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The Pacific
Co-Composed and Co-Produced by:
Hans Zimmer

Co-Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Conducted by:
Blake Neely

Co-Composed and Co-Orchestrated by:
Geoff Zanelli

Co-Orchestrated by:
Bruce Fowler
Suzette Moriarty
Walt Fowler
Rick Giovinazzo
Kevin Kaska
Elizabeth Finch
Carl Rydlund
Nathan Blume

Co-Produced by:
Gary Goetzman

Rhino Entertainment

Release Date:
March 9th, 2010

Also See:
Band of Brothers
Saving Private Ryan
The Thin Red Line
Pearl Harbor
Medal of Honor (Game)

Audio Clips:
1. Honor - Main Title Theme From The Pacific (0:32):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

2. With the Old Breed - End Title Theme From The Pacific (0:28):
WMA (188K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

15. Landing Peleliu (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

19. Where Do We Go From Here? (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular U.S. release.


The Pacific

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Buy it... if you specifically noticed the score's two main themes in the context of the popular series, because without the inherent meaning you will associate with them as a result, the remaining music may underwhelm you in its surprisingly simplistic nature.

Avoid it... if you expect to be as engaged with this soundtrack as you were with Michael Kamen's Band of Brothers, because Hans Zimmer and his crew seem content with providing The Pacific with inoffensive, respectful, and pretty sonic wallpaper of very basic, tonal constructs.

The Pacific (TV): (Hans Zimmer/Geoff Zanelli/Blake Neely) Serving as a much anticipated sister series to 2001's Band of Brothers, a related follow-up from Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman debuted on HBO and in Australia and the United Kingdom in early 2010. Running for two months, The Pacific limited its focus of World War II's American action against the Japanese to the perspectives of just three Marines. Over the course of nine hours (split into ten episodes), these men are shown enlisting, fighting, in one case dying, and dealing with the aftermath of the conflict, much of the narrative supplied by the real-life accounts of the survivors of these mostly true war stories. Like Band of Brothers, HBO, Dreamworks, and their international counterparts attempted to follow the standard of excellence in the portrayal of the conflict as set in Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. Over $150 million was poured into the production of The Pacific, most of that money spent in Australia, where shooting was centered. The quality of the mini-series has been widely praised, with nearly universal accolades from critics and viewers translating into almost two dozen Emmy nominations, of which The Pacific won eight (including for overall outstanding series). In all of the various television and video game adaptations of the Stephen Ambrose style of WWII combat narrative in the years since Saving Private Ryan, John Williams' respectfully restrained music for the 1998 film has remained a template for many of those subsequent soundtracks. Both Michael Kamen and Michael Giacchino provided music to those venues that has more outwardly dramatized this period in history, but these composers very carefully maintained the instruction to pay respect to sacrifice rather than glorify the conflict. Whereas Williams' Saving Private Ryan is solemn to the point of minimalism in parts and Giacchino's "Medal of Honor" game scores pushed the boundaries of heroism from within the same general mould, Kamen's music for Band of Brothers endures as a popular and competent middle ground.

It's difficult not to compare the music of The Pacific to what Kamen achieved in one of his last major achievements before his untimely death, for Band of Brothers manages to capture both the severity of respect in Williams' tone and the robust militaristic stature of Giacchino (which itself was an offshoot of Williams' style). In later years, the "Medal of Honor" game scores began to be serviced with music by familiar members of Hans Zimmer's Remote Control operation, and with the famed composer himself a veteran of projects like The Thin Red Line and Pearl Harbor, it's no surprise that he and some of his RC associates wrote the music for The Pacific. As usual, this collaborative effort is another example of nebulous scoring duties that never truly reveal to listeners where the talents of Zimmer yield to those of his two credited assistant composers for this occasion, Geoff Zanelli and Blake Neely. There is no discernable distinction of these duties in any of the cues as presented on the album for The Pacific, suggesting the commonly held notion that Zimmer writes the melodies for these productions and allows men like Zanelli and Neely to flesh them out consistently throughout the entire soundtrack. In this particular case, it's interesting to note that the general approach to The Pacific seems to point to a sonic wallpaper technique, standardized background music devoid of synchronization points that the filmmakers could chop up and insert wherever necessary. It's thus an extremely smooth listening experience with Randy Edelman styling, never awakening from a noble slumber to address any of the action scenes in the series. Instead, you hear over an hour of extremely pleasant but largely meaningless background harmony of an easy orchestral variety on the album for The Pacific, only the occasional rumbling of timpani or very slight dissonance from strings interrupting an otherwise painless, cross-faded presentation. There are two themes in the series, one titled "Honor" and considered the main theme and the other called "With the Old Breed" and presented over the end credits. The first one is a more fluid, romanticized representation while the latter is a bit stern in its militaristic salute (in part due to trumpet accompaniment).

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It's odd that Zimmer and crew decided to diverge into two different themes for The Pacific, because both essentially solicit the same emotional response and there doesn't seem to be much need to divide the thematic identity of the series unless the composers were instructed very specifically to append a contemplative, backwards-looking theme at the end as a separate entity. Neither of these ideas is referenced frequently in the mass of the underscore, general chord progressions common to the themes appearing in several places before the melodies begin to creep into the melodramatic final third of the album. Unfortunately, these themes and their string-led performances are extremely reminiscent of Pearl Harbor, and anyone familiar with that 2001 score will hear yet another example of Zimmer and crew providing extremely tonal and pleasing orchestral romanticism without really pushing for any sense of authentic resonance. It's unfortunate that The Pacific looks toward Pearl Harbor rather than Band of Brothers, perhaps exposing Zimmer's comfort with very simplistic neo-classical tonality for circumstances that could really use the nuanced complexity of the Williams or Kamen templates. The general demeanor of this soundtrack is so even and, daresay, unengaged with the subject matter that it could very well be applied to a movie about a number of different topics, even contemporary romance. This conservative and basic orchestral stance causes a lack of counterpoint or even any less obvious symphonic activity to retain interest. Reflecting current Zimmer/RC style, the score often resides below middle C, growling through some of its understatements. Its simplistic constructs risk boredom or maybe even a snooze from some listeners who venture past the opening two presentations of theme that at least beef up the ensemble size for impressive depth. Signs of life begin to stir in "Landing Peleliu" and "Adagio For Peleliu," and "Homecoming" is no doubt a touching cue. But these slight variations are simply not enough to salvage an otherwise static, underachieving score. Despite all of these challenges to retaining your attention, The Pacific is still sonic wallpaper of a very pretty variety, and listeners seeking an experience in which they can escape into their thoughts without interruption will find much merit in it. The music is adequate at all times but never really exceptional in any one cue. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Hans Zimmer reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.98 (in 89 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3 (in 266,347 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

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 Track Listings: Total Time: 72:01

• 1. Honor - Main Title Theme From The Pacific (2:56)
• 2. With the Old Breed - End Title Theme From The Pacific (4:05)
• 3. You Have No Idea (2:15)
• 4. Terrible Solomons (1:40)
• 5. Torn Souls (1:23)
• 6. Nightfall on Okinawa (1:41)
• 7. Private First Class Robert Leckie (2:40)
• 8. Fallen Friend (1:50)
• 9. We've Gone Respectable (3:04)
• 10. Iwo Jima (4:08)
• 11. Praying For You (3:19)
• 12. Even the Trees Hate Us (3:41)
• 13. Get the Wounded Aboard (1:55)
• 14. Memories of Home (2:32)
• 15. Landing Peleliu (3:22)
• 16. Adagio For Peleliu (2:07)
• 17. The Peleliu Hills (4:37)
• 18. Dear Vera (1:46)
• 19. Where Do We Go From Here? (1:55)
• 20. Men at War (2:33)
• 21. Sledge's Humanity (6:08)
• 22. War is Hell (2:15)
• 23. Homecoming (4:51)
• 24. New Kind of Bomb (2:19)
• 25. Honor (For Oboe and Strings) (2:59)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes a list of performers but no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Pacific are Copyright © 2010, Rhino Entertainment. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/6/11 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2011-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.