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Comments about the soundtrack for Tears of the Sun (Hans Zimmer)

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Hans Zimmer is in Danger.....
• Posted by: byro   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Sunday, April 20, 2003, at 2:03 p.m.
• IP Address:

As the review says, Zimmer is making too much of an effort to do new, stylish things, rather than focused, quality music.

Crimson Tide, Backdraft, Rain Man, Beyond Rangoon. Just four examples of his brilliant earlier works. Unique, memorable, and with a more orchestral format that didn't detract from the electronic beauty and soundscapes, but made the music much more worthy.

More recently, however, his music is ironically losing its indiviuality the more he tries to be original. He is thinking too much about the new instrument mixes and musicians, instead of the actual tunes. This has led to background noise and repeated motifs. He uses a drawn out two-tone theme in nearly every film now, and frequently uses a 3-note descending semi-tone, semi-tone, tone motif that sounds painfully overused and offers no feel of spirited, individual melody.

Zimmer may not like this idea, but he needs to pull back and experiment with much more traditional, orchestrated styles. He needs to regain the ability to actually make new, outstanding tunes, rather than weird sound scapes that nobody can remember and dont become well-known.

Black Hawk Down, I feel, was one of those rare scores which was successful even though it had a lot of this noise stuff on it, it was just such a shame that the Album release didn't have a very good selection on it. However, it too could have benefitted from some more focused polishing.

In my humble opinion, a great soundtrack, despite its original intruments and power and volume, can also be played on a piano or guitar. It must have a universal, melodic appeal. Zimmer is lacking this more and more. Crimson Tide, on the other hand, was awesome because not only did Zimmer do his weird and wonderful electronic mixing, but stayed close to a good, disciplined orchestral format.

I'm not saying Zimmer should become a boring John Williams. I love his originality, imagination and fusions of sounds, but I think, if he wishes to really become an oustanding, historically remembered artist, he has to focus a lot more on what he is actually writing, not what he's playing with.

Also, I think he should generally climb on board some critically better films than some of the mainstream hollywood garbage he's been catering for.

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