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Dark Phoenix
Album Cover Art
Regular Album
Xperiments From Dark Phoenix
Album 2 Cover Art
Co-Composed and Co-Produced by:
Hans Zimmer
Andy Page

Co-Composed by:
Steve Mazzaro
David Fleming

Conducted by:
Nick Glennie-Smith

Orchestrated by:
Bruce Fowler
Walter Fowler
Suzette Moriarty

Additional Music by:
Loire Cotler
Suzanne Waters
Katy Stephan
Guthrie Govan
Nico Abondolo
Tina Guo
Ryan Rubin
Alex Gibson
Seth Waldmann
Labels Icon
Fox Music (Regular Album)
(June 7th, 2019)

Remote Control Productions /Fox Music (Xperiments Album)
(August 2nd, 2019)
Availability Icon
Both albums are regular commercial releases. No CD exists for either product, but high-resolution download options are available.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you love watching videos in which Hans Zimmer talks about how to tell stories with music and, by association, how revolutionary his own music has become.

Avoid it... if you suspect that he might be full of shit.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 11/19/19
Dark Phoenix: (Hans Zimmer/Various) In the final years of 20th Century Fox's control over the "X-Men" concept on screen, the studio extended one last sequel in its already once rebooted series of films related to the famed mutants. Of the twelve films in the nearly 20-year-old franchise, 2019's Dark Phoenix is the most monumental failure. It has been projected to cost Fox more than $100 million in losses, a product of oversaturation and the immense misfortune of a production schedule at odds with Disney's acquisition of Fox and formal merging of the "X-Men" films into their own Marvel Cinematic Universe. The post-production of Dark Phoenix was a nightmare years in the making, in part because Disney's late involvement required a different direction for the film if only for their own narrative desires. The story of the movie is a rather pointless revisitation of the Jean Grey/Phoenix corner of the "X-Men" realm, the events of 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand conveniently erased by the prior two films as a logical method of milking more money out of the franchise with younger actors in the lead roles. With series stalwart Bryan Singer no longer palatable to direct, screenwriter and producer Simon Kinberg steps up to the helm, with disastrous results. For film music enthusiasts, this transition meant the exit of composer John Ottman from the franchise as well, his music one of the few connective tissues surviving both generations of the concept during its run on screen. Instead, we get music producer, marketer extraordinaire, and occasional composer Hans Zimmer for an orphaned entry that defies his pledge from 2016 to permanently remove himself from the superhero genre. After some prodding by friend Ron Howard, Zimmer rethought his decision and agreed to seek out superhero scores if they spoke to his heart. For whatever reason, Dark Phoenix did just that, and he dove into the nightmare of a project that ultimately yielded about 16 hours of recorded music from his Remote Control Productions clone army. Roughly a dozen ghostwriters assisted Zimmer in what he deemed a band-like experience of creating music for the film, though Steve Mazzaro, David Fleming, and Andy Page served in the lead contributor roles. (To his credit, Zimmer did put all twelve names on the cover of his second album of music from the picture.)

The result of this massive Remote Control group think is a remarkably unremarkable film score for Dark Phoenix, a standalone new age experience that once again reinforces Zimmer's role in the industry as a marquee name rather than a convincing provider of truly nuanced and effective film music in context. For the avid Zimmer collector (or apologist, depending upon how you look at his position in the industry), this music is a somewhat stylish extension of his established baseline of dreary superhero ambience, his themes extremely simplistic in composition and their rendering lacking any non-repetitive, intelligent layering. It's tempting to write off the album presentation of Dark Phoenix as a standard new age Remote Control jam, but the tracks as presented on the primary product are, in many cases, nearly identical to what is used in the film. Zimmer seems to have fully embraced the process used especially in Europe of writing suites of music to represent concepts in a film and then let the music editors sort out the placement in the actual movie. For a superhero film, that's a very dubious prospect. Zimmer also chose to abandon everything established by Ottman for the franchise, including his main theme. Perhaps that identity was too "jolly" for his sensibilities. In fact, anything resembling heroism is gone from the equation here, Zimmer gleefully revolving the score around three general identities consisting of dreary brooding (the main theme), sad brooding (the Phoenix theme), and angry brooding (the Magneto theme). All of these things dwell firmly in the bass region with singular layers sometimes occupying high octaves above; a significant lack of care in the midrange layers seems to prevail. The most amazing attribute of Zimmer's themes for Dark Phoenix is how juvenile and self-absorbed they are. The main theme, for instance, is a way-too-long line of note pairs that move with so much saturated deliberation that Zimmer clearly expects listeners to be amazed by each shifting chord. Likewise, the Magneto theme is literally pounded in nearly every instance, its progressions only slightly more complicated. These themes are ridiculously simplistic and devoid of meaningful variation. The Phoenix theme does lend itself to more emotional range, though even this idea is surprisingly constricted. At times when Zimmer's crew overlaps themes, they persist in only their base styles, making them very transparent but not enhancing the narrative with any sense of depth.

Ratings Icon
Average: 2.13 Stars
***** 19 5 Stars
**** 18 4 Stars
*** 29 3 Stars
** 45 2 Stars
* 95 1 Stars
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Hans Zimmer's mild cognitive impairment
The Laughing Testicle - December 22, 2019, at 11:45 a.m.
1 comment  (867 views)

Track Listings Icon
Regular Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 67:55
• 1. Gap (8:07)
• 2. Dark (4:27)
• 3. Frameshift (8:15)
• 4. Amity* (5:52)
• 5. Intimate (10:14)
• 6. Negative (3:58)
• 7. Deletion (4:51)
• 8. Reckless (9:35)
• 9. Insertion (7:56)
• 10. Coda (4:40)
* Contains portions of music composed by Henry Purcell
Xperiments From Dark Phoenix Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 78:43

Notes Icon
No official packaging exists for either album.
Copyright © 2019-2021, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Dark Phoenix are Copyright © 2019, Fox Music (Regular Album), Remote Control Productions /Fox Music (Xperiments Album) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/19/19 (and not updated significantly since).
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