved
> Zimmer masterpieces. I think they both are perfect. In my opinion, The
> Peacemaker is much, much, much better than Crimson Tide. The Peacemaker,
> put it simply, is, in my opinion, the most glorious and greatest action
> score ever composed), as opposed to Backdraft or Driving Miss Daisy (which
> are two of the Zimmer's scores I like least), however, once again, I
> appreciate your wise and illustrative responses. Even though we disagree
> in some aspects, we respect each other's opinions and don't try to impose
> our own insulting the other's.
Because of that it's a pleasure to
> discuss ideas and opinions with someone like you.
Thanks!
ugly
> joe

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


ugly joe
<Send E-Mail>
(cliente-217216067081.cm128.senpd.
supercable.es)

  In Response to:
Mike

  Responses to this Comment:
byro
Re: A few words   Wednesday, May 7, 2003 (8:23 a.m.) 

Hi, Mike

I agree 100% with what you've said! The Peacemaker is wondrous. Each track is unique, although my favourite one is CHASE. I've never listened to a 17 minutes track that breathtaking. It does not give you a single minute to recover!!! It's amazing. And so is Sarajevo, one of Zimmer's most touching and beautiful melodies ever. Period.
And Pearl Harbor, in my opinion, is one of Zimmer's most melodic scores ever. And Then I Kissed Him is one of the most beautiful love themes ever heard. But this jewel is not only rich in terms of melody, but also in terms of mood. This score changes from a romantic mood to a tragic one and then to a glorious one full with hope. It's one of Zimmer's most unfairly underrated scores. I think it's much better than Backdraft.
Whether we recognize it or not, cinema owes Zimmer as much as Williams. I can't think about cinema without having those masterpieces (Journey to the Line, The Battle, Beyond Rangoon...) come to my mind.
ugly joe

Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display


byro
(m388-mp1.cvx1-a.cdf.dial.ntli.net)

  In Response to:
ugly joe
Re: A few words   Saturday, November 15, 2003 (2:20 p.m.) 

> Hi, Mike

> I agree 100% with what you've said! The Peacemaker is wondrous. Each track
> is unique, although my favourite one is CHASE. I've never listened to a 17
> minutes track that breathtaking. It does not give you a single minute to
> recover!!! It's amazing. And so is Sarajevo, one of Zimmer's most touching
> and beautiful melodies ever. Period.
And Pearl Harbor, in my opinion,
> is one of Zimmer's most melodic scores ever. And Then I Kissed Him is one
> of the most beautiful love themes ever heard. But this jewel is not only
> rich in terms of melody, but also in terms of mood. This score changes
> from a romantic mood to a tragic one and then to a glorious one full with
> hope. It's one of Zimmer's most unfairly underrated scores. I think it's
> much better than Backdraft.
Whether we recognize it or not, cinema
> owes Zimmer as much as Williams. I can't think about cinema without having
> those masterpieces (Journey to the Line, The Battle, Beyond Rangoon...)
> come to my mind.
ugly joe

Many great themes yes, and I love "And Then I Kissed Him" very fondly. But have another listen to the peacemaker and tell me how many times u get a drawn-out "dawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww-dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn" 2-tone theme. It appears a heck fo a lot and is exactly the same as in track 7 of hannibal.


Post Full Response         Edit Post         Threaded display



Copyright © 1998-2018, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Scoreboard created 7/24/98 and last updated 4/25/15.